Tips for a productive morning routine
How to make your day more productive if you work from home
The summer break is officially over, and we are back to normality. The end of summer also means I’m officially no longer a student, after recently submitting my Masters in PR major project, so I’m back to working from home full-time again with my blog and side projects. Although I love working from home and not having to commute to Birmingham every day, it’s so easy to fall into a trap when you're surrounded by your home comforts this can sometimes mean I don’t always get tasks done. In my eight years of being self-employed, I have always avoided day-time TV like the plague (well pretty much all TV except Netflix before bed, obvs!), so the only trap I fall into is scrolling my social media feed ‘for just 10 minutes’ and before I know it an hour or two has gone. I also tend to spend a lot of time making healthy veggie meals three times a day which takes up a lot of my work time.
So with the help of Studio.co.uk, over the past few weeks, I’ve created a productive morning routine for myself to ensure I get sh*t done, eat healthily and fit in plenty of exercises. Whether you work from home or not here, you’ll find some great tips on ways you can be more motivated and productive throughout the day.
Some of the most successful people in the world have strict morning routines which have undoubtedly helped them to become an epic #girlboss or #boyboss. So use my tips to help create a routine that fits in with your lifestyle.
6.00am: Start the day with an energy boosting drink
I’m one of those people who can’t function without an energising drink in the morning. Most mornings I’ll opt for a coffee, but sometimes I’ll have a superfood smoothie made with matcha powder, spinach, mango, chia seeds and banana. Both coffee and a smoothie give me an essential boost in the morning, but in terms of nutrition a superfood smoothie does have a lot more health benefits and is part of your two a day.
So that I don’t have to make a smoothie from scratch every morning, I make a big batch at weekends, pour them into freezer-safe mason jars and then freeze. When I come to have them, I then defrost one overnight in the fridge so that I wake up each morning with a refreshing chilled and nutritious smoothie without the effort. Making homemade smoothies with a high-speed blender also means I'm saving money and it doesn’t contain unnecessary extras and additional sugar, so it’s a lot healthier than shop bought smoothies!
To give me a further boost in the morning I’ll usually play some tracks from my rock/metal playlist to wake me up while I sip coffee and get changed out of my personalised dressing gown and floral two piece and into some casual loungewear.
6.30am: Excersize outdoors - Walk the dog or go for a jog
If it’s my turn to walk the dog in the morning, I’ll throw on something comfortable but trendy like this cable & tie detail jumper and black ponte leggings. Behind my house, there’s plenty of secluded fields within a short walk, so my dog and I love it in the morning when it's just us and his ball launcher. The ball launcher is a fun way for him to get plenty of exercise and he loves the squeaky balls that come with it. Once my dog has had his workout, I’ll then have mine. Before leaving the field I’ll spend 15 minutes jogging, my dog Blue has finally learnt to run alongside me without trying to trip me up, so we have got into a good routine doing this.
I always feel a lot better physically and mentally if I start the morning with exercise because my day usually consists of sitting at my desk, so at least this way I'm starting the day positively by being active and getting some fresh air. I find that it really does help with my productivity.
Excersize indoors: Pilates or yoga
I’ve mentioned a few times on the blog that I get a lot of lower back pain, so I always try to fit in a few all over body stretches using a Body Sculpture Pilates band. I started off by watching YouTube videos to learn different ways to use it. I’ve only been doing it for a few weeks and already feel that its helped loosen up my tense muscles as well as giving my body an effective workout.
A resistance band is a cost-effective workout that you can easily do in the comfort of your home at any time, so it’s a good fitness alternative if you don’t fancy going to the gym. You’ve most likely spotted a lot of super toned Instagram fitness bloggers using them, so it’s an easy workout that can pretty much fit into anyone's lifestyle.
7.30am: Make a healthy breakfast
After working up an appetite, I’ll then prepare breakfast. To save myself time during the week I’ve started making batches of vegan meals at the weekend to freeze so that I can conveniently warm them up during the week to eat. Firstly, it saves me so much time (and less washing up!). Secondly, it’s a whole lot cheaper to make food batches with fresh, natural ingredients and thirdly it means I can control my portion sizes and eat nutritious, low-fat meals every day.
Because bran flakes are high in dietary fibre, vitamins and low in calories I’ve been using this Tower glass jug blender to blend the flakes into flour to use for my vegan waffles. I’ve then use the mini grinder that comes with it to grind walnuts and berries to sprinkle over my breakfast.
The blender has been an essential tool to effortlessly create my vegan meal batches every Sunday ready for the week ahead. I’ve also got the EGL 3-In-1 Snack Maker to make a bunch of perfect waffles to freeze.
Tip: To freeze homemade waffles place them individually on a baking tray so that they are not touching and then put them in the freezer. Once they are frozen stack them in a freezer safe container. This method means they won't stick when you come to use them each day.
9.00am: Smash that to-do list
Once I’ve fuelled up on a nutritious breakfast and had a good workout, I’ll jump in the shower to freshen up and then aim to be at my desk for 9 am to smash my to-do list! Every weeknight before bed I’ll write a to-do list for the next day in my personalised notebook so that I can free my mind and have everything that needs to be done written down on paper so that it’s not playing on my mind. Because I have insomnia, I find this helps me to relax more. I also try to not use my mobile for at least 30 minutes before bed, and I’ll use the Sleep sounds app to play rain sounds. You may have also spotted that I have an air-purifying plant on my bedside table, this has also helped improve my sleep so that I get out of bed feeling a lot more rested.
As well as purifying the air plants have also been proven to increase productivity and happiness, so my bedroom and home office are full of plant babies, so they are worth adding to your workspace.
I also find working in a tidy, organised room with natural light a lot more productive too and having a comfortable seat with plenty of padding to support my lower back. In my office, the one thing I love more than my plant babies is my motivation board its full of quotes and photos of happy travel memories from when I’ve ticked stuff off my bucket list. I find that looking at it gives me a mini-boost when I’m starting to get bored or distracted.
Throughout the day I try to drink plenty of fluids such as chilled water and mint or green tea in my personalised mug and I find it helpful to take short breaks to stretch my legs and to give my eyes a break from staring at the screen.
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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Studio. All words and photos are my own.