The Essential Morning Routine for Work-Life Balance

Take a minute to think about all the things that can get you in the right mood. Start from the things that make you happy AND the things that you need to function.

Essentially, after many trials and errors, I can confidently say that improving your mood only obliges you to do one thing that (should) come easy: Be selfish.

The sad truth is, it doesn’t.

Your ability to stay focused and productive are key to achieving better results in the hours you’re supposed to be killing it. That’s why, with all the pressure and exhaustion imposed by your workplace, the least you can do is to get your body and mind in the right state before game time.

This is where regaining control over your morning comes in handy. Depending on what time you must go to work, it’s important that you reserve between 30-60 minutes to do zero work and, well, just do you.

No checking e-mails.
No replying to Slack.

Just you, your mind, and your well-being.

Now, let’s go back to the first line.

Formulating an impactful morning routine requires you to step back and think about all the stuffs that are essential to boost your performance and happiness, especially your happiness.

Since I don’t want to be seen as selling you fake-ass tips, I will show you how by going through my morning checklist that I use every day.

Screen Shot 2020-01-25 at 17.57.22

As made up as it seems, I didn’t follow anyone’s template when I wrote this down. It was specifically designed for me and myself only. It was my honest list of the things that make me happy and the things that I need to perform.

No more, no less.

“So, what makes you happy?”

For example, I found that having a jazz playlist echo in my room while I’m finishing my morning routine makes it (much) more enjoyable. After that, I always make sure that I make my bed. As a procrastinator, starting the day with positive momentum is incredibly important to stay productive throughout the day (at least for me!).

Finishing a seemingly-unimportant stuff like making my bed helps me do exactly that, and it’s just a snowball-effect from that point on. The same reason anchors my decision to include planning and preparing my outfit onto the list.

“Who in his right mind would write such thing in his to-do list?!” Well, me. 💁‍♂️

You need to find things that do not only make you happy, but also those that help you build momentum. Make sure that those tasks are easy to accomplish and take less than 2 minutes of your time.

Don’t forget about your must-do list.

Just as it’s necessary to be happy, it’s just as important (if not more) to pay more attention to routines that don’t excite you but are absolutely beneficial. If you take a look at my list, these 4 things are in my “need to do” category:

  1. Eat breakfast
  2. Drink Redoxon
  3. 15-min Workout
  4. 10-min Stretching
  5. 10-min Meditation

Except having my breakfast, I didn’t really enjoy every single one of it. Sure, I was addicted to how it made me feel, but not so much about the actual process.

I wasn’t really used to sweating my a** off at 6.30, but I knew that I needed it. I always feel more focused and energetic when I exercise and do some stretching earlier. Same goes with “Drinking Redoxon”.

(For those of you who are unfamiliar, Redoxon is a fruit-based supplement that will give you an extra Vitamin C and minerals that are necessary for growth, development, and repairing body tissues.)

If you know me, you know that I don’t like fruit no matter what shape it’s in, but I know that my body needs those vitamin C and Zinc for that extra boost. I compromise so that I can be as selfish as possible.

As the time goes by though, I actually get used to it more and more every day. Still not fully enjoying it, but I can confidently say that the payoff more than justifies the struggle. It allows me to come to the office with a near-perfect mood, thus allowing me to perform better.

The key takeaway here is that formulating your morning routine will require you to play the long-game. Think long-term, and think about what your body really needs. Remember to preserve your body as serious as how you do take care of your happiness.

It’s Okay to Fail at First

I think that’s the way it will work for those who are about to start. At first, all of these might seem too daunting to accomplish, let alone being completely successful at implementing it.

I only have one message for you: Don’t worry about the level of discipline or success rate that you will or have achieved; worry about the incremental improvement that you’ve made to perfecting your morning routine. We’re work-in-progress, and that includes myself.

This is my final recommendation: Try to imagine the state of work-life balance by which you wish to achieve, and always take a step back every morning so that along the way, you won’t lose sight of what really matters in your life.

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