A while ago I wrote about the importance of having a morning routine to get you a couple of extra productive hours each day. Hours that you can spend on the things that matter – to you. You can read the article here.

Today I want to go through the things that I do every morning and give you some background on why I do them and go a bit deeper into each action.

Here is an overview of my morning routine:

Time Action
4.30 AM Wake up, brush teeth, and drink water
4.40 AM Shower and warm-up exercise
4.50 AM Get dressed
4.55 AM Brew morning beverage
5.00 AM Work on my most important task of the day
7.00 AM Eat breakfast
7.30 AM Get on with the rest of my day

4.30 AM: Wake up, brush teeth, and drink water

It can be hard to wake up so early in the morning. One thing that I do to help me stay awake and not go back to bed is to place the alarm clock in a room where I am usually spending my active moments and that gives me a positive charge.

Alarm Clock

Place your alarm clock in the “active room”

For me, it is the kitchen. When the alarm clock starts ringing, I go out to the kitchen to turn it off. While I am there, I start envisioning myself drinking my morning beverage. Anticipation of this pleasant activity gives me enough energy to stay in the kitchen and not walk back to bed.

Drink a glass of warm water

Instead, I drink a glass of water. The water should be of room temperature, you should avoid drinking cold water. The reason is that the icy cold water numbs the inside of your stomach in the same way your hand gets numb when you put it into ice or really cold water. This worsens the digestion.

Brush your teeth

It is important to brush the teeth before the next step. To make it easier, I keep a toothbrush in the kitchen so that I don’t have to walk into the bathroom.

Drink another glass of warm water with lemon and honey

I then turn on the water kettle with just a little bit of water in it. While the water is warming up, I squeeze one lemon into a cup, and add one teaspoon of honey. Pour hot water on it, stir, and fill the cup up with enough cold water to create a warm beverage. I then drink this second cup.

The lemon juice will neutralize any bacteria that had accumulated in your stomach during the night.

Lemon and Honey Tea

4.40 AM: Shower and Warm-up Exercise

Next I take a shower and do a series of light exercises. The purpose of the exercises is to kick-off the blood circulation in every part of the body. They are mostly stretch exercises, this is why it is fine to do them after the shower, since you will not sweat after doing them.

I start with my neck, and then continue down to shoulders, back, thighs and ankles. The whole series takes just a couple minutes and makes me feel energized and awake.

Morning Shower

4.50 AM: Get Dressed

You need to be strategic when choosing the clothes. They need to be comfortable and breathable to make you feel good during your morning work session. But they also need to be “work appropriate” to put you in the working mood.

If I would wear pyjamas while sitting and working at my desk, it would certainly be very comfortable, but this would prevent me from getting into a productive state of mind. I would feel sleepy and lazy, and maybe tend to do passive activities like surfing the web instead of working on my most important tasks.

4.55 AM: Brew Morning Beverage

The reason why I call it “morning beverage” instead of just saying “tea”, or “coffee”, is because it will be different for every person.

The idea of the morning beverage is to give you a pleasant moment at the beginning of your work session, that will give you something to look forward to.

I love coffee, and sitting down at my desk with a cup of hot coffee is the best way to get me into a working mood. Sometimes I would make a custom blend of regular coffee and herbal coffee, to make the beverage a little bit more healthy.

Make the beverage of your choice, sit down at your desk, and start working!

5.00 AM: Work on My Most Important Tasks

The next two hours are the sacred and magical hours of focus, inspiration and creation. By following the steps in my morning routine, I have ensured that my body and mind are awake and my sense of well being is high.

Spend these two hours on the most important projects. Don’t try to catch up with work by replying to emails etc. Don’t just passively surf the web. This is the time when your brain is rested and alert, this will be your most productive time of the day.

Usually I would start my morning pass by reading an article or two that will inspire me, but then I would close my RSS reader and get to the tasks on my todo list.

Laptop and Cup of Coffee on Granit Countertop

7:00 AM: Eat Breakfast

By 7 AM, after working intensively for two hours, I would usually be very hungry. Before I started with my morning routine, I would wake up around 7 AM and not feel hungry at all. Then I would go to work without eating breakfast, and would not eat anything until lunch – not a very healthy habit.

By waking up earlier, I ensure that by 7 AM I am hungry and ready to enjoy my breakfast.

Breakfast with Pancakes and Strawberry

7:30 AM: Get on with the Rest of My Day

By the time most people just have gotten out of bed, I have accomplished the most important task of my day – a great feeling!

If you need to get to the office, you will have plenty of time to get to work on time, without stress and hurry. You will be there on time, which will make even the beginning of your regular work day much more pleasant.

Having a morning routine can supercharge the rest of your day, putting you in the right state of mind from the beginning.

Try it out, it is well worth the investment!

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