I've been reading a lot lately about people's morning routines. In all honesty, I didn't think that I really had a morning routine, but upon reflection, I actually very much do. I'm one of those really annoying people; I love mornings. I'm my most productive first thing in the morning. Most of my work get's done between the hours of 8am and 1pm. I definitely can get stuff done in the afternoons, but my drive, ambition and inspiration always seems to be at it's absolute highest first thing in the morning.
I'm very lucky that I'm able to work from home. It gives me the freedom to work around a schedule which works for me, and which makes me feel my most productive. People often ask me if I find it hard to stay motivated and focused when I don't have a boss sitting near me, checking what I'm doing? Well the truth is, I really don't. I certainly have days which are less productive than others (hormones are a thing - am I right ladies?!), but the vast majority of the time, I'm pretty on it. I think that having created a routine for myself in the mornings has helped that a lot.
So what does a typical morning look like in my world?
Wake Up: I wake up between 6:40am and 7am on weekdays, because that's the time that Tom gets up to get ready for work. Even if he didn't get up at that time though, I imagine I would be getting up at roughly the same time anyway. I love getting up early in the mornings, and I've never, ever been someone to sleep late. Even at the peak of my teens, I was always getting up between 8:30am and 9am. Seriously, 9am is a HUGE lie in for me.
Stretch it out: Before I even get out of bed, I love to stretch my body out. There's something about activating each muscle in your body before you actually get up for the day that makes you feel more awake. I've been doing this forever, without truly even realising it. Stretching helps to get my body ready, get out of sleep mode and into work mode. Seriously, if you don't do this, give it a go tomorrow morning and see if it makes a difference to you!
Breakfast: The very first thing I do as soon as I get out of bed is make myself some breakfast. I know a lot of people don't like to eat for a while before they wake up, and that's fine. Breakfast is my absolute favourite meal of the day, and I always wake up looking forward to it, so I tend to make my food very quickly. Most mornings I make myself banana pancakes (recipe here), or if I'm feeling lazier or in a bit of a rush, I'll have some porridge. To be honest though, pancakes take me only about 10 minutes to make now! I eat them with a drizzle of maple syrup (sometimes its more than a drizzle... not gonna lie!), a handful of blueberries and raspberries, and 100% natural peanut butter.
Catch up on Blog posts and YouTube: I know what you're thinking... "You check blogs and watch YouTube videos first thing in the morning?" Yes, I do! I know that recently there has been a lot of information online telling us to stay unplugged first thing in the morning, but there's nothing I love more whilst I'm waking up, or eating my breakfast than catching up on my favourite YouTube videos or reading my favourite blogs. I've often found myself feeling incredibly inspired and motivated after doing this. It's my way of "checking in" with what's happening in the world, getting my mind ready to get social with emails and put myself into work mode. Also, I've found that if I give myself 30 minutes first thing in the morning to watch or read anything that I really want to, I won't be tempted to stop what I'm doing at 10:30am and watch a YouTube video. I get it out of my system, and I'm ready to work.
Make up and Getting Dressed: For a while after I stopped working part time, I would find myself heading straight from the breakfast table to my office and sitting at my laptop and getting to work. I'm so enthusiastic about getting stuff done first thing that if I don't stop myself, I can totally skip an essential step: making myself presentable. You might be thinking to yourself: "Why do you need to? No one's going to see you!" Well that's true, I could (and I won't lie, this does still happen on occasion) stay in my pyjamas all day long and no one would really care! But the truth is, I've noticed that if I take the time to get myself looking put together, no matter what I'm doing, I feel more productive. I don't know why that is, but it just works. Maybe it makes me feel more confident? Or more professional? But if I put some make up on, get some clothes on and then get to work, I guarantee I'll get more done. When I've not got plans to leave home for the day, I'll certainly put minimal make up on (BB cream, and mascara) and keep my clothing soft and comfortable. There's nothing worse than sitting at a desk all day in tight, uncomfortable clothes!
By the time I've taken those few steps, I'm pretty much ready to get on with my day. This obviously shifts and changes depending on the days, what I've got planned and how much work I've got to get done, but an average morning will look something like this on most days.
What do your mornings look like? Do you have a morning routine? Let me know in the comments bellow!