What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning? What’s the first thing you do when you start your workday? If your answer is “check social media in bed” you may not be unusual — but you also may not be giving your day the strongest possible start.

The most productive people tend to have a set morning routine designed to ensure that they start off their day on the right foot. While you may not benefit from the same routine that someone else benefits from, finding the right first steps for your day can set you up for success. Here are a few things you may want to consider working into your morning.

  1. Start early. You do not have to wake up at 3:45am like Apple CEO Tim Cook does, but waking up early has some major upsides. For example, you can get essential work done before anyone is awake to interrupt you. You probably won’t have important emails coming in at 6:00am. You can take the time to have a good breakfast. Also, you’re less likely to be late to your first meeting, which can start your day off on a stressful note.


  1. Get active. If running first thing in the morning sounds miserable, there are still other ways for you to get your blood pumping at the beginning of the day. Take a little walk around the neighborhood, or do some yoga or light stretching for fifteen or twenty minutes. Physical activity helps you think more clearly and relieves stress and doing it in the morning makes sure nothing can derail your plans.


  1. Do the most important thing first. It’s easy to default checking your emails first thing in the morning or dealing with whatever new problem or task has come across your desk. But you may find that by the end of the day, you’ve spent so much time dealing with whatever new issues cropped up, you still haven’t done your most important tasks. By starting with the most important thing, you ensure it gets done.


You don’t need to completely overhaul your life in order to implement an effective morning routine. In fact, taking baby steps will be more likely to stick than trying to make a big change all at once. Maybe this week you’ll start setting your alarm fifteen minutes earlier or adding a short yoga session with an easy fitness app after you brush your teeth. Whatever you decide to try, picking something and sticking with it can make a big difference in your energy and motivation.

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