ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Start Your Day Right with a Personalized Morning Routine

Updated on March 2, 2020
Susan Caplan McCarthy profile image

As a professional organizer, Susan also helps clients develop the habits and mindsets that allow them to be purposeful and productive.

Why You Need a Morning Routine

You already have a morning ritual. But you’re reading this which means that you’re realizing you could be more intentional with the actions that you do to start your day.

Chances are that your morning activities currently include things that you need to do to get out the door; things you think you need to do; and other actions that you started doing, probably without much thought until they eventually became part of your routine.

If you feel scattered in the morning, jumping from task-to-task, developing a morning routine with intention will make you more productive and creative. Instead of feeling rushed and stressed, you’ll set a more positive tone for the day.

Make Time for What's Important to You


How Do You Want to Start Your Day?

In an ideal world, what would your mornings look like? Sure, it can be fun to imagine a maid bringing you breakfast in bed, but let’s start by imagining how you can improve your current life.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to bring your lunch to work so you can save money for vacation. You’ve succeeded in doing this for a day or two, but you can’t make it a habit.

Jot down three-to-ten things you’d like to accomplish in the morning. Next to each activity, list how much time you think it will take. Now, go back and pad the time, remembering that you aren’t just making a sandwich but also gathering the supplies from around the kitchen and then cleaning up afterward.

That task that you think will just take five minutes might really take ten. Ten minutes isn’t a lot of time, but it’s twice as much time as five. The difference could mean that you’re now leaving for work later than you planned.

Something that can be done at any time is often at no time.

— Gretchen Rubin

Ideas for Morning Maintenance Tasks

make bed
shower/get dressed
walk the dog
write goals/priorities for the day
take vitamins/medications
make breakfast
feed pets
do prep work for dinner
make lunch(es)
empty/load dishwasher
fold laundry
pack purse/gymbag/backpack

Part of your morning routine will be devoted to tasks around the house or the things that let you get out the door in the morning, ready for the day.

Choose What You Want to Do


What Do You Want to Avoid Doing?

If you want to add tasks to your morning routine, you’ll need to find the time. Unless you plan on getting up earlier (which means going to bed earlier), you’ll want to spend less time on things that aren’t as important to you.

For three or four mornings (they don’t have to be consecutive), jot down a list of what you do to start your day. Don’t try to remember what you did; chances are that you’ll forget some things or miscalculate how much time you spent on different actions.

Do a task or a few and then write it down along with the time it took.

After a few days, look for patterns of where time gets wasted. Do you think you’re just going to check on your email for five or ten minutes, but you really spend twenty or twenty-five minutes on this task?

You want to meditate for 10-minutes in the morning and you think you’ll just grab the time from looking at email. But, how do you plan on spending less time on the computer?

Will you set a timer and when it goes off, close your email? Will you wait until breaktime at work to read your emails? Unless you decide how you’ll devote less time to this action, chances are that it will fill the time it normally does, meaning you’ll have a more difficult time fitting in the things you say you want to do.

Ideas for Morning Self-Care and Personal Development

drink water
stretch/do yoga
take a walk
dance to one song
create art
listen to music
get some sun
set intention for the day
talk with a loved one

Balance morning chores with activities that inspire you to set the tone for a positive morning.

In doing anything, the first step is most difficult.

— Chinese proverb

Create and Practice Your New Morning Routine

Think about what you want to get from your mornings. Do you want to feel energized? Inspired? Productive? Organized? Creative? This will help you figure out which activities are most important to include as you start your day.

Grab some small Post-It notes and list one activity and it’s time frame on each slip of paper. Set them on a sheet of paper, the refrigerator, or the wall, in the order you want to do things.

Now, as you move around your morning, keep referring to your list. Keep an eye on the clock to judge if you are on time or running late.

Evaluate what worked and what didn’t (you could think this through on your commute to work). Rearrange the actions on your list, consider if some tasks could be done during your evening routine, decide if you will skip an activity or spend less time with it.

Repeat until you’re happy with your new morning routine. However, keep in mind that your schedule can change with the season, semester, demands at work, illness, and other factors. So, don’t feel that you must continue to tweak your routine until you have it down to the minute.

Good enough is better than haphazardly hoping you’ll get things done in the morning.

What's the next action?

— David Allen

Keep Your Plan Flexible


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)