“If you want to change your results, you have to change your ways. If you want to change your ways, you have to change your mind.” We shared this sentiment yesterday on social media, and it seemed to resonate with many of you. We believe that’s because we all know we can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. So, if we already know we aren’t going to get better results, then why do we continue to do the same thing?! It’s likely because we haven’t changed the way we think about doing things. Furthermore, if we’re not changing the way we think about doing, then we’re certainly going to have a lot harder time doing things a different way. But, in order to start shifting our mindset, we first have to examine how we manage our day-to-day. It all begins with creating a mindful morning routine that increases productivity to produce better results.
As a first-time mom who has a full schedule, I (Shannon) was getting burnt out on always feeling like I was five steps behind. My intentions were good as I fell asleep at night, repeating my top priorities for the next day in my head and telling myself over and over “tomorrow is going to be different”. Every morning, I’d wake to the sounds of Max whining on the monitor, crawl out of bed, rush downstairs to warm his bottle and head back up to feed him before moving on to my day.
From there, everything else felt haphazard. Sure, the to-do list was organized and deadlines were set, but there was no real structure to my day. Funny enough, I had made it a priority to implement a daily routine for Max since he was only a few weeks old and have had much success with it. In fact, I cannot imagine life without it. But when it came to my personal and professional time, I was struggling in a major way to be productive.
What Doesn’t Work Has to Change
For my entire life, I have been the girl that showers and gets ready almost every single day. As I get older and try to understand why I am the way I am, I’ve come to realize it’s because of two things. For one, it makes me feel “put-together”, and when I feel put-together, I feel more productive. Two, even if I’m not actually productive, it makes me feel like I got something done, and friends, that is a tough pill to swallow. I’ve been willing to trade something less (feeling like I’m being productive) for something that would be so much more (producing purposeful work).
Because this had been my mindset for so long, when Max would go down for naps (aka the time I could be most productive during the day), I was struggling to decide between putting myself together and sitting down to do the work. And let me just tell you, that is not good for anybody. It’s not good as a business owner trying to move the needle, it’s not good as a wife who wants to be more attentive and it’s not good as mom striving to be present. What was happening is I would waste that time on things like self-care and development and would later find myself trying to complete tasks while Max needed my attention or at night when Bobby and I finally had some alone time.
Needless to say, things had to change, and I was more than willing to make it happen. I’ve read several books, listened to many podcasts and spoken to various individuals who seem to have found ways to be productive during the day. As I’ve been gaining this knowledge, I’ve taken note that there is one commonality between all these different individuals. Ultimately, they have created a mindful morning routine that sets them up for success the rest of the day.
And there it was! Examining my own morning routine made me realize how my days were getting off on the wrong foot. I was being reactionary to everything that happened from the moment I woke up in the morning to the moment I closed my eyes at night. No wonder I wasn’t getting anything done.
My Old Morning Routine – Typical Day
6:30/7:30am – Wake to whining baby on monitor. Crawl out of bed, head downstairs to warm bottle and feed Max.
7:30-8:00am – Bring Max downstairs to play, figure out priorities for the day and try to complete a task for work (reply to emails, post to and engage on social media, etc.).
8:00am – Make and have breakfast with Max.
8:30am – Clean up kitchen and try to continue work-related task or start a new one. Check social media.
9:00am – Lay Max down for nap and take a shower. Get ready and indulge in self-development activities like reading and listening to podcasts while answering texts and emails and scrolling on social media. If there was time before Max woke, work on work-related tasks.
As you can see, I was lacking a mindful morning routine and instead was always trying to figure out what to do next. I was highly distracted by my phone, and I was not carving out time to get in the right mindset. I was starting things off with a whining baby and saving my priorities for later in the day when I would begin to feel overwhelmed by what was left to complete.
How I Created a Mindful Morning for a Productive Day
I will be completely honest when I say, I am not a morning person. I never have been, and I never thought it was possible to become one. But knowing what I know now, I had to change my mind. I had to convince myself that changing my morning routine would change EVERYTHING about my day in a positive manner, and what was currently transpiring, was not working for me in any shape or form.
Understanding that the most successful people in the world are diligent with their morning routines, I decided to start setting my alarm clock earlier and earlier each week. Slowly but surely, I have been able to begin my day much earlier than I have been accustomed to. Furthermore, here are some key takeaways I’ve gathered for creating a mindful morning routine:
- Be consistent, but flexible (some mornings just aren’t going to be typical)
- Choose a variety of activities that will ignite you mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually
- If you have children, give yourself plenty of time to accomplish what you want to do in your morning routine BEFORE your kid(s) wake
- Have a proactive mindset versus a reactive mindset
- Go to bed earlier, so you are well rested in the morning
- Set your alarm for the time you need to rise and avoid “snoozing”
Types of Practices to Implement into Your Mindful Morning Routine
- Drink Water
- Listen to Music/Podcast/Audio Book
- Get Ready
- Make Bed
- Record Daily Gratitude
- Eat Breakfast
My Mindful Morning Routine – Typical Day
I will start by saying, I am still a work in progress. Some mornings, I am apt to “snooze”, and I have yet to implement an exercise routine I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I also hope to set my wake up time for a bit earlier, but for right now, I am pretty happy with the results I am seeing with the changes I’ve made. All in all, I am taking care of ME first, and I am getting it done early. Then, I am focused on the baby and spending more time with him. When he is down for his naps, I can then be hyper-focused on my work and complete tasks that are helping our business grow exponentially. And there’s nothing better at keeping you motivated than feeling a true sense of accomplishment day after day.
5:55am – Stretch/Drink water.
6:00/6:05am – Read First 5 (Bible app).
6:05/6:10am – Shower, get ready, listen to podcast and make bed.
6:55am – Head downstairs to warm bottle.
7:00am – Feed Max, read a book and say a prayer for the day.
7:15/7:20am – Head downstairs. Max plays while I review planner and record my daily gratitude. Then, move on to completing the first of my Top 3. Sip on warm lemon water.
7:45am – Make Breakfast.
8:00am – Eat breakfast with Max and listen to music.
8:30am – Read and play with Max.
9:00am – Lay Max down for a nap. Focused work until 11am.
Writing all of this out for you just made me realize how much I am getting done with my mindful morning routine. I have completely eliminated social media in the morning, and I’ve added some activities I’ve been longing to do, such as reading more to Max and spending time in the Word and praying. And while I am accomplishing more each morning, it somehow feels less; less chaotic; less haphazard; less rushed. Instead, it feels more peaceful, more manageable and more intentional. More than anything, I can see a difference in how it has reduced my stress level and anxiety, affects my mood positively and has made me 10 times, if not more, more productive during the day.