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The One To Zen Organizing Blog

Breathe in Calm, Breathe out Clutter

  • Writer's pictureJill Katz

Creating A Morning Routine & Why It Will Increase Your Productivity

A woman stretching in bed with the covers still on her

Do you have a morning routine?

In college and through my early twenties, a morning routine wasn’t something on my radar. My usual morning included sleeping as late as possible and getting up as close to my first appointment as I could manage. I would basically jump out of bed, grab a bite to eat along with a cup of coffee, reach for my bag, and out into the world I would go.

My Morning Routine

Fast forward a little more than a couple of decades to my current during-the-week morning routine:

Dog in bed looking at an open laptop with a fiction book and notebook next to him
  • My alarm goes off (music) at 6:45 most mornings

  • I stay in bed for a few minutes. My dog and I look at each other; We both stretch (my husband is already downstairs)

  • I do a mental check of how I feel and say some positive affirmations in my head based on the result

  • I check in with my kids as needed. I’m not entirely present but I fake it as much as I can

  • I get out of bed and get dressed, continuing to stretch and yawn the entire time. I still feel fuzzy

  • I take my dog for a walk in nature and feel some brain activity

  • I give my dog breakfast, make myself some coffee, do the wordle and read something interesting off of my computer (usually news related).

  • Embarrassed to admit this, but if I’m still struggling I will play a few games of Candy Crush

  • And now my brain has fully clicked on. I review my top priorities for the day and get started!

Why A Morning Routine Will Increase Your Productivity

Recently, I have been giving some thought to the topic of morning routines based on what I see happening with my clients and loved ones. Here is what I am noticing:

Woman in green cotton pajamas and a green satin eyemask, yawning and stretching

People without morning routines are less productive

All routines are important but a Morning Routine is one of the bookends to your day (the other is a nighttime routine - more on that another time). Finishing up your Morning Routine is a signifier that you are ready to start the day. So, for example, if I tell my client to write down “3 Things” that they want to accomplish that day, the cue to start the first task is once they complete their morning routine. So when working on productivity with a client, I often ask about their morning routine. I tell them to fill in the blank:

“I am ready to start the day when…”

And they reply:

...I finish washing my breakfast dishes,

...I finish my morning coffee

...I finish reading the paper

...I get dressed

Those that don’t have a usual morning routine, often struggle to start their day and attend to those “3 things” they have written the night before. Or if their preference is to write their “3 things” in the morning, they might never get to writing them down at all.They are pulled mindlessly from one task to another.

Mastering the Morning is More Critical For Certain Populations

Man cracking eggs into a bowl

The Chronically Ill

I am currently working with a client who has long-haul Covid. When we talked about morning routines, it became clear that simply opening his eyes in the morning and getting out of bed was a process for him. We are in the middle of organizing a routine to help him assess his pain level and calm his body so he can open his eyes and get out of bed. If he is having a difficult day (I call those “B” days) then his focus for the day will be to do the minimum amount to get through the day. If he feels good (an “A” day) then he can concentrate on being more productive.

The Neurodiverse

Those with mental health issues, ADHD or other neurodiversities have particular trouble with routines and transitions. People with anxiety might stay in bed for hours because they are fearful of what the day might bring. Those with sensory issues might need more “input” through movement to energize them enough to start their day while others need less “input” such as gentle light and sound or they feel too overwhelmed. People with ADHD often have trouble establishing routines and those with HIgh Functioning Autism (HFA) struggle to change their routines even if these habits are not serving them. Consciously tweaking their current morning routines can really set the stage for a more satisfying and productive day.

In Conclusion

What is your morning routine? Is it working for you? How long has it been since you have tweaked it? Please share in the comments.

6 ความคิดเห็น

24 มิ.ย. 2566

Jill, I like your post for a few different reasons: 1) You are very specific about your own routine (e.g. your alarm is in the form of music). 2) You don't insist that anyone do yoga or meditate. These are wonderful practices, but just aren't for everyone. 3) You acknowledge that everyone's morning needs are different, but all with the goal of accomplishing "3 things" (which can be anything, no mandate for them to be complicated or strenuous if that's not the desired outcome).

Jill Katz
Jill Katz
26 มิ.ย. 2566

Thanks Hazel- when working in organizing, you see that everyone is so different so it follows that their morning routines should be personalized too! A good routine or system of any kind should serve the person.


22 มิ.ย. 2566

I have a very set morning routine that I do 95% of the time. It gives me time alone when no one can contact me. I get up at 6 am , go for a 1 hour walk, have breakfast, do my email and social media posting get ready for a client or a day in the office. I am at my desk or client by 9 am. Some times I have a few household chores to fit in before 9. I love my morning routine and your article. The morning routine needs to be built to help a person get started and motivated to complete their goals and that is different for each person. Mine is very active …

Jill Katz
Jill Katz
23 มิ.ย. 2566

I completely agree- What someone needs and places in their morning routine is personalized. As is true with so many things, I wished I had realized this so much earlier in life. How productive I could have been in my 20's and 30's!


Jonda Beattie
Jonda Beattie
20 มิ.ย. 2566

I love my morning routine. It grounds me. When I have to change it or eliminate something because of circumstances I find it upsetting. When I complete my morning routine, I feel ready to take on the day.

Jill Katz
Jill Katz
20 มิ.ย. 2566

Me too! I actually get more done overall if I take the time to follow my morning routine. I like how you phrased it as something that "grounds" you.

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