Developing a good morning routine seems to be all the rage these days. From entrepreneurs to stay-at-home moms to college professors, everyone seeks to increase their daily productivity, and having a great morning routine is a proven way to do so.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of possible things you can include in your personal routine. Every person’s morning routine is different, but here are three things we highly recommend including to get the best start to your day.
1) Make Your Bed
No, we’re not trying to sound like your mom (although she did have the right idea). But really, you should make your bed every morning. If you want to increase productivity in your mornings, this tiny habit is the one you should start with.
Now, you may be asking, “Why? Who cares about my bed? And what does making my bed have to do with my productivity?”
Retired Navy SEAL commander William H. McRaven, who oversaw the execution of the special ops raid that killed Osama bin Laden, has the answer to that. In his book, Make Your Bed, McRaven writes that it is important to start your day with a simple task completed. A small accomplishment within the first minutes of your day will increase your sense of pride and motivate you to complete other tasks.
“If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right,” McRaven said to the graduates of University of Texas at Austin in 2014.
So take the 30 seconds every morning and make your bed. Your mom will be proud.
2) Scrape Your Tongue
Think about this: While you sleep, your body is hard at work detoxifying your body of harmful bacteria, toxins, food debris, dead cells, and fungi -- and depositing them on your tongue. And by not cleaning your tongue the first thing in the morning, you are likely reabsorbing that sludge.
They don’t call it morning breath for no reason.
If the bacteria and toxins aren’t removed, they can cause tooth decay, bad breath, digestive issues, and a poor immune system among other problems. Brushing and flossing your teeth are no-brainers when it comes to a morning routine, but they aren’t enough. if you want a super fresh start to your day and give a boost to your immune system, scrape your tongue.
Tongue scrapers have been clinically shown to be significantly more effective at removing oral bacteria from the back of your tongue, where toothbrushes are unable to reach. So do yourself (and everyone else) a favor and include tongue scraping in your morning routine.
Neuroscientists believe that humans can have an average of 50,000 to 70,000 per day, meaning anywhere between 35 and 48 thoughts per minute, every single day.
Even more astounding? Between 70 to 80% of those thoughts are negative. It’s no wonder most people fail to achieve their goals. If you’re one of the majority who make the same resolutions year after year, Morning Pages might be the solution for you.
The idea of Morning Pages was developed by author Julia Cameron, who described the practice as “three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning.” Cameron writes that there is no right or wrong way to do Morning Pages, nor should you put too much thought into them. Just write anything and everything that crosses your mind.
Many people who do Morning Pages claim that it has been a life-changing experience. Some of the common benefits include less anxiety, more productivity, clarity of mind, more creativity, less negativity, less fear, and brighter mood. Your journal can also help you stay focused on your goals so that you can finally change your new year’s resolutions next year.
The key to developing a successful morning routine is to take things slowly. Wake up 15-30 minutes earlier than your normal time, and focus on completing just a few tasks in the beginning so you won’t get overwhelmed. Be sure to keep track of your morning routine in a journal and don’t hesitate to change anything that doesn’t work for you.