A Morning Routine To Set Up A Great Day
Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we can all agree that how you set up your day has a real effect on your productivity, mood, and overall wellbeing.
Working from home, as glamourous as it sounds, requires more organisation, more planning, and more of a routine than if you show up to an office every day. Why? Because there are household tasks & priorities, plus housemates/family/pets that can creep in to your work time & space if you’re not strict about routine and habit.
In addition to my work for Vine Street Digital, I am a mum, wife, dog owner, housekeeper, gardener, and probably a dozen other hats that I’ve forgotten to mention. So, starting my day the right way helps me to make sure that I have the energy and the mental space to work hard and stay focused. Here are a few tips that help me.
But first, coffee
I get up early, but it’s not without struggle. When you’re working from home, waking up in the dark with no one to talk to, you might just need immediate mental sustenance and stimulation. Enter, the coffee machine. I’m a fan of the good old fashioned dripolator machine because I can preset it the night before and have an ENTIRE pot of hot coffee waiting for me when I get up at 4.30am. With that kickstarter already taken care of, I can be out of bed, caffeinated, and ready to work in no time.
Use your commute time effectively
If you no longer have to journey to an office, then you have time on your hands that didn’t exist before. Use it wisely! The 30–45 minutes that I used to reserve for commute is now my admin/planning time. I use this portion of the morning to answer emails, check my calendar, and prioritise my task list for the day. Once it’s done, I close my emails and calendar and I don’t have to think about them for the rest of the day.
My desk has a diffuser that I use primarily to wake me up in the morning. Studies have proven than different scents have different effects on our minds and body, so this is a really simple and effective way to set yourself up to feel great. My go-tos are often eucalyptus oil and anything citrus. Have it set and ready to go the night before, then start it the minute you sit down. You’ll be fighting fit all day.
We (as a society) spend a lot of time talking about water. How much is it raining, are we drinking enough, etc. There’s a great reason for it – water is essential. It’s been proven that even mild dehydration decreases cognitive function and lends itself to that dreaded brain fog (as a mum, I can’t afford to be any foggier!) So, make sure your water bottle is on the desk waiting for you in the morning. Hate water? Try herbal (non-caffeinated) tea, mint or fruit infusions, and anything that’s not full of sugar.
The night before can make or break your mornings, and it might only take you five minutes of prep to make your morning magnificent. I pack the school bags, set the coffee machine, fill my water bottle, and make sure bub’s clothes are out ready for the next day before I go to bed. I also tidy my desk post-work and refill my oil diffuser. This only takes me around 4.8 minutes the night before, and saves me stumbling around in the dark (running into things with my shins) the next morning.
Always have a Plan B
Best-laid plans, right? Just when you have everything ready & set up for your great day tomorrow; your baby is up all night, the dog makes a mess on the carpet, or you come down with the headache that killed Caligula. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You can’t control everything, and there’s always tomorrow. The best traits to have in work-from-home environments are these – flexibility and resilience. With flexible work arrangements, you have extra power to take care of yourself. So, never be too concerned when things don’t go to plan. Be kind to yourself, and watch that compassion do wonders for your productivity.
Working from home is a great lifestyle arrangement, but it comes with a unique set of challenges. Setting up your morning is a great way to be on top of challenges and stay focused on the task at hand.
Let us know what you think, or if you have any questions!
Written by Kristen Boucher