Setting a Morning Routine To Increase Productivity

by Rachel on April 5, 2012

in blogging tips, household

How to Set Up a Morning Routine & To Do List (image source: Microsoft Office)

Crystal over at has written some great time management tips on how to develop a morning routine, which I’ve roughly adopted.

I work full time as a RN in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and I do 3 back to back 12 hour shifts overnight. Then I ‘flip schedules’ the rest of the week when I’m off and have a normal sleeping schedule. This means that I’m really busy for a couple of days in a row and basically only work, eat, and go to sleep, then I have a long block of uninterrupted time to catch up on everything that has piled up while I was at work. Since my days off don’t have any imposed structure, it’s easy to let the day slip away in a blur of Facebook, Pinterest, and Real Housewives marathons.

I’ve found that following Crystal’s advice and setting up a morning routine has helped me increase productivity, both with my blog and housework. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that when I first started my blog, I worked really hard at developing my following and spent almost all my free time slaving away at the computer. Now that it’s somewhat established, I’ve restored the balance to my life and having a morning routine has helped me stay focused.

Here is what works for me:

1. Feed the dogs and let them out, eat a light snack and hydrate, and check emails.

2. Go for a run and stretch afterwards. I like running first thing in the morning for several reasons: it’s cooler out, I only like to shower once, and I love the burst of energy it gives me to get through the rest of the day.

3. Water the trees and plants (every other day for most of our plants).

4. Shower and get dressed.

5. Plan my to-do list for the day. I split this up into categories for blogging, household chores, personal care, and errands.

6. Prepare for dinner in advance if necessary (I usually menu plan in advance – check out my weekly Menu Plan Monday posts)

7. I aim to write and promote at least one blog post early in the day. Then I alternate between blogging and housework the rest of the day, until my husband gets home. Then I try to close up the laptop and focus on our time together and the dogs the rest of the evening.

I find this routine helps make sure that every area of my life (health/fitness, blogging, household) gets equal attention.

Do you have a morning routine? What works best for you?

You may want to check out my previous articles on Blogging Daily To-Do List and Time Management Tips for Bloggers for more advice.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Darcy April 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

I’m kind of the opposite. I spend most of the morning and day with my laptop closed to spend with my daughter (with intermittent phone usage for emails, social media etc) but most of my work is at night.

I need a better routine but my daughter is just unpredictable enough that a routine has been tough!
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Rachel April 5, 2012 at 11:56 am

I think I would work better like that, since I’ve become more of a night owl working night shift, but then I’d never spend any time with my husband :) It seems like your system is working for you, and that’s what is important.
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Lena - @elenka29 April 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I can’t do anything in the morning, but stay up way to late. And I struggle with the routine. Sometimes I think I am on top of it and some times – :(
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G Bailey April 6, 2012 at 12:20 am

I’m retired and don’t have any specific demands on my time, so I find my schedule gravitating toward night owl hours :)


Jesllee April 9, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I have no morning routine, but could really use one! Mornings are slow going around here.


Kathy April 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

I actually just started a morning routine. I get up and do my hour walk in the morning instead of at night. I have noticed that I am much more productive and get so much done before the kids even get up doing my walk in the morning. Thanks for the the tips


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