I’ve just about settled my morning routine. Now that I have to be a real person and go to work everyday (man do I miss only having to get up for 11am lectures), I’ve started out on a quest to become more of a morning person.I’m trying to get up at the same time every day, and not press snooze – it’s a real struggle. Here are the 8 things I’ve added to, or altered in, my morning routine, which I’ve found have really helped.

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HAVE A GLASS OF WATER

It’s good for you. It will make you feel better. It takes 10 seconds. It’s that simple.*

*I don’t really eat (I do quite often have a banana on the bus though) before I leave on weekdays because I like to take advantage of the breakfast at work, so this is especially important then.

WASH YOUR FACE

This one is less about skin care and more about doing something that makes me feel good. Because I’m an evening shower person (TMI?), I find that washing my face really refreshes and wakes me up in the morning. It’s also something I really enjoy. I like having a skincare routine I can work through. A little morning pampering goes a long way, so recently I’ve been taking my time and enjoying the process. Skincare could easily be replaced by an indulgent breakfast, straightening your hair, or even something like reading the paper.

STRETCH IT OUT

I would love to say I’m someone who goes for a 5 mile run every morning, I’m not. I’m never going to be one of those people either. Instead I start my morning with a short series of pilates-esque stretches and low impact exercises. Getting your body moving in the morning, particularly if you’re going to be sitting at a desk all day, really helps you wake up and get your blood flowing so you’re able to focus all day long.

GET DRESSED

This might seem like a given, and on weekdays it is, but I know that the urge to lounge around in pyjamas on the weekend is very real and very strong. I don’t know about anyone else, but for me the longer I stay in my pjs the harder it is to get out of them and get going. So theoretically, the quicker you get dressed and ready for the day the easier it is to start working and being productive. Having tested this hypothesis for quite a while now, I feel quite confident in suggesting it holds in real life as well as theory.

GO OVER YOUR PLAN (OR MAKE ONE!)

Every evening I like to set out my bullet journal for the next day. Even though its already been written out I like to review my to do list and any events, and make sure I have my plan for the day fresh in my mind. It’s hard to be productive if you don’t know what you’re meant to be doing.

5 MINUTES OF MEDITATION

I’ve only started meditating recently but I’ve found it’s really helped me manage my anxiety and be more productive. Taking 5 minutes for yourself to start your day right can make a world of difference. I would recommend using a meditation app like Calm. These usually have a variety of guided sessions, but on a morning I find using the simple self guided sessions (especially if I’m a bit pressed for time) the best for working on my own individual focus.

DON’T CHECK YOUR PHONE

The first thing I used to do after I’d opened my eyes was check my email. This was a mistake. It made my morning about work, about Facebook notifications, about junk I didn’t want to see. By delaying checking my phone until I’ve completed the rest of my morning routine, I’m able to reclaim a little bit of time for myself and only start work when I’m ready and at my best. It’s a tiny life change that has made a huge difference, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone. I’ve even replaced my phone alarm with a good old fashioned alarm clock, to reduce the urge to scroll.

DECIDE TO HAVE A GOOD DAY

This is probably the most important thing on this list. I’m not someone who believes that positive thinking is the key to changing the world, in fact I’m quite skeptical that you can think yourself happy. However, I’ve been trying really hard to start the day thinking about what I can look forward to. By getting excited about what lies ahead for the day, I’ve found I start to enjoy it more. If you’re struggling with getting excited for your day try and schedule in something fun or wear something that makes you feel good.

That’s it. I’m always looking for ways to start the day a bit better, do you have any advice or morning hacks that I should be trying out?

A quick run down of some of my favourite blogs right now. These are the things I’ve been reading which have moved me in some way, whether that’s moving me to get on with my own work or moving me to giggles.

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THE PRIVATE LIFE OF A GIRL

Founded in 2013, The Private Life of a Girl is my go to blog for all things minimalism and online productivity. Sophie’s content is mirrored by a super clean and easy to read set up. A couple of years ago she founded Oh My Clumsy Heart, where she sells some beautiful simple jewellery – also comes highly recommended. Have a browse through her blog if you’re interested in slow fashion, simple living or a creative career.

JANE REACTION

When I grow up I want to be Jane. Her design work is absolutely stunning, her advice is always solid, and her holiday cheese board looks pretty dang tasty. I look to her blog for inspiration and top tips from a much wiser designer.

OH LADY CAKES

A lot of the blogs I read are food blogs. I love eating okay. But this is one of the few that I come back to again and again. I get so many of my recipes from Ashlae’s blog. I pretty much make her ‘Lazy Girl Peanut Butter Cookies‘ every week for an afternoon snack when I’m at work – they’re so easy and so tasty, and even kind of good for you! If you’re looking for some new healthy recipe ideas this is the place to go – they’re not all cakes, promise. 

DESIGN LOVE FEST

Design Love Fest just makes me happy. It’s bright. It’s colourful. It always seems like Brit is having a great time putting all of the content together. Brit began her blog in 2009, and managed to use it as a spring board for the Designlovefest studio (branding and design) in 2011 where she’s now Art Director. As well as sharing entrepreneurial and design advice, Brit’s blog is filled with recipes, guest design works, and lifestyle based content. It’s also 100% the place to go if you’re looking for a new screensaver.

MEIGHAN O’TOOLE

Meighan’s (no longer running) earlier blog was the first blog I ever followed. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of watching her content grow and change while her voice has remained constantly engaging. She now blogs about creative online strategy, so if you’re looking for top tips on improving your online presence, social media strategy or how to create compelling content I would highly recommend checking her out.

I’m always on the look out for new, fun or inspiring content, so what else should I be reading?