The secret to having a productive day is a morning routine, according to some of the most effective and high-powered people like Oprah Winfrey, Anna Wintour and Barack Obama. It forces you to carve time out of a busy day for yourself. You’ll be happier, more productive, and generally able to slay your day.
Wake up to what you love – it energises you
Every other day, Serena Adsit gets to the stables by 7am for horse-riding sessions. It’s a hobby that has given her immense satisfaction as her riding skills have improved. The founder of model and talent agency Mint Singapore says her morning routine invigorates her and starts the day on a positive note. Besides, mornings are the only time she has for herself as post-work hours are usually spent with her young son or at work-related events.
“Indulging my interests may seem like a time-waster to some people, but I’ve learnt that doing something which makes me happy is the best way to enjoy life,” Serena says. “Having work-life balance also makes me more fulfilled and helps me do better at work.”
You'll be more organised
You don’t know what to wear to work, can’t find your keys, and there’s nothing to eat for breakfast because you forgot to buy more bread. Sounds familiar? Scrambling to pull yourself together in the morning puts you on the back foot for the rest of the day. So a morning routine helps you “get on autopilot mode because you are being proactive instead of reactive to situations”, explains clinical psychologist Joel Yang. “Regularity eases your cognitive load, helps you become more efficient, and gives you motivation to continue being productive for the rest of the day.”
Being organised in the mornings works for Jaelle Ang, CEO and co-founder of co-working space The Great Room. The first thing she does when she wakes up is to spend 10 minutes bullet-journaling, which includes writing down three things she needs to accomplish that day. “Writing helps me think, so I see this as a ‘braindump’, and it helps me feel less stressed about what’s ahead for the day,” she says
During this quiet time, she also puts her phone aside, so there are zero distractions. After that’s done, she sticks to a minimal makeup regime, and selects an outfit from a wardrobe of dresses that all have the same silhouette. Call it her “work uniform” of sorts. “This streamlined routine gives me more mental bandwidth to focus on what counts,” she adds.