How to Keep a Morning Routine When Working From Home

How to Keep a Morning Routine When Working From Home

As more of us transition to remote work, maintaining structure in our day-to-day lives can be challenging. It's easy to fall into a trap of blurring the lines between work and personal life, where loungewear becomes business attire and breakfast happens during the morning meeting. One proven method to combat this is to establish a solid morning routine. Sticking to a daily schedule not only increases productivity but also helps in maintaining work-life balance, boosting mental health, and setting the right tone for the day. Let's delve into some actionable tips to help you keep a morning routine when working from home.

1. Start with an Early Rise

There's wisdom in the old adage, "The early bird catches the worm". Waking up early gives you a head start on the day and allows you to carve out personal time before the work emails start pouring in. Try to establish a consistent wake-up time that is appropriate for your schedule and lifestyle. An early start doesn't have to mean pre-dawn; it simply means allowing enough time to complete your morning routine without feeling rushed. Get a head start on the day and feel good about it. 

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2. Hydrate Right Away

Before reaching for the morning coffee, start your day with a glass of water. After a long night's rest, your body is likely to be dehydrated. Drinking water first thing in the morning aids in rehydration, jump-starting your metabolism and helping to wake you up. Make this a regular part of your morning ritual to keep your body functioning at its best throughout the day. It will also help with avoiding high levels of cortisol, which can affect your body's ability to handle stress. 

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3. Plan and Prioritize Your Day

A well-planned morning leads to a well-spent day. Spend a few minutes each morning mapping out your daily tasks and setting your priorities. This helps you stay focused, manage your time more effectively, and reduce the stress of remembering every task. With a clear plan, you can ensure your most important tasks are tackled first. It also helps sometimes to have a visual of what you need to do, that way it's easy to keep track. 

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4. Stick to a Regular Breakfast Routine

Breakfast is crucial to start your day off right. Whether you're a fan of smoothies, oatmeal, or a full English breakfast, it's essential to keep this part of your routine consistent. This doesn't mean eating the same thing every day but rather setting a specific time for breakfast and ensuring it's a balanced, nutritious meal that fuels you for the day ahead. Proper fuel for your body is detrimental not only day-to-day, but for your overall health. 

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5. Get Moving

Incorporating physical activity into your morning routine helps boost your mood and energy levels. This could be a full workout, a brisk walk around the block, or even a few stretches. Regular morning exercise also improves concentration and productivity, ensuring you're ready to face whatever the day throws at you. Getting your blood pumping and flowing will help your brain stay focused throughout the day. 

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6. Practice Mindfulness

Start your day with a mindful moment. Whether it's meditating, practicing yoga, journaling, or simply sitting quietly with your coffee, taking a few moments for yourself can help you approach the day with a clear and focused mind. This act of self-care can significantly improve your mental health and overall well-being, setting a positive tone for the day.

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7. Limit Screen Time

This is a big one. Resist the urge to dive straight into work or scroll through social media first thing in the morning. Allowing your mind to wake up naturally rather than being bombarded with information promotes a less stressful start to the day. Dedicate the first hour of your morning to activities that rejuvenate and inspire you, and delay digital engagement until after that. Screens are today's silent killer. 

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8. Dress for Success

While it's tempting to stay in pyjamas all day, getting dressed can put you in a more professional mindset. This doesn't necessarily mean formal attire, but rather clothing that makes you feel confident and ready for work. Dressing up can create a psychological boundary between your personal and professional life, enhancing your productivity. 

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9. Keep your Workspace Separate

If possible, keep your workspace separate from your living area. This helps create a physical boundary between work and leisure, reducing distractions and promoting focus. Even if you live in a small space, a designated corner, or a portable caddy for your work essentials can be an effective solution. And whatever you do, DO NOT get into bed. It's a portal that you will be sucked into. 

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10. Tidy up your Space

A clutter-free space fosters a clutter-free mind. Make it a part of your morning routine to tidy up your workspace. This not only reduces distractions but also gives you a sense of control and calm, setting the stage for a productive day. A clean and tidy space will make for a more productive work day, that's a guarantee. 

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11. Incorporate a Creative Activity

Engaging in a creative activity, like sketching, playing a musical instrument, or writing, can be a great way to wake up your brain. It promotes problem-solving and innovative thinking, providing you with a fresh perspective to tackle your day's tasks. Dedicate a small chunk of your morning to your creative outlet of choice. Working from home can become a bit of a drag, especially because you don't have a team around you like you would if you were in an office environment, so it's important to keep your mind active in other ways. 

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12. Stay Consistent

Just like any habit, a morning routine becomes easier and more beneficial the more you do it. Consistency is key. It might be challenging at first, but stick with it and make adjustments as needed. Over time, your routine will become second nature and the positive effects will be noticeable. Habits are built over time, not just in one day. Also, practice makes perfect. 

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13. Listen to Uplifting Music or Podcasts

Music or podcasts can set the tone for the day. Whether it's an inspirational podcast, calming classical music, or your favourite pop tunes, listening to something you enjoy can lift your mood and energize you for the day ahead. Make this part of your morning routine to start your day on a positive note.

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14. Be Flexible

While maintaining a routine is important, it's equally crucial to allow some flexibility. Some days might not go as planned, and that's okay. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a step or two in your routine. Remember, the goal is to support your productivity and well-being, not to add stress.

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15. Celebrate Small Wins

Finally, take a moment each morning to celebrate your small wins. Whether you completed a difficult task the day before, woke up on time, or simply made a delicious breakfast, acknowledging these small victories can boost your confidence and motivation for the day. Remember, a morning routine is about setting yourself up for success, and every step in the right direction is a win.

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By incorporating these tips into your morning routine, you'll be better equipped to face the challenges of working from home while maintaining productivity, achieving work-life balance, and fostering your overall well-being.