Working from home can make morning routines a bit tricky. You think it’s going to be easy but the reality is if you’ve got nowhere to be, it’s so easy to just roll out of bed at any hour and trudge through the day without an ounce of productivity in you.
I’ve been weirdly obsessed with morning routines since I went full-time self-employed. I am one of those people who watch endless Youtube videos of attractive people pretending to wake up and wander around immaculate, fancy apartments. It’s a bit unhealthy to watch perfect routines like this sometimes. However, they do motivate me to build a productive routine. My routine will never look as polished as them but I’m guessing theirs don’t look like that either when the camera’s not on.
So, with that in mind, let’s go through a few morning routine ideas when you work from home.
Let’s get this one out of the way. I know no one wants to hear it, but the morning is a great time to exercise. It gets a huge tick on your to-do list straight away. It also means you’re not going to fall into the trap of saying to yourself “I’ll just do that after work”. You won’t, you know you won’t…
I am still in the process of trying to find an exercise that I actually enjoy. I like strength training with weights and resistance bands but I can’t find a cardio workout that I actually like. My dusty cross trainer is waiting in the spare room but it’s clunky and noisy. I’ve been trying to run with my dog but he likes to pull too much and nearly knock me over.
This is a good daily exercise for the mind to help it calm, clear and relax. I am not really one for meditating but I know a lot of people swear by it. I’ve always struggled to switch my mind off so it’s probably something I should try again. If you struggle with it, there are plenty of apps with tips and exercises you can try out.
This is something I do to try and clear my mind and I would definitely recommend it. I know some people highly recommend the Morning Pages method where you write about three pages of random thoughts down. I would struggle with that amount I think but it works for some people.
It can help you organise and understand your thoughts and feelings and also clear your mind a bit. I find it handy for stress and worry. I’d say it’s a good one to try at the end of the day too if you’ve had a particularly stressful day.
Sometimes it’s hard to fit in reading, I know I certainly struggle with it. I always say I’m going to read before bed. This is a good habit to get into but sometimes I forget or I’m too tired.
Some people like to read self-help books or positive things in the morning to get that positive head start on the day. Others like to stick with fiction and make their way through a reading list.
This might be a bit of a boring one but I’ve seen this one appear in those fancy morning routine videos before. I suppose it’s a way to clear your head and your house for the day ahead and it ticks another thing off your to-do list.
Creative or hobby activities
Sadly, when you’re busy running a business, all the things you love doing can get pushed to one side. After work might be a good time to engage in creative activities but sometimes you’re just too tired. It’s a common enough problem and you end up either progressing slowly with your hobby or not at all.
I’ve been trying to write a novel for some time now and there’s always some excuse that gets in the way which stops me from writing. That’s why I aim to do my creative writing and blogging first thing in the morning so even if I’m tired after the end of the day, I’ve accomplished something with that hobby.
Healthy habits to practice
The key to a good, productive morning isn’t just coffee. If you want to be productive in the morning, the work tends to start the night before. So, if you would rather not end up as a groggy mess in the morning, here are some tips:
Get enough sleep – there’s no exception
In order to perform at our best in the morning and throughout the day, we need sleep. Everyone requires a different amount of sleep, but you need to get the right amount for you. Some people are fine on six hours, others need a solid nine. Try to work out exactly how much sleep you need (too much is just as bad for fatigue believe it or not) and make sure you’re going to bed early enough to get that amount in.
Wake up before everyone else
I’m a big fan of waking up early, well I’m a big fan of getting a lot done before anyone else wakes up. Actually getting out of bed when it’s cold is not my idea of a good time but it’s always worth it. I mentioned above about getting creative work or hobbies done in the morning, but the best way to make time for them is to actually get up early – ideally, before anyone else so that you’ve got that time all to yourself.
Drink some water
Water is directly tied to energy levels and guess what? You’ve probably not had much of it while you’ve been asleep – unless you’re like me who wakes up frequently thirsty throughout the night. You need to get yourself hydrated in the morning, not just caffeinated.
Get things ready the night before
Whether you’re planning to do some morning yoga, paint, read, write, meditate, it helps to get everything you need ready the night before. Lay out those gym clothes, put your favourite notebook or novel in the middle of your desk – reduce the amount of decision-making and steps in the morning and you’ll get to that task quicker. With too many steps between you and the productive task, you’re much more likely to make excuses for yourself to not do it.
Plan just one or two things
Here’s another thing about these morning routines you see on Youtube. These people do absolutely everything under the sun, it’s a surprise that it’s still morning by the time they’ve finished. Do you think that most people can manage an hour of exercise, 30 minutes of meditation, to write three morning pages, read a chapter, write a chapter, paint a masterpiece and make a healthy breakfast EVERY MORNING? Maybe some super humans can do all that, but most of us can’t.
So, don’t pressure yourself to do all of the above morning routine ideas every day. Not only does is this not practical, it’s probably quite stressful and overwhelming to do everything first thing in the morning. Instead, try to set maybe 1-2 tasks in the morning, no more. If you feel able to do more, then fine but don’t feel bad if you don’t accomplish the impossible before 12 pm.
There you have it, some healthy morning routine ideas when you work from home (or don’t of course) and how to actually get yourself to do them. The morning is such an important part of the day and really sets you up for the rest of the day.
What does your morning routine look like? What’s your main aim for the morning? Let us know your morning routine ideas when you work from home below.