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10 Productive Ways to Kick-Start Your Morning

1. Plan ahead.

Each night before work, you should take 30 minutes to an hour or so to plan for the next day. Lay out tomorrow’s outfit so you don’t waste 20 minutes of your morning searching for what to wear. Pack your lunch. And make a to-do list for the next day so you’re not up all night thinking about all the things you need to get done.

2. Keep a journal.

Have you ever had trouble falling asleep because you were mentally replaying the day’s events and worrying about the things you did or said? We’ve all been there. The simple solution? Keep a journal. Write down everything that happened that day – the good, the bad, and everything in-between. It could make all the difference in how much sleep you get at night.

3. Stretch.

This is my favorite part of my morning routine, because if you’re as lazy as I am and you have trouble just rolling out of bed, you can stretch while you’re still under the covers. Stretching is a great way to slowly wake yourself up while you’re still a little sleepy – plus, it just feels really good.

4. Work in a little exercise.

If you’re not a morning person and you’d much rather sleep in than do some crazy cardio first thing in the morning, don’t worry. All it takes is 10-20 minutes of walking, jogging, riding your bike, or just doing a little morning yoga to squeeze in some exercise. Getting your workouts done before work gets it out of the way so it’s not looming over your head the rest of the day. Plus, you’ll have more energy if you work out first thing.

5. Make your bed.

This may sound silly, but making your bed is actually an important step in a morning routine. Little things like this – making your bed in the morning, doing the dishes before you go to bed – make all the difference later on. Imagine coming home to a nicely made bed, with your huge, fluffy pillows calling your name. Now that you’ve gotten your daily workout out of the way, you can have a little nap time!

6. Go over your to-do list.

If you’ve already made your to-do list the night before like I previously suggested, then great. Go over it and memorize it so you’ll be better prepared for the day. If you ignored my advice and haven’t made it yet, then hurry up and do so. To-do lists are important for focusing on your goals.

7. Wake yourself up with a shower.

Even if you’re a nighttime shower-er (pretty sure I just made up that word), you should at least jump in the shower for a quick rinse – just to wake yourself up each morning.

8. Enjoy your coffee.

Make yourself a cup of whatever gets you going in the morning – whether it’s coffee, tea, or water with lemon – and give yourself a few minutes to wake up.

9. Check the news.

This is an easy step to achieve while sipping on your cup of coffee. No matter how busy you are, it’s important to know what’s going on in the world. You never know what your co-workers could be discussing that day – if you watch or read the news, you’ll have something to contribute to the conversation.

10. Do something you love.

Always make time to do something for yourself each morning. The rest of your day will most likely be chaotic, and time tends to fly by in the 9-5 world, so set aside at least 10 minutes each morning for something that makes you happy – whether it’s reading a chapter of a new book, scrolling through Instagram, making pancakes and bacon, or meeting a friend for breakfast. Just do it.