How does your workday usually start?

Imagine this picture: The alarm clock is ringing again and again.  You keep pressing the “snooze” button on your alarm clock until it’s the last possible moment to get out of the bed.  Drag your body out of the bed.  Rush to get ready.  Take a hurried shower.  Run out of the house holding a donut in the left hand and a briefcase in the right hand.  Start driving, but get stuck in the horrible traffic.  Finally, you get to your workplace with 1 minute to spare.  Great, except that your brain has already exhausted and you feel like crap…

Last week, I wrote an article about how tedious routines can make life better.  Here is one of the best examples why we need tedious routines.

A good morning routine not only creates a great start, it also makes your entire day more productive.

Think about how drained your energy level is when you start your day in a rush.  How likely will the rest of your day be?  Based on my personal experience, whenever I am in a rush, I feel more tired at work, less energetic and more moody for the whole day.

Are you ready to have a change?

Give this 30-min routine a try for 30 days.  If you have more time, you can even increase the duration of some steps, such as put more time on the meditation.

11 Morning Routines to Keep Productivity Skyrocketing for the Entire Day:
(1) Wake up early

Learn not to press the “Snooze” button. It’s an addictive bad habit.  The amount of rest you get during 9 minutes of Snoozing is not as useful as you think.  When you start rushing in your morning routine, you will have used up all those energy right the way.

(2) Open your curtain

Personally, I find this is the best way to wake myself up. The light shines through the windows, making the room brighter and more spacious.  It may not be as beneficial if you are working the night  Also, it allows the mind to start to reconnect to the world.

(3) Make your bed immediately

Please don’t underestimate it and think it’s unnecessary on a busy day. By doing this small task, you will start your day right.  Completing a task gives you self-satisfaction and pride.  It gets your mindset ready for a bigger task.  Besides that, making the bed also declares that you have woken up and ready for the day.  And when you come home at the end of the day, you will have the better mood to see a tiny house.

(4) Drink a glass of water

After brushing your teeth, drink a glass of water, preferably lukewarm.  After sleep, your brain and your body need water to replenish the hydration level.  The lukewarm water also can give the warmth to your body that just wakes up.

(5) Listen to Some Upbeat Music

Music is a great tool to help improve moods.  Especially if you are not a morning person, 1listening to an upbeat music can help to improve your mood.  Give it a try.  To save time, you can listen to the music when doing exercise.

(6) Exercise for 10 minutes

It doesn’t necessarily have to be an aerobic workout.  You can go for a short walk.  If you have a gym in your condo, walk on a treadmill or elliptical.  Play Hulu loop if you like.  Dance if you wish.  Or you can just do stretching.  Physical activities increase the production of endorphins.  Endorphin is the neurotransmitter in the brain that can elevate mood, alleviate pain, reduce stress and ease depression1.  This allows your brain to have a productive kick-start of the day.

(7) Meditate for 2 minutes

Even if it’s just for 2 minutes, meditation can help to improve your productivity for the rest of your day. It’s easier if you sit down and close your eyes.  Clear your mind.  Let your thoughts settle.  Slow down your breathing rate.  For me, I find it’s best to slowly breathe in for 7 seconds, hold your breath for 3 seconds and slowly breathe out for 7 seconds.  Make sure you don’t let any thoughts distract you during the process.  Spend all your concentration on the breathing in and out.  If you find it hard to focus, you can use a headphone and listen to a relaxing music during the meditation.  Search for “2 minutes meditation music” on YouTube, and you will find many selections of music that can help you relax and focus on your breaths for 2 minutes without the worry of forgetting the time.

If you have time, you can meditate for more than 2 minutes.  Meditation can improve the focusing mechanism of your brain, raises the accuracy level and reduces the stress level.  This allows you to start your workday with a clear mind and sharper concentration.

(8) Enjoy an awakening shower

Showering wakes you up and clears your mind. You can wake up earlier to have a longer shower if that is your preference.  But, in fact, and all you need is a 90-second powerful shower.  Start with a 30-second moderately cold water, followed by a 30-second hot water and end with a 30-second warm water2.  Save the long, relaxing shower/bath for the evening.

(9) Eat breakfast

Don’t underestimate the importance of breakfast.  Try to eat something healthy.  A nutritious breakfast gives you a great energy to start the morning.  It helps to maintain blood sugar level and thus, prevent binge eating3.  This can help you maintain your weight or even have a weight loss.  When you are hungry, it’s more likely that you will go for fast food or something sugary.  If you don’t have time in the morning, maybe you can make a simple smoothie.  All you need are putting fruits and milk of your choices into a blender.  Spend the 5-10 minutes enjoying the breakfast at home while doing the next 3 tasks.  My personal favorite is a banana avocado smoothie (using soy milk).

  • Read 1 motivational quote

    During breakfast or before work, spend a minute to read 1 motivational quote.   Get used to reading 1 motivational quote every morning.  This can give you positive vibes and boost up your energy and productivity.  There are many online sources with motivational quotes.  Our website also posts a new motivational saying every weekday.

  • Think of 1 thing happened yesterday that you are grateful for

    Look back to the 24 hours during yesterday.  What made you feel grateful for?  This can be related to your job, your family, your health, or just a random act of kindness from a stranger.  It’s best if you can write it down in a journal so that you can keep a record for all your days.  From time to time, it’s too easy for us to take things for granted.  This can help to remind ourselves of the things in our life that we are grateful for.  It also slowly guides us to develop an attitude of gratitude.  If you feel upset at work or overstressed by your busy life, remember to read this journal to remind yourself that you are loved.

  • Quickly skim through your list of goals

    Every morning during breakfast, you can quickly review your list of goals to remind yourself what you truly want as well as check what tasks you can possibly do today to make it closer to your goals.  Don’t worry about the little step is too insignificant.  You only have to worry about still staying in the same position next year.  If you haven’t written down a list of goals yet, then maybe it’s time to create one.  During busy life, it’s easy to forget our goals or even doubt our abilities to achieve these goals.  Put your goals down on a list can prevent this problem.  When writing down your goals, you try to break down each goal into a detailed to-do list.

(10) Pack some healthy snacks to bring to work

It’s easy to eat unhealthily when you are busy and hungry. Bring some healthy snacks to work can solve this problem.  It doesn’t need to be fancy.  Apples, bananas, and nuts are great options, and you also won’t worry about wasting the snacks if you don’t eat them today.

(11) Hug and kiss your loved ones before leaving

Life can be busy. We may forget to cherish the most valuable people in your life. If you live with your family, parents, wife or children, make sure you spend a minute to hug and kiss your loved ones before leaving your house.  You may think that you can make up for it tomorrow, and the next day, and so on.  Soon your children may be all grown up.  Also, no one can predict what may happen in the future, unpredictable illness or accident happens, and a loved one passes away.  Besides that, by showing your love and care, you can improve family relationships and communications in the long-run too.

Remember: Time is like the water in a river.  You can never touch the same water twice, and similarly, you can never have today again once it’s gone.  Hugging your children 20 times a day is not truly equivalent to hugging your children every morning for 20 days.


Lastly, remember to always leave extra time for your commute.  Whenever you need to rush to work, you feel stressful and anxious.  This drains your energy quickly.  Try to leave home a bit early.  Give yourself extra time as a buffer.  Sometimes, there may be traffic jams, unpredictable accidents along the way, or parking difficulty etc.  If you end up arriving early, then you can chill and do something you like.  Enjoy a coffee, read an interesting article, or chat with your workplace friends.  Most importantly, you won’t be affected by the stress and anxiety during the commute.

Try this routine for a few weeks, and then come back to let me know how you feel.  Look forward to hearing from you.  Have a smiling day.


With love,

Cecilia Or

Always Remember Why Inc.

Always Remember W.H.Y.

Be WellBe Happy, Be You