We’ve all been there. Rushed out of bed by an alarm, we snoozed one too many times, only to skip breakfast and dash out the door without even taking a shower. You may have savored a few more precious minutes in bed, but you’re half asleep on the commute and starving until lunch.
A morning routine may be an alien concept to you, but structuring your time before a busy workday can not only make you feel more energized but can also improve mental health.
The Importance of a Morning Routine
Mornings can be a great time to get things done. Going to bed earlier so you can wake up fresh, smash a workout, or read your book could heighten your mental clarity for the day ahead.
Having a morning routine will prepare your mind, body, and soul, and allow you to prioritize yourself before all your commitments. Routines can help you set the tone for more structure and productivity in your day. That’s why taking control of that early free time that many people disregard, could lead to you taking control of the rest of your schedule instead of the opposite.
Let’s have a look at some of the things that you could include in your routine to brighten your morning and boost productivity.
Getting Up Early
Getting up early won’t only mean you’ll have more time to get things done. Being an early riser is a proactive trait that could lead to other benefits in your life. Studies suggest that waking up early may be linked to success as it has a correlation with better grades and higher wages.
A top tip for waking up early is to keep your phone or alarm clock out of reach, so that you’ll have to walk across your room to switch it off. This means you’ll be more likely to stay out of bed and just get on with your morning. Not sleeping beside your phone will also lead to less time scrolling and more time focusing on getting to sleep the night before.
Planning to get up early may simply make you more accountable to going to bed earlier and, in turn, getting more sleep. The most valuable sleep is said to be the hours you get in before midnight. So, shifting your focus to your morning and winding down earlier the night before could have you feeling well-rested and more energized.
Drinking water first can help you get on track with balancing your bodily fluids throughout the rest of the day. This is great for organ function, and it also prevents a cloudy mind. Keep a glass or bottle by your bed or have one ready in the fridge so that it’s the first thing you put into your body in the morning.
It’s recommended that we consume at least two liters of water per day, and much more if we do any exercise. Investing in a large water bottle with measurements could help you meet this goal, and the morning is a great time for trying to get that first liter in.
Drinking water before bed, while this shouldn’t be done in excess, can also prevent morning dehydration. Emptying your bladder first thing in the morning is also important for removing any waste and toxins from your body. The need to go may also just help you get out of bed!
Cleaning Up Your Room
Cleaning your room is another great way to kickstart your morning with movement, to wake up both your body and brain. This activity can be therapeutic and set the tone for being just as organized throughout the rest of the day.
Making your bed is also a great way to avoid getting back into bed. Your future self will also thank you for this, as greeting a freshly made bed will make bedtime much more appealing.
Getting in the habit of regularly cleaning your room can also help you sleep better and get up feeling fresh. This is because ridding the air of dust particles and allergens can prevent that groggy feeling we all sometimes wake up with.
Stretching and Exercising
Yoga, exercise or even some simple stretching in the morning can help center yourself and prepare your body for the day. Stretching as soon as you wake up also relaxes your muscles which can lead to better posture in the long run.
Meanwhile, exercise releases endorphins which can set you up for a more positive mood. Moving your body in the morning can even inspire you to eat healthier and stay more active in general. There’s no best time to exercise, but a morning workout can get it out the way and increase focus.
We’ll talk more about why exercising is a great way to start off your day later on. Keep scrolling!
Taking a Shower
Jumping into the shower as soon as you get out of bed is one of the best ways to instantly wake up your body. While the shock of water can be invigorating, there is actually more science behind this.
Showers can wake us up because they naturally prompt circulation. As water hits your skin, blood rushes to the surface. This allows nutrients to travel around the body for better health and get you geared up for the day.
When we sleep, our body tends to sweat. Present in the sweat are various toxins that our body has discarded. Washing these away in a morning shower is good for our skin and also makes us feel fresher.
Like stretching, showering also relieves muscles and can help you feel less tense. Starting the day feeling more comfortable can help reduce and prevent stress.
Have a Healthy Breakfast
Making time for breakfast will not only prevent hunger but can actually have you feeling like you need to eat less throughout the day. This is because a satiating breakfast will satisfy you until lunch and help avoid food cravings and sugary midmorning snacks.
Many breakfast foods have a high-fiber content. Fiber makes us feel fuller for longer because it takes more time to digest than other foods. Make the most of the opportunity to have a high-carb breakfast and opt for whole grains and fruit. Carbohydrates will also boost energy levels and improve brain function so a good breakfast may just make your morning more productive.
Journaling and Creative Productivity
Taking the time to put pen to paper and writing down what’s in your mind can help you better your relationship with yourself and align your thoughts. Give yourself time to be your own therapist and empty everything that’s in your head onto a page. This could prevent niggling problems from playing on your mind all day. If you’re stressed and don’t know why, giving your mind some attention could let you get to the bottom of it and face your demons head-on.
Practicing affirmations can also help your goals feel more reachable and allow you to remind yourself what’s important to you. Don’t use this time to create to-do lists, save productivity for later and use manifestations to connect with yourself.
Checking Emails or Notifications
Making sure that your emails and notifications are switched off before bed is so important for avoiding any disruption to your sleep, and helping you nail that work-life balance. But after making time for yourself, dedicating a window in your morning routine for work emails can help you get ahead of your workday and take control of your schedule.
But be careful about getting into this habit. Your time away from work should be for you. Try setting a goal in the morning where you avoid looking at your phone until a certain time. This way, you can prioritize healthy habits like exercise and having a good breakfast before getting bogged down by professional commitments.
Once Your Workday Begins, Stay Focused
It’s likely that a lot of your morning will be spent at work or school, so start it by trying to set a pace for your productivity into the day. Some people work best in the mornings. If this is you, make the most of your time by working, and don’t let valuable brain power slip away.
But if not, don’t worry. Everyone’s levels of focus vary throughout the day so try out doing different tasks at different times. Learn from this and save the tasks that require the most brainpower for the time that you feel most proactive.
Exercise Morning Routine
Is moving in the morning the kick that your day needs? Check out some of the exercises that we recommend for waking up those muscles and starting your day on the right note.
Going on a morning jog is a great way to get your daily cardio out of the way. A jog can also help you get your step count up easily, which is essential if you know that you’ll be sitting at a desk for hours at a time.
Listening to some of your favorite upbeat music can alter your mood for the better. We recommend you do this while jogging. It would also be the perfect time to listen to a podcast or an audiobook to learn something new before facing the day.
Running first thing in the morning will also mean you can avoid the sun when it’s at its hottest. This is in your favor since hot weather can make your run feel harder. Also, the right shoes will help put a spring in your step early in the morning, so make sure to invest in some comfortable trainers designed for running.
We’ve mentioned how important it is to wash off all the bacteria you’ve accumulated overnight. Now, you should also know that going on a jog before a bath can help sweat out any extra toxins remaining in your body and below the surface of your skin. Just make sure to shower after to feel fresh for the day ahead, and if you have any consideration for your coworkers!
Jumping jacks can be a great alternative to a run if you want to get your cardio in, but don’t want to leave your house. This will save you time in the morning as you don’t need to put on shoes, or even get dressed.
Jumping jacks are also great for waking up the whole body as your legs, arms, shoulders and back are all stretched. But watch out for the people below. Indoor cardio can be a pain for your neighbors if you live in an apartment building, especially at ungodly hours of the morning.
Don’t worry, not all indoor exercises involve jumping. If you’re concerned about neighbors, body squats can be a great way to work up a sweat without making such a ruckus.
Squats also stretch your whole legs, getting the blood moving in your body and waking up your limbs. Your legs tend to be your weakest muscle if you’re a man and you don’t regularly hit the gym. Integrating squats into your routine will have your knees and your 40-year-old self thanking you in the long run.
Practicing movements like this can also put off the long-term effects of remaining stationary for large portions of your day. Hinge at the knees and try to reach a 90-degree angle for full depth. Squeeze your bum at the top to activate those glute muscles so you can enjoy a little booty pump for the rest of the day.
Among these moves, push-ups are the only ones that could actually have you building muscle without any equipment. They work almost your whole upper body, activating your back, shoulders, biceps, rear delts, and chest.
Practicing push-ups is also great for your posture and will really get the blood pumping as it’s not an easy move to master. Take your time to perfect your form, or speed up to make your workout more cardio-focused. If you’re a beginner, start with doing push-ups on your knees, or you can have your hands elevated on your sofa or bed. Keep practicing and eventually, you’ll be doing full push-ups like a pro in no time.
If these are already too easy for you, add weight to your back or consider doing a variation like decline push-ups.
Adding a decline angle to your push-ups in the morning will really get the blood rushing to your head and fire up your circulation even more. This will advance the movement and challenge you to let your muscles work harder.
Rest your feet on a bed or chair, and push yourself off the ground with your arms. This will work your upper chest a little bit more to release all the endorphins you need for the day ahead.
You can easily build muscle by practicing any type of push-up. Just focus on trying to increase your repetitions each morning. Starting the day this way will not only stretch your upper body but will even give you a nice bicep pump to walk into work with.
We’ve outlined the importance of showering in the morning, but cleaning and looking after your face is even more vital to your morning productivity. Have a read of our top tips to find out why, and how to perfect your morning skincare.
Make Sure Your Face is Clean
As we’ve said for showering, you’re likely to sweat out toxins while sleeping and accumulate other bacteria on your skin overnight. Cleansing your face when you wake up will remove these and make you feel fresh.
Use a light soap or oil, rather than following your entire cleansing routine, and massage it into your face in circular motions. This will encourage the circulation of blood and wake up your skin. Rinse well with warm water first, but once done, splash your face with cold water to close pores and reinvigorate a tired complexion.
Grooming the Beard
The morning can be the best time to groom facial hair. Thicker creams that you may use in an evening skincare routine could clog pores after a shave. So after washing your face, make time for shaving.
A well-groomed beard or a clean shave also makes you look professional. But more importantly, if you look good, you feel good. Styling your facial hair is just as important as how you choose to dress, and putting effort into your appearance can help set the mood for your day. But we’ll talk more about the importance of your style to your morning later on.
It’s not only your body and face that need attention when it comes to cleansing. Bacteria and sweat can cling to hairs more so than it does with skin. If you boast an impressive beard, or even just rock some stubble, take extra care to clean your facial hair and remove any bacteria that may still be sticking around after a shower. Detangling an extra long beard will also allow the moisturizer to reach all of your skin and hairs.
Using a Toner
Toners can be used both in your evening and morning routine to strip the skin of any impurities that your cleanser may have missed. This can be extra beneficial after a shave to ensure pores aren’t still clogged with shaving cream.
If you have dry or sensitive skin that is easily irritated, then consider skipping this step. Toners can have a high alcohol content, so consult a dermatologist before using one.
Putting on Moisturizer
After washing, shaving, and even toning, it’s important to always moisturize. You may want to opt for a lighter lotion for the daytime that differs from the heavier creams you use in an evening routine, to avoid a greasy complexion.
A top tip is to look for a moisturizer with an SPF of 25 or above. This will hydrate your skin while offering sun protection.
Setting the Tone
Your style says a lot about you and how you want to present yourself to the world. Whether you’re heading into work or getting ready for a lunch date, you wouldn’t only want to impress colleagues and peers, but also feel good about yourself.
Keeping tidy comes into the dressing-up process. An efficient wardrobe space where your clothes can be viewed easily and hung back up neatly will streamline the process of getting dressed in the morning.
While you want to look professional and approachable, it’s important to always remain true to yourself when picking what to wear. You can also consider bulk-buying clothes that are appropriate and that you know will work for you. This can be a great way to save you those extra minutes of indecision we all face every morning. Plain trousers and shirts that are interchangeable and versatile will keep you from the hassle of having to try on a variety of outfits each day.
To save even more time, decide what to wear for the next day and lay your clothes out before going to bed. This will save your brain from exerting any extra brain power when you’re still half asleep and sifting through a blurry wardrobe. And you won’t be surprised with any unwanted crinkles that need emergency ironing out.
To be even more efficient, stay on top of your washing. Think about what clothes you’ll need for the week and try to get them washed and ironed during the weekend. You don’t want to get caught short in the morning and find yourself having to cycle to work, going commando…eek!
This may be unchartered territory for most men, but you probably already accessorize without knowing it. Never underestimate the power of a good tie, as simple details like these can really bring an outfit together. Allowing yourself time in the morning to make these finishing details could make all the difference in how you look and feel.
The same goes for jewelry, cufflinks, and pocket watches. If you happen to be this suave, don’t let a busy schedule be the thing that’s holding you back.
What Not to Wear
As we’ve said, you have to feel good in what you wear. Professionalism shouldn’t always come at the cost of comfort. Always dress for the weather. This means being equipped with coats and scarves in winter and light material clothing for the summer months.
Suits and smart shoes also tend to be notorious for chafing and blisters. If you’ve bought new shoes, always break them in during your free time so that your morning isn’t slowed down by painful waddling to the bus stop in fresh kicks. And believe it or not, the same goes for your suit trousers! New clothes need to be taken for a test drive before wearing them to make sure they fit properly and don’t cause any discomfort. This will save you more time in the morning.
That said, if you’re working from home, you may be in the habit of going straight from your bed to your tracksuit bottoms. This can be a slippery slope. An even worse one is the habit of staying in your pajamas. You’ve probably been throwing on a fresh shirt for those Zoom calls but still keeping those fluffy slippers firm on your feet. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
But putting in the effort, even if you know the only person you’re going to see is the postman, can make you feel more in control and ready for the day. Even choosing a pair of jeans over joggers can help you switch off from relaxation mode and into work mode. Telling yourself that you’re making a conscious effort to be prepared for your working day, could just boost productivity.
Frequently Asked Questions about Morning Routines for Men
What makes a good morning routine?
What makes a great morning routine is prioritizing what matters most to you. All of our recommended steps only work if they suit your lifestyle.
If you know you have a tiresome and busy day ahead, decide to take a few minutes in the morning to breathe, reflect and do some yoga. This could really help you center yourself and control any stress.
But if you know that you’ll be sedentary all day, stuck at a desk and twiddling your thumbs for hours, try to get a workout in, first thing. This could really lift your mood and make you feel more accomplished starting your day.
What time should I go to sleep?
The time you should go to sleep depends on when you need to wake up. The sweet spot for most adults lies somewhere between seven to nine hours of sleep, but this can vary from person to person.
Figure out when you need to leave for work, not be in a rush, and work back from here. Having two to three hours in the morning to get stuff done for yourself can be so rewarding. And yes, even if this means getting up at 5 a.m., as studies have suggested that the early bird really does catch the worm! Just make sure you’re in bed and disconnected from the world by 9 p.m., the latest, to catch those crucial hours of shut-eye.
Should I follow my morning routine on weekends?
If your morning routine steps are all about proactivity, then give yourself some rest at the weekend. We tend to stay up later and even socialize in the evenings on weekends, so allow yourself to sleep in if you have the chance.
But that said, being productive during those days can boost your mood and prevent the regret of lazy days. Even if this means getting up and staying consistent with your new running routine, before collapsing on the sofa for the rest of the day.
We’re also firm believers that you should never skip breakfast. Stick to this tip, but have fun with it on the weekends and make the most of your extra time.
A Final Word From The Trending Man
With organization comes greatness. Prioritizing yourself, your body, and your mind will only lead to positive effects in your life.
Mornings come and go so fast. It’s easy to disregard the effect they can have on our day. So, don’t let your morning run away from you, and use this time for yourself. You’ll thank us later, even if your downstairs neighbors don’t.