Listen to this productive morning routine episode:
#9: Sharing my step-by-step morning routine along with favorite product recommendations to set you up for a successful day. In this episode, we discuss:
– Why morning routines are so important
– How to figure out your perfect morning routine
– Elise’s favorite morning habits and rituals to start her day
Snap a screenshot of the podcast and tag me @wtfab sharing what you’re going to take from this episode and incorporate into your morning routine, so I can reshare on my Stories too! Make sure you subscribe to the podcast to stay up to date on the latest episodes and interviews.
Quick links from this episode:
Daylight Alarm Clock
Equilibria CBD (new customers can use code WTFAB for 15% off)
Chorreador for making coffee
Ritual Multivitamins (use code WTFAB for 10% off your first 3 months)
The Daily Stoic
Golden Coil Planner (WTFAB for 10% off thru 2/7)
Podcast Episode #5: Why Habits Are Powerful: How to Create Systems to Build New Habits & a Better Life
Shop my favorite products from this episode:
Productive Morning Routine
In today’s episode, we are getting into all the deets of my productive morning routine! I’ve been receiving questions on what my morning routine looks like so I’m going to give you a play-by-play. I personally love hearing other people’s morning routines because I always come away with something that I’m like, Ooh, I want to try that!
I just think that having morning habits and a solid morning routine is so important because it really helps set the tone for your day and to set the intention and the rest of your day. Everything kind of flows from there. I will say that I only started having some semblance of a morning routine when I started working for myself two years ago.
Before when I worked at a company, I would just like hit the snooze button until the very last minute and then just rush to get ready and run out the door to hop on BART. And let me tell you, that is not the way to start your day. Now that I have experienced actually having some sort of productive morning routine that sets me up in a great way, I far prefer this.
So I’m going to get into it. Also, know that your morning routine can change. It can adapt with you. Mine certainly has. I’ve evolved different parts of it and incorporated and try different things. So just give it a listen and see what you want to pull from it and try with your own personal morning routine. Give some new things a try, and do it for a few weeks at a time. You’ll find that some parts you might love and some parts you might discard, and that is completely okay. But just having some kind of routine that is habitual, really changes the way that you kick off your day.
I will also say I’m not a mom, I don’t have kids, and I completely acknowledge that if you have a baby that you are taking care of, if you have little ones, you might not be able to have this whole, half-hour to an hour-long morning routine. But there might be some little rituals that you can incorporate too into five minutes for yourself, and I would really encourage you to seek those out. See what you can make happen for yourself.
My Productive Morning Routine
Daylight Alarm Clock / Phone Placement
So as I mentioned, I’m not a morning person (morning people, any tips for me??). I’ve really been working on trying to not habitually hit that snooze button. One thing I’ve started to do that’s been a gamechanger is I place my phone (which is also one of my alarms—yes, I need two lol) on my dresser on the opposite side of the room. This is great for two reasons. First of all, it stops me from mindlessly scrolling on my phone at night. (If you haven’t listened to my podcast episode about habits, yet, you can find it here!)
The other thing is that when my alarm goes off, I have to physically get out of bed to go and turn it off. It’s only five steps away, but just getting myself out of bed has made it so much easier for me to wake up and get going instead of just continuously hitting that snooze button on my nightstand next to me.
I also use this daylight alarm clock. It’s super cool because over ~20 minutes, as it gets closer to the time that you set your alarm for, it starts emitting light. It’s like a gentle way to wake yourself up.
Ok so first things first, I brush my teeth and then do my morning skincare. This could be a whole other podcast episode on its own, which I’ll probably do. But one thing that I really, really enjoy is using my NuFace. If you haven’t checked out NuFace, it’s the best. It’s basically this like electric microcurrent facial tool that you glide over your face, and it just helps sculpt and lift your cheeks. I like to do it in the morning because then I enjoy the benefits of it all day long with this more kind lifted and slimmer face. It takes about five minutes, and while I’m doing that, I listen to some of my favorite inspiring podcasts. I tend to gravitate towards other female podcasters, because I’ve learned that while I love books like The Daily Stoic I’m just not looking to start my day with white male energy, lol.
Then I take my Equilibria CBD. You guys know I love Equilibria and their CBD has seriously changed my life. I do a half a drop in the morning, half in the afternoon, and it just helps even me out and levels me out. I’m able to take on life’s daily stressors and surprises in such a more even-keeled way. You can read my post that goes into more detail on my Equilibria review here!
Next I change into an outfit other than my PJ’s, even during the panny. I have really been making an effort to change into real clothes, even if it’s just changing into a cute athleisure outfit, just get out of those pajamas. It really puts me in a better headspace for the day.
So then I head downstairs, I make my morning coffee while my coffee is brewing, I drink a giant cup of cold water. If you think about it, for the last eight hours that you’ve been sleeping, you have been totally dehydrated. You haven’t been drinking any water. So I’ve found it feels great to just drink a giant cup of water.
For my coffee, I do this really specific style of pour-over coffee. It’s called a Chorreador, and it’s something that I learned when I was in Costa Rica and we did a coffee tasting class. And it is the best. It’s so much better than the Chemex or French press or anything. This style of pour-over just makes your coffee so smooth and flavorful without the bitterness.
And so while I am pouring the water over that, I use my Theragun to kind of wake up my body, especially my hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and lower back. I tend to get a lot of tightness in my lower back, especially because I do high intensity interval training and I just have lower back issues. So I use my Theragun every morning and it’s incredible. If you guys have any kind of lower back issues, I cannot sing the praises of Theragun enough. I have the Theragun mini, so it’s like the least expensive one and it works just as well as the regular-sized one. And it has helped my lower back issues so much!
I also pop my Ritual multivitamins while my coffee is being made. I know I’m mentioning a lot of brands, but these really are just part of my morning routine and my morning rituals. So you can know that this is what I’m doing legit every single day, so I obviously stand by all the brands I’m sharing. You can read my recent Ritual Multivitamins Review here for more deets!
So once my coffee is made, I like to add Nutpods to it. It’s like this almond and coconut creamer and it doesn’t have any added sugar. I do intermittent fasting most days (but some days when I feel it I’ll make myself a healthy breakfast), and a couple tablespoons of Nutpods won’t break my fast. You can froth it up with a frother, or I like to use my NutriBullet.
Morning Journaling and Reading
So once my morning coffee is made, I head over to the couch and I read a page out of The Daily Stoic. This book is really cool because it’s just one page a day and it covers all of these different Stoicism beliefs and pearls of wisdom on how to live a better life. It really has changed my perspective, especially during the pandemic, for the better.
Next I do my own morning pages or journaling. I never thought that I would be into journaling, and the only reason I started doing it was when I was getting ready to leave my job at Google and to work for myself full-time, I realized I had all this freedom to structure my day however I wanted. But that freedom is also a bit overwhelming. How do I know what I want to do? How do I know what I want my day to look like? So it felt like the right time to start journaling in an effort to help me discover that.
Before that, I never had any desire to spend time journaling and honestly wasn’t super excited about the idea of doing it, but I thought I’d give it a try, especially since it’s probably the #1 thing I read about successful people doing (that and meditation).
It’s been two years now and I journal every single day when I’m at home. It’s been a really powerful tool for me. Sometimes I write a paragraph, sometimes it’s a few pages. I don’t force it. I just write about whatever I feel like. It could be hopes and dreams. It could be goals for that day. It could be something I’m upset about a decision I’m wrestling with. I also practice gratitude here and every morning I write down three things I’m grateful for.
Next, I get into writing out the tasks and important things that I need to get done that day. I use a journal calendar planner called Golden Coil (use code WTFAB for 10% off through 2/7). It’s so freaking cool because it is completely customizable and you can change the layouts for things and add different planner templates to it.
So for example, I have one at the beginning of each week for meal planning. I also have a health-related page each week my fitness, my water intake, and my vitamins. I love that you can make it exactly what you want so that it fits your lifestyle and your needs.
One thing that I have gotten better at over time is not just piling on a massive list of important tasks that I need to do and think that I’m going to try and achieve that day. This is something that I will cover in a more in-depth episode about productivity and time batching and how I plan out my day. But basically I’ve learned over time that instead of writing out 10 different to do’s and not necessarily prioritizing any of them (and then at the end of the day, feeling like, Oh, I only got half of them done and like feeling disappointed in myself), I look at my day and I look at my calendar and I time batch. But I also block off time for the amount of time that I think is going to be necessary to complete that task. Sometimes it can take me five hours to write a blog post because it’s going to be super in depth. That’s a good chunk of my day. So if I put 10 things on my list, then I’m not going to get anywhere near that done. And I’m just going to feel bad about it.
So instead I’ll say, I have five hours to write this blog post, I have an hour to post on social media and engage, and then I have two hours to do a photo shoot—those are my three priorities for the day. And I focus on only those tasks during the allotted time. When I do this, I’m able to knock out all three of those things on my to-do list, and I feel accomplished at the end of my day. This method also helps keep me on track and focused, so I don’t waste time or get distracted.
And it’s a much better feeling than frantically trying to squeeze more into a given day than is actually physically possible.
That’s pretty much it for my productive morning routine! That whole morning routine takes me about an hour from start to finish. So I get up at 7:30 am and I am done with all of that by 8:30 am, and I’m up in my office and ready to go and get to work.
I hope this episode was helpful for anyone who’s looking to incorporate some new ideas and things into their own morning routines! Ask yourself what’s reasonable for you and for your life, and give some of these things a try. See if any of these help boost your productivity levels, energy, mood, etc.
I want to hear from you as well. What do you like to do for your perfect morning routines? Shoot me a DM, I’m @wtfab. I would love to hear from you!
Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.