How A Morning Routine Helps

How A Morning Routine Helps

How A Morning Routine Helps


A key part of growing your influence is increasing your productivity- and a key way to increase your productivity is having a morning routine.

You can find lots of examples of morning routines online, but I find many either a bit new-agey:

‘I gargle chia seeds while listening to Andean shepherd music’

Or unrealistic:

‘I get up at 4am and jump straight into my pilates regime’


I decided to come up with my own, based on two simple truths:

  • Like anyone, I can be lazy, so I wanted to find something that would make a real difference to my day without being so much effort/so complicated that I would never do it.
  • I am a night owl and do some of my best work in the early hours. If I got up at the crack of dawn every day I would never actually get some sleep.


I may adapt my morning routine model over time and I am not hard on myself during periods when I don’t keep it up.

But so far it has helped me.

It is called the ‘THANKS’ model (which in itself encourages me to start the day being thankful).

T- Thirst- I have a big glass of water as soon as I get out of bed. This one also makes me smile because it is ‘First’ and I tend to have a problem pronouncing ‘Th’- maybe a hangover of having braces as a child.


H- Health- I do some exercise. Normally a simple routine, something getting my heartrate up and some free weights, that perhaps only takes 15 minutes. My weights have recently been a 5L bottle of water, you can use anything to hand that is comfortable.


A-Aware- I meditate for a few minutes. I am no expert at this and don’t get annoyed if my mind wanders. I just try to visualize something fixed and focus on it- I visualize a candle flame.


N- Note- I write down one thing I am thankful for. This could be anything from ‘my wife’ to ‘it is sunny today’ to something I am particularly looking forward to.


K- Keys- I write down the thing or things (usually no more than three) which will make this day a success in my eyes. It could be work-related or personal things, or a mix.


S- Say- I say out loud something that I want, repeating it several times. Unlike ‘Keys’ the thing I say is a longer term goal that I have and I use the same one each day- until I reach that goal, I suppose!


The purpose of all these things is to make me feel refreshed and ready for the day, a little more ‘present’ than I was before I started (something I am trying to get better at) and more focused so that I hopefully bend the day a little to my will rather than passively accepting what it throws at me.

If you have a morning routine or you are thinking of making one, I would love to hear from you!



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “How A Morning Routine Helps

  1. Ok Alex, well mine is this:
    Alarm goes off at 6:40, snooze for a little while, then up at 6:55.
    Eldest is usually up and dressed by this point – great for a 13yo – so wake up middle and youngest. Into kitchen to make tea. Call children again to wake up. Finish older children’s packed lunches (they make their own sarnies the night before), and then wake younger kiddies for a third time, before going to make my bed, and put my contact lenses in.
    Get older boys off to school, having reminded them to clean their teeth, fill up their drink bottles, and to take their bus fare. Usually, the middle guy has a piece of brioche, or a hot sausage roll to take away, as hauling his 12yo behind out of bed is a bit of a task, bless him.
    Youngest in the bathroom, having deliberated what he would like for breakfast, which he’s had whilst big brothers have been shooed along and out of the front door. Youngest out of bathroom, getting dressed, me in the bathroom, before getting dressed and doing hair etc. Time is now about 7:58am. Let the rabbit out of his hutch, turn the fish tank day light on, feed the cat, and check the hedgehog has water. Try to organise kitchen and remember to get something out to defrost for dinner. Exit house with youngest, both of us with lunch boxes and most things required for the day.
    Walk the 15mins to school with youngest. We catch up and enjoy walking through the park, imagining what on earth the creators of Batman V Superman were thinking. Kiss goodbye, then me to bus stop for work, a long journey of an hour to contemplate the day ahead…

    It sounds as if I’m being flippant I think, I don’t intend to be. This is generally my (our) routine. If there is anything out of line, I.e, sickness, or realisation that it’s swimming day and we’d all forgotten, then it genuinely does mess up the morning, even if only for a few minutes. I shall have to come up with an acronym for my morning routine…

    • Dear Emma, thanks so much for long reply (lovely to hear from you!)- it doesn’t sound like you are being flippant, I really appreciate it.

      I certainly think that sounds like a busy morning (am impressed you have a hedgehog)!

      I think you have hit the nail on the head with the most important part- during that part you cover so many of the things I was talking about too:

      a bit of exercise
      being aware of the world
      time to think about the day ahead

      I would love to know if you think about similar things each day on your long journey to work. Wouldn’t blame you if you tried to have a nap after all you have already done by that point!

      Oh and I have a suggested acronym for you- it isn’t a very motivating word though but it made me laugh as it just came together as I was writing out your main points.

      It is- SOPPY!

      S – Snooze

      O- Others

      P- Prep for later

      P- Park

      Y- You

      • SOPPY – I love it!
        I definitely think about similar things every day. I recently changed jobs and therefore the route to work now takes me along the A259 to Eastbourne and all the spectacular scenery it offers. It has drawn me into similar daydreams every day, probably a great motivation now I come to think of it. After all, the busyness of the morning is all for a purpose – to run a home, care for a family, socialise with friends and pursue a career at the same time is the most challenging thing in my life, but the most rewarding too…

        I’ve become a little involved! I find myself appreciating things more, since the sudden illness of my best friend. My routine is one of them!

        • That’s so great to hear Emma- and really agree with your point about busyness for a purpose. Sometimes people are busy for the sake of being busy or because they haven’t planned things out well (I can be guilty of the latter, hopefully not the former!). But all the things you mentioned about being busy are essential things.

          I suppose my challenge to you- and my challenge to anyone, including myself, would be- if you changed jobs again, do you think you would still find time in your morning to have a bit of space for you, time to think etc? I hope so, as it sounds like it helps.