3 simple morning habits:

Introduction

Did you know that the first few minutes of your day – yes, even the first seconds –  are crucial for the rest of your day?

What’s the first thing you do? Do you check your Facebook notifications, then rush to get dressed and drink a coffee on the way to work while dreaming of faraway lands? Or do you get out of bed, prepare a healthy breakfast, call your mom, revise your goals for the day and go to the gym before work? 

I bet it’s closer to the first one, while you’d probably be better off with the second one. We can negotiate the ‘call your mom’ part if you like.

So how do you get from situation 1 to situation 2? We’ll give you three very easy morning habits to get you started. The rest is up to you.

Easy morning habit 1: No phone

As a teacher, I know I’m supposed to use a sandwich: positive, negative, positive. However, I prefer to present these three morning habits in chronological order. So first things first, don’t start your day with your phone.

Taking something away is called via negativa. Good habits don’t always have to be positive actions. You don’t always have to add something. Often, taking away something disruptive is far more powerful. Ignoring your phone in the morning is the best decision you can make in a day. And if you do this often enough, it won’t be a decision anymore – it will become a habit! 

Why should you not start your day with your phone?

If you start your day on social media, it’s very likely that you’ll be less focused for the rest of the day. This is definitely true for myself. That’s why I usually don’t open my phone until I’m in the kitchen. I allow myself the time water takes to boil to reply to messages. Not a second more. If I’d grab my phone in bed, I’d be on social media for the first half-hour of the day. I’d even find myself checking socials more often for the rest of the day, as well. And that just isn’t that productive.

Social media is easy dopamine. It’s addictive. Didn’t I tell you in other articles that dopamine is good? That it makes people feel happy? That it is released during flow? You’re right, I did! So what’s the bad thing about this?

It raises the fucking bar for other activities! When your brain gets used to receiving lazy dopamine from social media, you’ll become reluctant to do harder, more productive activities to release that same dopamine. If you want to be more productive, eliminate your easy dopamine addictions.

Don’t raise the bar. Avoid easy dopamine. Forget about your phone in the morning.

How?

Set up your environment to win, as Jim Kwik would say [1]. Setting up a winning environment for this simple habit is easy. Don’t leave your phone in your bedroom at night. Simple as that. But what if I get an urgent call? Tell me right now: ‘How many times has that happened? Honestly.’ And, what about my alarm? Your parents didn’t have phones as alarm clocks. I’m sure you can figure something out.

Start your day without your phone to get straight out of bed, and avoid distractions and procrastination.

Why should I have a morning routine? 

As I’ve mentioned in other articles, every decision requires decision-making power. That is like a battery, but a battery slowly drains. The earlier you start using it, the faster it will be empty. 

To make better decisions throughout the day, automate your morning. Create a simple morning routine, starting with these simple habits to make your mornings less energy and time-consuming. 

Read more about the benefits of habits here.

Easy morning habit 2: Make your bed

I know. Make your bed? That’s pretty boring. I hear you think: ‘Really, is THAT the best they can come up with?’ But hold on. I didn’t believe in the benefits of this habit either but now I do. Give it a chance.

Making your bed in the morning makes you happier [2]. The reason behind this is simple. More order in your room makes you calmer. Moreover, it will give you instant satisfaction because you’re sticking to a resolution. Goal number one for the day: completed. Just like that.

And here’s a popular video about it: Naval Admiral William McRaven’s commencement speech for the University of Texas, Austin. As every single blog about this topic mentions it, there must be something to it, right?

Not only does the admiral reiterate the point about getting one habit to lead to another, he also explains that making your bed teaches a powerful lesson. It teaches you to do the small things right in order to get the important things right as well.

So, while making your bed doesn’t necessarily add much value to your life, it’s a good way to start your day positively. It’s one of those habits that is too easy to not do. And once you get hooked, it will be easier to implement other habits. So why not give it a try?

Prepare yourself for a productive day & build discipline by starting with an easily achievable habit: make your bed.

Easy morning habit 3: Drink a glass of water

This habit is perhaps even easier. Pour a glass of water and drink it. 

Again, the main idea is to do something very easy. Instant satisfaction. 

As you know, a large part of your body is made up of water. When you wake up, you’ve just spent many hours without drinking, so you might need some liquids. You might even feel a bit dehydrated. Especially if you had a few pints the night before… 

Besides, water is good for you. It’s the best thing you can drink. There are many claims that drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning has many health benefits. While studies have found that you don’t need to drink water as soon as you get up to reap these benefits, it’s still a good idea to drink plenty of water during the day [3][4]. So you might as well get your first serving as soon as you get up.

In summary, there are many claims and varieties out there. Some say you should drink ice-cold water to start your metabolism. Others think you should drink hot lemon water. Or drink water with five drops of Worcestershire sauce and half a tomato. (I actually made this one up, but who knows?)

So however you prefer your glass of water, you’ll definitely benefit from starting your day with an easy and healthy habit. 

Drink a glass of water as soon as you get out of bed to start your liquid intake.

Conclusion:

While these habits definitely aren’t that sexy, they are powerful. To start your day off right, remember:

  1. Don’t touch your phone
  2. Make your bed (or at least your half)
  3. Drink a glass of water

By implementing this simple morning routine, you’ll start automating your day. As a result, you’ll feel more energised and be more productive. After some time, it’ll also become a lot easier to implement other powerful habits. Before you know, you won’t be asking what successful people do in the morning anymore. Others will be asking you!

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, doubts or suggestions! 

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Written by Kjell

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