This time last year, life was a mess. I was an aspiring author, struggling to find time to write between demanding proofreading clients, and the thing I loved most was starting to slip through the cracks. The days where I was hitting my word goal, I was sacrificing time with family and friends. The days when I wasn’t hitting my goals, prioritizing real people over the fictional ones I put to page, I was left feeling guilty and unsatisfied. In short, I was stuck.
Enter: an actual morning routine.
An extra hour was all it took for me to get started. In January of 2019, full of starry-eyed resolutions, I committed to waking up an hour earlier and making the most of a bad situation. The result. A year later and I’m averaging 3000 words before 9, feeling better than ever, and craving the solitude of my silent mornings. Even in only a few steps, I was able to dramatically increase my productivity, feel genuinely proud of myself, and feed the fire beneath me.
Why Are Morning Routines Important Anyway?
If you’re half as lazy as me, you’ve probably spent the better part of a year dreading the idea of morning routines. When I’ve searched for them, everyone seems to be waking up at 4 a.m., training for their marathon, reading to the blind, and then settling in to run their global enterprise for the next 12-14 hours. Fitting myself into someone else’s morning routine wasn’t going to work and, luckily, it didn’t have to.
Morning routines don’t all have to look the same. The only real requirement is that it works for you. That being said, there are a few steps that will universally help you. For example, it’s been shown the exercising in the morning can dramatically reduce anxiety, that a solid breakfast can help even out energy levels all day, and that hydrating properly can make a world of difference.
So, how do I mix all this into the perfect writer’s morning? Let me show you.
5 Activities to Kick Off the Perfect Morning
- My absolute favourite way to start off my morning is with a bit of exercise. As someone who works from her desk, I often find it hard to get in the recommended amount of exercise. Making this addition to my mornings has been a total game-changer.
- If the idea of powerlifting your couch at 4:30 isn’t exactly exciting for you, don’t feel too restricted. Your only real goal here is to get your heart rate up and get that blood pumping. Me? I love a good, quick yoga routine for those sleepy mornings. Are you a fan of running? Mornings may be a perfect time for a jog. Rather the solitude of a sweat-drenched weight-lifting session? That works too.
- The key factor here is finding a workout that works for you.
- Ice Showers
- I’m going to lose you here. I know I’m going to lose you here because I almost lost myself here. It’s dark, you’re tired, and your muscles only just warmed out from your workout, but I need you to stay with me here. Ice showers, a form of hydrotherapy, can actually be crazy beneficial for your mornings!
- Apart from being a great way to improve the immune system, ice showers have been a major ally in decreasing my daily stress.
- I am literally nothing without a good breakfast, but god damn if they’re not a pain to make every morning. When I have a good breakfast, I’m significantly more likely to make healthy choices for the rest of the day, I tend to eat lower sugar, and I average better mental health overall. My solution& To make sure I get the best breakfast I can, I meal prep like it’s no one’s business.
- From premade smoothie packs to my favourite little eggie cups, food bloggers have you covered for easy breakfasts. Once you’ve made a week’s worth, you’ve really got no excuse to skip this important step!
- The Dreaded To Do
- If I’m being perfectly honest, I love making lists. I could make lists all day every day. Following those lists can be a challenge in and of itself, though. My solution? I dedicate a few minutes every day to planning out the rest of my day.
- Whether you’re a fan of the Eat the Frog method or you’re a religious time blocker, there’s a planning method out there for you. All you’ve got to do is start including it in your mornings.
- Finally! Writing is always last on my list, but maybe that’s because it’s always felt more like a reward than a task. No matter what, I always begin my days with a 25-minute session of writing. If you’re short on time, I suggest sticking to some timed writing sprints, but for those who are eager to hit that 50k mark, setting a word goal is a great way to push yourself forward.
- Short of a house fire, once I’m sat for my 25-minute session, I ain’t gettin’ up. This time, those precious minutes you’ve dedicated in the morning, are wonderful gifts. Don’t cheat on your time, don’t skip out, and do your best never to be late.
You’ve Got This!
Morning routines don’t have to feel like the end of the world. Don’t compare your routine to the thousands online, to the real estate mogul who’s blowing up on Instagram, to that 18-year-old chick on Facebook who’s never known a day of work in her life, or to your third cousin twice removed. Find a routine that works for you, that gets you closer to your goals, and stick to it.
Did I Miss Anything?
If you’ve got a suggestion for the perfect writer’s routine, be sure to leave me a comment below. Or, better yet, reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook with your favourite recommendations so I can add in your suggestions!
As always, be good to yourself and never stop writing!