Ways to Make Your Mornings More Productive

The morning is not always the best time of day for me. On a good day, I find that I am more focused, energetic, happier, an all around more productive person. But most days it takes me a while to wake up and get the blood flowing. We have all had those mornings that were so counterproductive that it affected the rest of our day. For example, you’ve run out of toothpaste or you spill your coffee. Little things like this can affect the start of your day and place a negative damper on the rest of your day. The morning is comprised of several hours but it seems as though what happens during the first 15 minutes you are awake could be an indication of how your whole day is going to turn out.

morning routine

Brainstorming is a major component to creative marketing but it is hard to come up with fresh and innovative ideas if your mind is clouded by what transpired before you even start working. We can’t always control what will happen and low-value work can throw your day off course.

So what are ways to make your mornings more productive?

Six Ways to Get Your Mornings Off to a Right Start

Have Some You Time

I am guilty of waking up and going straight to my phone and/or computer. Yes, I know, this is not the best way to start my day. So now I try to give myself at least 15 minutes to sip on my tea, meditate and think about how I want my day to go. If you start out by immediately checking your emails your day will become instantly overwhelming and you haven’t even showered yet. Taking time to relax and having some you time will help the rest of your day run smoothly.

Turn Up the Music

Sometimes the best way to get your spirits up is to play your favorite tune. If you’re in the car play your favorite CD or play music while you are getting dressed in the morning. The wonderful thing about music is that you can choose a song based on how you want to feel. For example, select an up-tempo if you need more energy or if you are already feeling the stress of the day try a mellow tone.

Power Hour

We do this in our office all the time. A power hour is when you dedicate an hour to focus on the important. During a power hour you must disconnect so that you can accomplish what you are set out to do. This means phone calls are not answered and emails will not be read until the hour (or two) is complete.  Usually, in our office if someone is working a power hour then someone else is answering phones and responding to emails in place of that person.

Plan Your Day

The key to planning your day is to plan your day yesterday. If the first thing you do in the morning is to write a to do list then you are wasting precious time. The morning is usually the best time to get things done so you can’t waste it thinking about what needs to be done. I prefer to write my to do list at the end of the day. That way the next morning I can get down to business quickly.

Hard Stuff First

Now that you have the to do list that you created last night you should get the harder stuff done first. Don’t let the work you are dreading linger, handle it first thing. Busy work is meant to do just that, keep you busy and although it might be very tempting to leave the hard work for later, doing so will usually keep you working on the project longer. Just the accomplishment of getting it finished is often enough to put a smile on your face. This also takes a load off of your mind allowing your creativity to flow.

Say Hello

This may be the most important thing you do all morning. That is, take the time to say “Hello” and greet people with a smile. Don’t walk into a room grumpy you’ll get it thrown right back at you. However, if you are enthusiastic and committed it will rub off on others. It’s not only polite to acknowledge others but it will set a positive tone for the day.

Maybe try a promotions that smile.  You can’t have a positive promotions without a positive attitude.

Positivity in marketing and advertising is almost a must. Imagine going to a trade show where there is no enthusiasm. If you’re not excited about your product, how can you excite me enough to want to try it? Taking control of the mood of your mornings maybe just what you need to take your business to the next level.

Now go out and conquer the day!

Woman Celebrating Arms Raised at Sunrise in New York City

How do your mornings affect your workday?

Have you had to revise your morning routine before, if so, how?

74 thoughts on “Ways to Make Your Mornings More Productive

  1. Quite some good tips for mornings. I consider myself “not a mornings person” but the tip I use more from your tips is the me time before I get busy for the day. I find the day harder to get into if I do not get that 10-15mins before getting into it. I will implement the music with immediate effect as I have not done so in ages. Should best help my day. Watch out for an upcoming blog of mine in line with yours,but more generally for the day.
    Welli recently posted…Determination doesn’t careMy Profile

  2. Good post Arleen. I have to watch starting my day with the computer too. It’s so tempting and yet so counterproductive. I really like the idea of putting aside at least an hour a day to get something important done. If possible, I like to use that time to complete a task, that means that at the end of the day I have at least one thing I can check off of my list.
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…How to Present DataMy Profile

  3. Hi Arleen,

    What great advice! As for your call to action: I start my mornings very slowly, because I like to ease into my day. Fortunately I don’t have to go anywhere because my office is in my home.

    The very first thing I do before my feet touch the ground from bed is take a few minutes and think of what I am grateful for. That puts a smile on my face! Then, having coffee with my husband/business partner, we start the day with brainstorming and putting ideas on our white board. Our day is planned.

    Do the most difficult thing first! aka “Eat the Frog” is another fine habit to have. Once you get used to this, the rest of the day is a breeze!

    I love your Power Hour. We take time each day to unplug…take a walk, go to the gym, whatever…just unplug!

    donna merrill recently posted…Getting My Product LiveMy Profile

      • Oh, i am half through the comments (wow, 70 of them, quite a discussion!) – but i cannot NOT jump in to the conversation here.

        Arleen, i loved your post and advice… some of the things i do differently (e.g. i absolutely have to start with creative work, not with the hard work, because if i do the hard work first – then i have no desire to be creative) – but i guess that’s an individual thing.

        Anyways, what i wanted to say is in relation to Donna’s comment and your reply to her – i too work from home but i have to say, i never ever stay in my pajamas. I used to, in the beginning – but then i found out it is very easy to slip into an “awake coma” – if i don’t change my clothes, i sometimes may skip brushing my teeth, or washing my face, or even leaving the sofa all day. just pounding on that keyboard in my pajamas! Depressing. It’s a slippery slope…

        It’s like you suggested – however you start your day, that is how your day will go – so don’t just stay in your pajamas all day. Sure, if you are feeling superb in your pajamas, have one for sleeping, and one for working – but do change it, that’s what i would say 🙂
        Diana recently posted…Improve Your Website – First Order of BusinessMy Profile

        • Diana- I have an office but do most of my business from home. I know it is tempting to stay in those pajamas. I will not get on the computer until I have showered, had breakfast and have taken care of my dog. I have gotten into this habit, because let’s face it, pj’s are more comfortable than most clothing. It makes a difference in your attitude for the rest of the day
          Arleen recently posted…A Winning Online Marketing StrategyMy Profile

  4. Hi Arleen. I’m a morning person, and have been as far back as I can remember. My wife and I are retired, so, we start each morning as follows: Turn the computer on, for the purpose of downloading two crossword puzzles. Once that is done, we read our Bible, pray for every one we can think us(that would include my Linkedln family) drink our Chai Tea, which is a must every morning, work on the puzzles, and then, I go to the computer to check on my e-mails, and respond accordingly. Once this is done, then I plan the rest of my daily activities. It works for me. I’ll make calls to California, and will speak to my my partners in the film industry, and discuss status of various projects we are attempting to produce. The evenings are set aside for productive time with my wife. We are pleased. Blessings.
    Dr. Johnny Velazquez recently posted…Dare To Doubt Your DoubtsMy Profile

  5. I’m just as guilty of going straight to the phone and then the computer. Before I know it I’ve missed breakfast. That is not a good thing. The power hour after breakfast really does work. I’m always amazed at how much work I get done when I discipline my self to do that. I agree with you about planning. I try to plan my day the day before, actually I try to plan my week on the Friday before and then review where I am at the end of each day. It really helps to keep me on track. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Hollys Hill Grenache: #WineMy Profile

  6. Hi Arleen,

    These are some awesome tips and I am glad to see that you do support the concept of what you call “the power hour”. I didn’t know what to call that. But, I do have that concept. There are multiple such times when I don’t answer phones or check emails and get focused on getting things that are the most important.

    Another thing I loved is to plan your “to-do-list” yesterday. There always seems to be a debate about that although I like to plan a short list of 5 important things I want to accomplish tomorrow before I go to bed. And that is so awesome knowing what exactly I am going to do when I get up tomorrow.

    Thank you for these tips. Have a great new week!

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…How To Get Full Attention Of People Who Love Their PhoneMy Profile

    • Kumar- We all need time for ourselves but we tend to get so in grossed in what we are doing we don’t take that important break to regroup. If you plan the day before, when you get up you know what to focus on. During the day there will be more ideas that pop up. Thank you for stopping by.
      Arleen recently posted…Ways to Make Your Mornings More ProductiveMy Profile

  7. This is a perfect post to read on a Monday morning. I particularly liked the part about giving yourself 15mins. having a cup of tea and reading the newspaper has been 1st replaced by reading the paper on line, to now reading my emails. But all of the other points were excellent. Like planning your day yesterday.Thanks so much for reminding me.

  8. Hi Arleen,
    I’m generally a morning person, but I do keep unusual hours, but I’m fairly upbeat whatever the time of day. I think it’s important to take time to get your bearings, think about what you want to accomplish. I play my favorite instrumental music in the background. 🙂

    I can see how getting off on the wrong foot, so to speak, can throw your whole day off.
    If one notices that, it just takes re-focusing attention on what is important.

    Have a beautiful week ahead!
    William Butler recently posted…25 Life Observations From A ShoeMy Profile

    • Bill- I only wish I was a morning person. I am also an upbeat person and it makes a difference of the day and the people around you. Music can put you in such good spirits and humming or singing along can put you a good mood. With such little time it is not worth having a bad start to a day.
      Arleen recently posted…Ways to Make Your Mornings More ProductiveMy Profile

  9. Hey Arleen,

    I can’t get up and jump right on my computer, I have to take my dog out first.

    I try my best to get up early every morning but sometimes I’m just dragging. I end up staying up later than I had planned so when that alarm goes off I might be hitting it a few more times than I should. LOL!!!

    I have my morning routine though which includes several things I do before I can even sit down at my computer so getting dressed and taking Kayla out is number one priority for sure. I’m usually raring to go though once I’ve gotten everything done that I need to.

    Great tips though Arleen and might have to keep some of those in mind for when I might need them.

    Adrienne recently posted…How To Use Images On Twitter And WhyMy Profile

    • Adrienne- I am not a morning person. Thank God for my husband or Roxie would have her legs crossed. Being a night person it is so hard to get up in the morning so I here you. For me taking that power hour and stopping and concentrating on me has been the best medicine for computer addiction.
      Arleen recently posted…Ways to Make Your Mornings More ProductiveMy Profile

  10. I wish there some magic to making my days more productive. Sometimes I a project gives me drive, and I plow forward. Other times, usually related to doubts or unclear instructions, I don’t move forward as quickly. Yesterday I did take that “me” time to do a new yoga class – felt good to have gone.

    Take care, Arleen – I was finally in touch with your friend Karen today. We are moving forward.
    Leora Wenger recently posted…Mailing List Tips: Subscription Box and TimingMy Profile

    • Leora- We all need to take time for ourselves or our work, family and friends will consume us. Besides when you take that time you come back and or able to tackle a problem in a different light.

      I am glad it finally worked out. The bottom line is that I found you on Linkedin and felt comfortable with you after getting to know you through blogging. So all I can see building relationships does work.
      Arleen recently posted…Ways to Make Your Mornings More ProductiveMy Profile

  11. At first I was thinking a lot of this is irrelevant because I’m an elementary school teacher… But then I was thinking about how hilarious and wonderful it would be to introduce a “power hour” (or “power 15 minutes”) to my kiddos in the morning- buckle down, focus hard, no distractions! I like it. We’ll see what happens 🙂
    Rachel Haltiwanger recently posted…Americanization vs. GlobalizationMy Profile

  12. I’ve experimented with different paths to productivity, and a list of tasks created each morning really does help to make the day go smoothly. Another been help has been tuning into my personal rhythms. While I’m trying to work less at night (and saving blog comments until the evening), I have also realized I work best if I get up and work on my book or other creative pieces for 2-3 hours. Next, I will go jogging, shower, and have lunch. Then the editing gigs are saved for the afternoon. Following that rhythm has helped the most because my body does not want to jog at 7 am. It wants coffee.
    Jeri recently posted…#Editor: Manuscript Critique SampleMy Profile

  13. Hi Arleen
    I’m a firm believer in doing the “Hard Stuff First” and I love the Power Hour – sounds like something every office should adopt. Great ideas and great post.

  14. Even as someone who works from home, these are useful tips. I do keep my “me time” upstairs before I head downstairs to work, though–I don’t look at e-mail or anything until I turn on my computer. But I do try to keep a workday schedule, which can be a bit of a challenge!
    Sharon Purvis recently posted…My Weekend Trip to AtlantaMy Profile

  15. Nice, really nice! Though it won’t be possible for me to go for a power hour, but I will surely try mini power ‘minutes’. As you mentioned about greeting people with a smile, I must say it works wonder when you begin any discussion with a smile…

  16. Writing a ‘to-do’ list the day before and scheduling in the big jobs is the best way for my mornings at work to be productive. Knowing that I still don’t always do it though. I think I will make a goal of creating that list before I go home every night through the end of next week; it’ll be interesting to see how it effects my productivity.

  17. So true that the first 15 minutes can set the tone for the whole day! I’m not a morning person, so I generally try to keep to myself for those first few grumpy moments. Unfortunately, this is the same exact time my husband usually comes home from his morning run, all happy and chipper, and wanting to chat before he goes to work. Poor guy. 🙂 I love the tip about making the to-do list the night before and capturing that morning energy on actually getting the stuff done, instead of making the list.
    Meredith Wouters recently posted…Anatomy of a Healthy Re-upholstery ProjectMy Profile

  18. Great ideas Arleen. When you talk about planning your day what I like to do is write out my top 3-5 items for the next day right before I go to bed. This is usually the very last thing I do. I feel this does two things.

    1) It puts my mind at ease that those are the things I will focus on tomorrow. I wont be laying in bed thinking “I have to do this, this, this, etc” tomorrow because I’ve already planned out exactly what I’m going to do.

    2) It allows me to plan the day ahead of me without wasting the precious morning time you mention.
    Johnny Bravo recently posted…Picking Up Trash And Other Ways To Stay MotivatedMy Profile

    • Johnny- I agree with about putting your mind at ease when you write down your to do list. I have trouble sleeping as it and I don’t want to keep going over and over what I need to do. When I make the list the night before, I am done and do not think about until the next day. Our time is precious as well as time is money if you have a business.
      Arleen recently posted…Ways to Make Your Mornings More ProductiveMy Profile

  19. These are great tips for starting the day off right. I discovered a long time ago, that waking up earlier than I absolutely had to helped me have a relaxing morning that set the day off on the right foot! I also like your suggestion of a power hour and writing up the to do list the night before. Thanks for the good advise!
    Grace recently posted…A St. Patrick’s Day RunMy Profile

  20. Great list, Arleen 🙂

    I have been trying to include meditation in my morning routine (so, the first thing I do is meditate…but, honestly, I haven’t been able to stick to it). Some days, it’s just home to catch up on, on others, it’s checking my blog).

    I should probably do something about that (I do have time now..since it’s Spring break next week. I am going to get up at the usual time..I don’t want to sleep too much, because it would be a lot harder to get back in 2 weeks, when I get back to college :D).

    The big plus is that I don’t have to worry about getting ready for school, so I have plenty of time to relax and meditate early in the morning.

    Hopefully, that will work well 😀

    Planning is also one of the things I enjoy, but I usually do it during the weekends – write down the list of things I want to do during the weekdays and assign specific days to each task 😀

    Also loved the other tips, but I am not sure I can implement all of them, but I will give it a try. Thank you for sharing, Arleen 🙂
    Jeevan Jacob John recently posted…Creativity & Boredom – An Unexpected Combo!My Profile

    • Jeevan- You have accomplished a lot since we first met. You went around commenting on other people’s blog until you were ready to do your own. You were focused and it worked. Look at your following. You may not have planned the night before but you did create a plan. Don’t forget to use the weekends to unwind. It is hard to do all the tips but I hope some of them will help. Enjoy your spring break
      Arleen recently posted…Ways to Make Your Mornings More ProductiveMy Profile

  21. I am sooooo not a morning person. In my case, it’s actually physiological — I have a phase delayed circadian rhythm. My best sleeping time is 4:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., but that is not how the rest of the world functions, so for my first 50 years, I somehow pushed myself through the workday on very little sleep. It’s amazing I accomplished as much as I did (law school, being a lawyer, raising two sons, etc.). Having said all that, your techniques have been helpful — even for someone like I am. It’s just that my morning might start later than everyone else’s now that I have more control over my schedule.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…What’s Up with Wats in Chiang Mai, Thailand?My Profile

    • Suzanne- I am right there with not being a morning person. My best sleeping time is the same as yours. I was told at a sleep center that my biological clock was off which is very hard to change. My father was a doctor and as a child I would wait until he came home from house calls. I am really working on getting up earlier. I do sometimes drag myself through the day, but I am working on getting up early and get things done.
      Arleen recently posted…Ways to Make Your Mornings More ProductiveMy Profile

  22. I go to my computer first – to quickly check emails for overnight emergencies and to quickly read through my daily task list. No more than 5 minutes!

    Then I sit outside for 20 – 30 minutes, enjoy the sunrise with a coffee and my animals and let my brain warm up for the day

    I’m not joking when I say it took me years to get that right
    Susanna recently posted…Pistachios, Green Gold from BronteMy Profile

    • Susanna- You are fortunate to live in a climate where you can go outside for 20-30 minutes. The weather on the East Coast has been pretty tough this year going outside. In the summer we fight the mosquitoes but having a cup of coffee outside sounds delightful.
      Arleen recently posted…A Winning Online Marketing StrategyMy Profile

  23. I get to wake up in the best possible way – with my 4 year old giving me a big kiss and cuddle.
    Mornings are my most productive and best for writing. Unfortunately, it is also the time I have all my chores to do and get him off to school. I need to work this out!
    Becc recently posted…The Subconscious MindMy Profile

  24. I love this article! Somedays I jump out of Bed and I am a energizer bunny. Other days, I want to crawl in my bed and put the sheets over my head. Great article and I can relate. 🙂


  25. Hello Arleen,

    I can’t express how much this post resonates with me. I know many people continue to struggle in this area with time management and are looking for a simpler, more effective system.

    Over the past few years, I’ve come to a conclusion that there are two major reasons why people don’t create and follow systems that work:

    1) Most people have no idea how they’re spending their time.
    2) Most people do not take enough time to assess results and figure out how to do more of what’s working.

    Aside from that, great tips on how to start the morning right and once you do that it does create a momentum to how your day will pan out. Thanks for the great post!
    Nate Leung recently posted…How to Fail Forward To SuccessMy Profile

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