A good day versus a bad day is often the result of how you start it. In the case of productivity, that is absolutely true! You can choose to begin your day with no plan or a minimal plan (“I’m going to work today.”), which usually results in your day being about other people’s priorities and you not accomplishing what you want or need to do. Or, you can begin your day with a routine and a purpose that guides your day on a positive note allowing you to accomplish more and feel good about what you have achieved. If you are of the latter mind-set, one of the best things you can do is develop and practice a morning routine.

The make-up of a morning routine can and should be unique to you. However, there are certain components that will set you up for success.

Drink Water

– You may be surprised that this is the first thing on a morning routine list, but it’s really important. Can  you imagine having a day where you go 7 to 8 hours without water or liquids? When you sleep, you’re depriving your body of fluids for that long. Drinking 16 oz. of water when you first wake-up not only helps you physically (e.g. appetite control and glowing skin), but mentally as well. Your brain is made up of 75% water and if you’re not taking in enough of it, your ability to think clearly and focus will be impacted.

Create Mind/Body Connection

– Some people swear by meditation. Others like me cannot imagine starting their day without exercise. Some of the more evolved even do both (Love those types!). Whatever you choose to create a mind/body connection will wake you up physically and mentally to give you the energy you need for the day. It does not have to be complex, 10 minutes of stretching, 5 minutes of meditation, a few minutes of breathing can be just what is needed to put you on the path to a more productive and fulfilling day.

Check Your Calendar

– You can’t prepare for your day if you don’t know what’s ahead. A quick check of your calendar to remind yourself of your commitments puts you in the mind-set you need to start on a positive note. It also lessens the likelihood of surprises, e.g. the dentist appointment you have at 3 so you need to leave the office early.

Start Your Day With Intention

– What am I going to get done today? Are the actions I’ve outlined supporting my goals? Why am I doing this (task, meeting, phone call, etc.)? Adding a quick review of your goals and next actions to your morning routine will keep you on a path to addressing your priorities and projects and prevent you from getting caught up in those of others.

Most Important Task First

– Being productive is not just about getting more things done, it’s about getting the important things done consistently. What is the one thing you can do today that will yield the greatest result? That’s what you want to focus on! If your morning routine includes focus and intention on completing the most important task first, you’ll end each day feeling good about what you’ve done. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the menial and unimportant and never actually get to the important stuff if you don’t do it first.