Let’s face it, life can get crazy! Between school, work, extracurriculars, social life, health, personal life, and all the other obligations, life stays pretty busy. However, the key to balancing it all starts as soon as you get out of bed in the morning and continues throughout the day. It is developing your ideal daily routine. One of the best ways I have found to improving productivity while maintaining a sense of calm is to create a morning routine that works and fills my day with my passions!
A way to be productive on your own schedule.
College really prompted me to get serious about a morning routine. I realized, one of the incredible advantages of taking later classes (which there are many, so many, positives!) is that you now have the flexibility to establish a morning routine that fits your lifestyle. By choosing how you start your day, you can set your own pace and goals for having fun while being productive.
The balance between free time and being productive
Because free time is more fun when you are doing something you enjoy!
Free time is exciting! Doing what makes you happy is exciting! And combining the two is the best! A morning routine that fits your lifestyle allows you to dedicate your time to your interest, goals, and also have enough time to relax. With so many different aspects of life to juggle, without some sort of structure, too much time can be spent figuring out what to do instead of jumping straight into getting it done.
Why I wanted to establish a more detailed morning routine
The method to my madness
Personally, my morning routine was established when I realized I wanted to work on having a stronger balance in my life while also continuing to be productive. Turns out, it has helped many successful people out through their lives. Ready to work on yours? Let us get started!
Step one: imagine who you want to be
Daydream about the ideal you. You’re pretty cool right! Now, what if I told you that you can make your daydream a reality.
Think about what you want the next year to look like? Who do you want to be? What would your ideal self to be doing in a year?
Got it? Now look deeper? How are they being that person? What did they do to get to where they are?
For example, if you see yourself getting better grades in a particular class, think about how your future self is doing it? Are you studying your notes more? Planning more study sessions? Talking with your professor more?
Whatever it is you want to see yourself doing better, you have to first think about what it actually takes to elevate yourself to that level.
While no one is perfect, (and sure, there will be stumbles along the way) figuring out what your goals are and how to implement a plan to reach them is the first step to creating your ideal routine.
So, write down those goals and the steps you see yourself doing to achieve it. They can apply to any aspect of your life (school, social, etc.) After that, think about how much time you need to dedicate to the task to make it a reality. For example, in terms of the earlier example, ask yourself if reviewing your notes for 30 minutes a day will do the trick?
Got your answer? Great! Write it down!
Make it more than just work
You can build in time to develop your relationships with others, relaxation, or just take care of yourself.
We all know school is a mere section of our lives. Furthermore, odds are, future you is a healthy you. While everyone wants to be healthy, it’s important to figure out how your future self makes it a reality.
Let’s take the example of working out more.
You know what to do! Imagine how your future self is working out and then write done what kind of exercise you would enjoy. Then think about how much time you are dedicating to working out each day or each week (depending on what works for you!) and write it on your paper.
Keep going and write down goals for the different areas of your life
Most importantly have fun and make it all about what you want to accomplish.
Now, you’re on your way to developing a strong morning routine! Continue thinking about other aspects of your life and how you see your ideal self-improving in these areas. I tend to notice that my routine consists of about six bullet points all of which have different amounts of time they require. This way, there are enough to cover different parts of my life while also not being overwhelming.
More ideas for what to add to your routine
It really can be whatever works for you, but that can be a pretty broad statement.
Some things you might consider adding to your routine is journaling, reading, meditation, cleaning or organizing, and/or starting on some work. Also, if you enjoy checking things off your list, go ahead and add getting ready and eating breakfast!
The best way to know what you need to add to your routine is by analyzing what your future you would be doing in the different categories of your life and comparing that to your current life. This way, you know what you want to work on and how to personalize your morning to your needs.
Evaluating the rest of your day
So you can keep up the great day you already started.
If you are like me, there is a lot more you want to do than hours in the day! This tendency makes it far too easy to suddenly be overbooked. One way I help myself manage this issue is asking myself a seemingly easy (but in practice harder) question- Does it make me happy?
How to apply this question to your life
So you can be happy and enjoy yourself when busy
During college, I have found there to be a lot of things I feel I should do. I should be in this activity. I should take this class. I should go out this evening. Suddenly, all those things and shoulds piled up on top one another until I was really busy.
Instead, I started asking myself if what I was doing made me happy? By asking this, it made me pause, and evaluate my hows and why of how I ended up in such a situation.
What to do with your answer
Pick one of the following two paths
If it turns out I did love what I was doing, but I just was going through a rough patch, I chose to persist (because even the things we are most passionate about can have off days). If it turned out I really wasn’t sure what I was doing in a particular situation, I finished the task and made a mental note to either not get into the situation again or dropped the commitment when I (reasonably) could. This way you can dedicate yourself more to what makes you happy and develop your passions.
While there is always that class we have to take or that meeting we have to go to, you can spend most of your time happy and be doing what you love with this mentality.
Make your daily routine a good fit for you! Afterward, enjoy making it a reality.
The coolest part about creating your unique morning routines and your day-to-day schedule is making it a reality and getting on the path to being the person you want to be. By just taking a little time to envision who you want to be, and asking yourself what you enjoy doing, you can start living a better life designed just for you.
For more of my articles on developing productivity and organizing your life, check out nine apps to use to become a highly productive person and my article transitioning from a quantity to quality life.
Oh, and your future self, well someday soon you’ll look in the mirror and there they will be:)