Best Morning Routine: 21 Steps For A More Productive Day

For the third time this week, you hit snooze one too many times, so now you only have đôi mươi minutes khổng lồ shower, eat, let the dog out, & be camera ready for back-to-back Zoom meetings. The day's barely begun, và you're already feeling discombobulated & overwhelmed. Long before the week is over, you're burned out, và you know you won't finish everything on this week's task list.

How do you get out of this miserable rut? One word: Routines.

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Morning and evening routines prime you for success. They help you achieve more, think clearly, & do work that actually matters. They keep you from stumbling through your day & make sure you get the most important things done.

All it takes is a bit of discipline, along with routines that will phối you up for success. Here are the what and why of routines, along with 12 morning & evening routines you can implement khổng lồ create more productive days.

The science of habits & creating routines

First, let's define what routine means: a routine is a sequence of actions that you vị repeatedly.

Brushing your teeth nightly and getting ready for bed is a routine. Waking up at 6 a.m. Và exercising every morning is a routine. Purchasing a bagel & reading the news before you head to work every morning is a routine. Even eating chips while watching Netflix is a routine. They're all actions that happen again & again—a rhythm in your daily life.

That doesn't make them all good routines. They're simply routines by virtue of being done regularly. Helpful or not, every routine is powerful.

Routines create high achievers

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.Aristotle

In his book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, Mason Currey writes about the habits, routines, và rituals of hundreds of artists, including Maya Angelou, Frederic Chopin, Haruki Murakami, Nikola Tesla, and Louis Armstrong. Even though their routines varied wildly, each individual had steps they followed lớn put them in an optimal state of mind.

After studying the great artists, Currey came khổng lồ this conclusion:

"In the right hands, can be a finely calibrated mechanism for taking advantage of a range of limited resources: time (the most limited resource of all) as well as willpower, self-discipline, optimism. A solid routine fosters a well-worn groove for one's mental energies & helps stave off the tyranny of moods."

Media mogul Shonda Rhimes has a strict morning routine to get her into a creative state of mind: eating breakfast, exercising, và writing from 8 a.m. Until noon while listening to music. Productivity expert & author James Clear (a user!) has a simple "pre-game routine" lớn kickstart his day: pouring a cold glass of water. 

Whether it's a multi-step routine or one tiny act that tells your brain it's time to lớn get into work mode (or whatever mode is needed), high achievers tend lớn find routines that work for them và that they can stick to—it's typically something they credit as bộ vi xử lý core to their success.

Routines put our brains on autopilot

But what makes the routines of high achievers so powerful? As it turns out, we're creatures of habit và can use that to lớn accomplish whatever we want. In The power nguồn of habit: Why we bởi what we bởi vì in life và business, Charles Duhigg details how habits put our brains into an automatic state where little or no willpower is required.

It works lượt thích this:

Step 1: Something happens that serves as a cue to your brain, putting it into "automatic" mode. A simple example is waking up. When I wake up, my brain immediately knows that it's time to turn on the coffee machine. This habit has been ingrained in my brain over years.

Step 2: Execute the routine. This is where I actually turn on the coffee machine, wait for it lớn brew, pour it into my favorite mug, sit in a chair by the kitchen window, and finally drink the coffee.

Step 3: Reap the rewards of the routine. The delicious flavor & high-octane caffeine reinforce the routine so that the next morning I repeat it again.


Making coffee is just one small routine, but the daily consistency of it helps keep me going. Imagine if other, more powerful tasks that can empower you lớn accomplish big things came as easy as making coffee?

This is the power nguồn of routines. The small, repeated actions can have an exponential effect. By implementing routines in the morning & evening, you can prime yourself for maximum productivity each day.

Habits vs. Routines vs. Rituals

Wondering what the difference is between habits, routines, & rituals? Here's a handy cheat sheet. 

Habits are things that you vày automatically, like checking your email first thing in the morning or putting your keys in a specific spot when you get home.

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Routines are usually a collection of habits or actions you vị on a regular basis to lớn bring order khổng lồ your day, such as checking your thư điện tử and then writing your day's to-do các mục as a way of getting the day started. 

Rituals are lượt thích routines with one key difference: your attitude behind the actions. For example, taking a walk every day at lunch could be considered a routine if you think of it as something you need to vày for your productivity. Or it could be a ritual if you think of it as a way to lớn break out of the mundane và enjoy nature. Most routines could be turned into rituals with a change of perspective.

6 morning routines to kickstart your day

While everyone's routines vary—from writing uncensored pages lớn start the day to lớn no-social-media mornings—the key is lớn find a routine that works for you and that you can consistently do. Regardless of your morning schedule, here are six of the best ways to start your day và set yourself up for success.

1. Rise early

There are plenty of accomplished night owls, but many high achievers rise early in order lớn prepare for the day. In those early hours, they can execute their routines while the rest of the world is asleep.

Consider these examples:

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson wakes at 5:45 a.m. To lớn kitesurf and eat a proper breakfast.

Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi used to wake up at 4 a.m. To lớn read her emails before getting to lớn work no later than 7:30 a.m. 

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey rises at 5:30 a.m. So that he can go for a six-mile jog.

Even if they aren't naturally morning larks—the opposite of night owls—they've trained themselves lớn wake up early for the many benefits an early rise can bring. Those include increased productivity with fewer distractions & greater creativity due to an energized mind. It could make you happier, too. In one study, researchers found that morning-type individuals reported higher levels of positivity & well-being.

Tip: Even if you're a night owl, you can train yourself lớn become a morning person using practical strategies such as keeping your curtains slightly open or ditching that second cup of coffee.

2. Make your bed

If there's one habit you should adopt to improve your life, it's making your bed every day. That, at least, is the advice from Navy Seal Admiral William H. McCraven:

"If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, & it will encourage you to vày another task, and another, và another. Và by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.

Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can't vì the little things right, you'll never be able to do the big things right. & if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come trang chủ to a bed that is made—that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better."

It's all about the small things.

3. Recite affirmations

Affirmations are positive statements you can use to lớn reframe how you think about yourself & the day to lớn come. They're also helpful for overcoming negative self-talk. A great example of affirmations in kích hoạt is four-year-old Jessica having a particularly great day, resulting in one of YouTube's greatest hits. 

And if you're looking for more examples, here are some simple affirmations you could use in your daily life:

I'm doing my best, and that's more than enough.

I will be promoted to lớn by .

Your aim is lớn affirm & visualize the things you want to happen. As you focus on these things, you begin khổng lồ believe that you can và will achieve them, which then enables you to lớn take action on them.

Although it might sound wishy-washy to some, affirmations are effective tools for self-improvement.

4. Get some exercise

There are few things more transformative than starting your day with physical activity. Exercising in the morning increases blood flow, releases endorphins, & strengthens your body. It prepares you for the coming day, increases your overall energy levels, và helps you remain in optimal health. Additionally, numerous studies have shown that regular exercise can help you manage symptoms of depression and anxiety.

And you don't have khổng lồ work out in a thể hình to reap the benefits: a brisk walk in your neighborhood, a seven-minute workout, or a quick yoga session are all great options to start your day.

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Need more motivation to get moving? Try tracking your activity automatically with, a no-code automation tool. With logs of your runs or workouts, you can see your progress và challenge yourself lớn keep at it. Here are a few Zap templates (what calls their pre-built workflows) khổng lồ get started.