Morning routines help us start the day on a high note. They offer us stability, allowing us to accomplish our daily tasks on muscle memory and dedicate our brain power to essential tasks.
However, not all morning routines are the same. Some of us are night owls, preferring to do the very minimum in the morning, while others are early risers, using the morning to accomplish as much as possible. Our differing body clocks may make it difficult to determine which morning tasks are essential versus which can wait.
While scrolling through my favorite productivity community on Reddit, I found a thread asking users to share the most important parts of their morning routines. Consider incorporating some of the top responses into your morning schedule!
Draft Your Daily Plan
One user shared their top tip for ensuring they were prepared for the day. “Preparing a daily planner note to time-block my day,” they answered, as the top priority each morning. The user went on to describe how they created their plan. “It’s created each morning from a template, and I insert entries from my calendars and task list.”
“I love time blocking,” another user replied, “it’s the only thing that really does the trick.”
Read Next: The Best Journals and Planners of 2023
Night Before Prep
There’s no rule saying you have to do everything in the morning. If you’re a night owl, an essential part of your morning might be prepping the night before.
“I set alarms, I place workout clothes in a strategic spot where I’ll stumble with it, I place the journal in the desk, etc., so by the time I wake up, it’s a series of smooth transitions,” said one user.
“A walk or a run to get me outside,” replied one Redditor, adding, “I’ve made this into such a strong habit that my brain complains if I don’t leave the house first thing.”
They said the workout doesn’t have to be intense. Simply getting some fresh air outside can work wonders for getting a great start to the day.
Some went even further, saying that working out first thing in the morning is essential for their productivity.
“Just a while ago, I forced myself to work out immediately after waking up,” said one user, adding that they are finally seeing results with this method.
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One user responded that phone usage hinders productivity, especially first thing in the morning. “It’s not only making you late for the rest of your day, it’s rewiring your brain by elevating your dopamine levels. This makes you less motivated to do things that don’t elicit as much dopamine as our phones,” they explained.
Others agreed, saying they have difficulty leaving Reddit or other social media platforms.
Social media is addicting, and companies work hard to keep folks scrolling on their phones rather than doing anything else. One Redditor offered sage advice to beat the addiction. “For Reddit or anywhere else, try to find the stuff they do to keep you on it for longer and do what you can to undo it,” they said, wishing users luck in undoing the social media brainwashing.
“Actually getting up,” joked one user. It’s true, though. Snoozing can be detrimental to your health and sleep patterns.
“This is the thing for me, too.” agreed another user. “It sets me up for a good day when I get up when the alarm rings.”
The original posters said journaling is the most essential part of their morning routine. “It’s meditative but also helps me clearly set my priorities for the day, making me more productive and focused. It’s been a complete game changer,” they wrote, extolling the virtues of journaling.
There’s a type of journal to meet all of those needs. Bullet journals can help you organize your day, improving productivity, while traditional lined journals are great for brain dumping and free writing.
Journals also help improve mental health, enhance creativity, and help you build a plan to accomplish your goals.
One user who embraces the farm life said getting up and doing chores is essential to their morning. Although they admitted getting up is rough sometimes, they said, “I can confidently say that it is such a good feeling on the mornings that I am able to appreciate it.”
Of course, this user has to get up to take care of the farm animals, but those of us with pets or children also know that we sometimes have to get up to take care of others. Ensuring our loved ones are healthy and happy can brighten our mornings.
“30-minute coffee break as soon as I wake up,” posted one user. The caffeine boost is just a bonus in this case. Sometimes giving yourself time to relax first thing works wonders for boosting your mood and helps you start the day off right.
The user also admitted to having more coffee when they got to work.
Making the Bed
Making the bed helps you realize it’s time to wake up. It’s “much harder to crawl back into it once you’ve made it up,” admitted one user.
A made-up bed leaves the bedroom feeling neat and tidy and helps your mind move on to focus on the day ahead.
Essential Morning Routine Activities
The Reddit thread offered great ideas to incorporate into your morning routine. However, it’s important to remember that we’re all different. If your mind works best at night, you may want to journal in the evenings. If you’re super energized mid-day, you may want to work out around lunch.
The best morning routines suit your individual needs, so although it’s OK to consider every idea, be sure to build a routine that works best for you.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.