How Having A Morning Routine Helps

A key part of growing your influence is increasing your productivity- and a key way to increase your productivity is having a morning routine.

You can find lots of examples of morning routines online, but I find many either a bit new-agey:

‘I gargle chia seeds while listening to Andean shepherd music’

Or unrealistic:

‘I get up at 4am and jump straight into my pilates regime’

I decided to come up with my own, based on two simple truths:

  • Like anyone, I can be lazy, so I wanted to find something that would make a real difference to my day without being so much effort/so complicated that I would never do it.
  • I am a night owl and do some of my best work in the early hours. If I got up at the crack of dawn every day I would never actually get some sleep.

I may adapt my morning routine model over time and I am not hard on myself during periods when I don’t keep it up.

But so far it has helped me.

It is called the ‘THANKS’ model (which in itself encourages me to start the day being thankful).

T- Thirst- I have a big glass of water as soon as I get out of bed. This one also makes me smile because it is ‘First’ and I tend to have a problem pronouncing ‘Th’- maybe a hangover of having braces as a child.

H- Health- I do some exercise. Normally a simple routine, something getting my heartrate up and some free weights, that perhaps only takes 15 minutes. My weights have recently been a 5L bottle of water, you can use anything to hand that is comfortable.

A-Aware- I meditate for a few minutes. I am no expert at this and don’t get annoyed if my mind wanders. I just try to visualize something fixed and focus on it- I visualize a candle flame.

N- Note- I write down one thing I am thankful for. This could be anything from ‘my wife’ to ‘it is sunny today’ to something I am particularly looking forward to.

K- Keys- I write down the thing or things (usually no more than three) which will make this day a success in my eyes. It could be work-related or personal things, or a mix.

S- Say- I say out loud something that I want, repeating it several times. Unlike ‘Keys’ the thing I say is a longer term goal that I have and I use the same one each day- until I reach that goal, I suppose!

The purpose of all these things is to make me feel refreshed and ready for the day, a little more ‘present’ than I was before I started (something I am trying to get better at) and more focused so that I hopefully bend the day a little to my will rather than passively accepting what it throws at me.

If you have a morning routine or you are thinking of making one, I would love to hear from you!

The key is that you have to find something that works for you so researching other people’s routines (I did) and then using them to put together your own one really helps.