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My Morning Routine for a Successful and Productive Day

my morning routine for a successful and productive day
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my morning routine for a successful and productive day

Do you have a morning routine that allows you be productive all day long?  Ever since I started working with my business coaches, they’ve been talking about the importance of having a morning routine. So today, I want to share my current morning routine. I also want to share the things I want to start incorporating into my routine that will set me up for a successful and productive day, every day. Without further ado, here are the things my morning routine includes every day, as well as the things I hope to start doing soon!

#1 – Get 8 Hours Sleep

GOSH. I wish I could shake my friends when they tell me how sleep deprived they are.  I learned this the very hard way in college. I used to think that if I worked a few extra hours into the night, and slept less, that I’d get MORE done. Seems logical, right? The more you work, the more you get done! But goodness, this is SO WRONG.  My senior year of college, I finally discovered the importance of sleep (HOORAY!) I found out that when I slept a full 8 hours, I had more focus and I could work at a much faster pace than when I was sleep deprived.

Your productive day starts the night before when you decide to go to bed! This means choosing to sleep instead of pushing through until 2 AM to power through your to-do list.  Fun fact: when you sleep, your brain flushes out toxins, and we need roughly 8 hours to get all the toxins out. When we don’t sleep 8 hours (or close to it) our brains and bodies are working at a similar equivalent to being intoxicated with alcohol.  

I love the alarm app Kiwake – it forces you to wake up physically, mentally and motivationally by putting you through a three-step process. 1.) Physically, take a picture of something across the room from your bed. You set this in your settings and the alarm won’t go off until you retake the picture. 2.) Mentally, the app has a few brain games to choose from that you need to complete before it will go off. 3.) Motivationally, you can put your goals into the app. You must read your goals out loud in order to finally shut off the alarm. Pretty cool concept!

#2 – Workout in the AM

I have an actual gym routine I’m trying to get started on. But, one of the things I try to do is to workout for at least 7 minutes. I use the app “7-minute workout” in the morning. It requires you to complete their basic workout of jumping jacks, sit-ups, wall sits, pushups and 8 other exercises for 30 seconds each.  Working out in the morning makes me feel accomplished and gets my blood pumping before I sit in a chair all day. It also sets a healthy precedent for the day, motivating me to eat healthy throughout.

*I am still looking for daily motivation to workout. But after lots of injuries and health scares, my routine keeps getting off track and I keep having to jump back on the bandwagon after taking time off.  When I figure out how to stay motivated daily to work out, I’ll let ya know 😉

#3 – Eat a Great Breakfast

Ever since I quit my full-time job, I don’t think I’ve ever skipped a day of breakfast.  I used to eat horrible meals for breakfast when I worked in an office. Now, I KNOW that the food I eat for breakfast is going to fuel my body throughout the day so I can stay focused and energized.

I have three go-to breakfast recipes that I rotate through. Some days I’ll eat something different, but for the most part, these are the three go-to recipes that I know will give me the energy I need to work!

      • Shake: Half calf coffee with hazelnut creamer, 1 teaspoon cacao nibs, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 2 scoops of ice, 1 banana
      • Scrambled eggs with spinach, feta and kalamata olives
      • Yogurt with fruit

All three of these give me tons of energy, especially the cacao nibs in my shake ( holy crap, I feel like I’m unstoppable when I have that for breakfast!)

I’ve noticed similar patterns when I take a break to eat lunch, so I’m trying to get into a better routine for my lunch meals. It often happens that I lose focus in the afternoon and I know it has to do with the food I eat! When I eat greens for lunch or fruit, I’m still productive in the afternoon.  If I eat bread (or nothing at all), my focus goes out the window!!

#4 – Water with Lemon

After going to the hospital for kidney stones a few weeks ago, I’m trying to create better habits around my water intake. I’m trying to start my day with a full glass of water and a lemon! Since our bodies become dehydrated when we sleep, it is so important to drink water first thing in the morning (yes, before coffee!). I’m aiming to drink 4-6 bottles of water a day now. And, the lemon is not only good for my kidneys, but it also makes it taste delicious. (And I hear it helps shrink kidney stones too – BONUS!)

#5 – Brain Power Diffusing Essential Oil Blend + Awaken Essential Oil from Young Living

I never believed people when they said essential oils actually worked.  I thought it was weird and woo-woo, some sort of pyramid scheme and gimmick.  I’m so glad I was wrong! I was sick for 8 weeks with a sinus infection that wouldn’t quit when a friend of mine covered me with all sorts of essential oils while we were at a retreat together.  The next day I felt better and I could literally FEEL my sinuses clearing up. Ever since then, I’ve been using essential oils daily.

My current favorite blends are:

      • Brain Power + Awaken: I diffuse this blend all morning until it runs out
      • Afternoon Blend: En-R-Gee, Peppermint, Stress Away, Oo La Grow

It is absolutely incredible what a humongous difference in productivity, FOCUS, and motivation I feel when I’m diffusing these oil blends. Because of this, I make it a daily habit to diffuse these to kickstart a great day.

#6 – Read 10 Pages

One of my goals this year is to read every day. I’ve been getting into the habit of reading at least 10 pages of a business book in the morning and then I’ll usually read a personal (non-business) book before bed. I can never seem to focus on one book at a time, so my current business reading list includes: Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, Essentialism by Greg McKeown and Launch by Jeff Walker.

#7 – Review My Goals and Priorities for the Day

If my goals were important enough to create them in the first place, I think they’re important to keep at the forefront of my mind.  Since my daily priorities usually have something to do with reaching my goals, I review my top three tasks for the day and make sure I have time in my day to accomplish them.

I also have my goals for the month written down on my bathroom mirror. As I’m brushing my teeth, I try to read these out loud so they stay fresh in my mind each day. This also helps me visualize what I’m working towards and why I’m doing what I’m doing each day!

Related Post: How to Set Priorities to Achieve Your Biggest Goals

#8 – Plan a to-do list for the day

My day will be completely doomed if I don’t have a plan mapped out at the start of the day. The #1, most important thing for me to do each day is to make sure I have a task list of things I need to accomplish. If I don’t, I will be completely scattered, jumping around to random tasks throughout the day.

Since I use Asana for all my internal tasks and HoneyBook for my client based tasks, I’m in the habit of checking both each day. I use due dates religiously in Asana when I’m beginning a new project. I can log in every day and go to the ‘my tasks’ section of Asana and know exactly what I need to get done for all of my projects. It’s pure bliss!’

So, those are the things I’m currently doing every day, but there are a few more things I’d like to add to my morning routine that I’m trying to make a habit of!

#1 – Meditation

I don’t talk about it too often, but I experience severe anxiety sometimes. I usually have anxiety when I take on too many projects at once, or if I become unorganized. I downloaded the app Headspace and I’m excited to build this into my routine! I love the idea of starting my day slowly in a quiet space, just focusing on my thoughts.

#2 – Affirmations

My love language is words of affirmation. Receiving these from clients is what makes me feel truly fulfilled in my work.  However, I think that giving myself positive affirmations could be really beneficial, keeping me motivated to reach my goals. So, I’ve written down some affirmations I want to start saying every morning. Now, I just need to create better habits about doing this on a regular basis!

If you currently say affirmations daily, I’d love to know!

#3 – Journaling

Every time I start journaling, I love it! But, I easily fall off the bandwagon after a few days. I haven’t yet found a good routine for making this a habit, but I know it’s something I enjoy and want to incorporate into my daily life.

Do you journal? Whether it’s morning pages or just a gratitude journal, I’d love to know if you have incorporated into your daily routine and how you made it a habit!!

So, back to you friend! What do you do every morning to set yourself up for a successful and productive day? Do you make your bed? Read a devotional? Get dressed and do your makeup? Go for a walk? I’d love to hear your tips, comment below and let me know!

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  1. Dawn says:

    I created a bullet journal this year to help me get in the habit of things like reading (for enjoyment) and doing my gratitude journal. I used a composition notebook with grid paper, turned it sideways and put the month at the top. Then I listed ALL the things I want to do every day down the side…this column is 7 squares wide which leaves me enough columns for the days 1-31 below the month. Each day I check my list several times a day and mark off the boxes for the things that I’ve completed. I have to be flexible with my days and habits because I have 3 kids and things come up but at the end of the day if I’ve forgotten to do my journal I can take care of it quick before heading to bed.

    • lneff says:

      Hi Dawn! I absolutely LOVE this. Thank you for sharing. What a great way to remind yourself of your daily and monthly goals. I will definitely have to give this a try!

  2. Jennifer says:

    These are all great tips! Thank you Laura! Below are a couple of tidbids that you mentioned adding to your routine that have helped me in mine.

    Yoga is a great way to add in exercise + meditation at the same time. I started a few years back and it has helped my body strengthen + my mind focus on breathing, leaving me refreshed. I was a bit skeptical at first since I’m not flexible, but it has lowered my anxiety and depression, as well as my overall wellness.

    Gratitude journal. Journaling is hard for me too. This one I keep out, much like my camera. My goal is to write down 3 descriptive blessings I notice each day (or with my camera). Even if I don’t write it, I will say it out loud, or snap a photo to express my thankfulness. If you’ve never read 1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp, take a moment to listen her words + heart. Might inspire you more than you know.

    We all have something to be thankful for — living fully where we already are.

    • lneff says:

      Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for your reply! I loved reading about your morning routine! When I can motivate myself to do yoga, I always feel so much better!

      I would also love to start a gratitude journal. That ties in directly with the positive affirmations I try to say each morning. Love it!


  3. Love this post!! Thank you!! I needed a little push to get back in the swing of things but to still have self care time and to sleep my full 8 hours!!

    Would love to know more about your shake! Cacoa nibs? Where do I get those? Would love detailed recipe.

    Thanks for all you emails!

    • lneff says:

      Hi Jamie! I am so happy you found my post about establishing a morning routine helpful! Here is my recipe for the shake: 1 banana, half of the shake cup filled with ice, half calf coffee and my hazelnut creamer, one big scoop of peanut butter and a teaspoon of cacao nibs! You can typically find cacoa nibs in any health foods store or in your normal grocery store in the natural foods section. Enjoy!!

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