Whether you are an undergraduate or a grad student already, getting up in the morning and preparing for a productive day ahead can be much more challenging as it was in high school. In college we do not necessarily have morning classes, or at least not each day – and especially in grad school, you might have a few days during the week, when you don’t even have classes at all. And however tempting it is to just sleep in or even stay in bed all day (or at least as long as possible) watching Netflix and YouTube, you need to remember that this is an extremely important period of your life, which you shouldn’t let slip away with just watching endless TV shows. I know we all need lots of motivation and determination for that, but what I believe is a great help is establishing a morning routine. Routines make the whole morning process much easier and if you know all of the things you should be getting done before you first class or maybe lunch time, it will be much easier to actually get out of bed. So today I would like to share with you all my back to college morning routine for a successful school year ahead.
Get up early!
The biggest key for the productive morning is getting up early enough. This way you will actually have time for everything you need and would like to do without having to rush. Not worrying about running out of time will help you focus better on the things you do, and if you are doing any work or homework in the morning, the end result will be much better quality as well. If you are sceptical about getting up so early in the morning –I personally wake up at 6 a.m. everyday- check out my previous post about 5 reasons why you should get up early in the morning.
Breakfast + water + vitamins
This step doesn’t necessarily have to come right after waking up, as I know some people just cannot handle food right out of bed – but make sure you do have a good, filling breakfast every single day. This will give your body and most importantly your brain energy to conquer the day, without it you wouldn’t be half as energetic and productive. Don’t be afraid of loading a little bit up on carbs in the morning: a bowl of oatmeal with fruits is a great idea to start out the day with. Apart from breakfast, make sure to stay hydrated, not just during the day but already in the morning: have a jug, bottle or big glass of water next to you all morning, as it will remind you to actually drink. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding some lemon or lime juice – it will make it super refreshing and delicious without all the extra sugar and calories flavoured waters come with. Last but not least, especially if you are not eating enough whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables, make sure you don’t forget to take your vitamins after breakfast. A multivitamin is a must, but apart from that I like to take an extra Omega 3 and Vitamin D as well.
This of course is optional, as some people don’t like coffee or are sensitive for caffeine. However, for me the day cannot start without a cup of good coffee after breakfast, or if I am in the mood, tea. Drinking coffee from my favourite mug, while looking through the news of the day has become an inseparable part of my morning routine, which gives me a little quiet time to update myself of the happenings of the world and get some much needed buzz for the day ahead. And every morning I do make my own coffee instead of running to a coffee shop: it saves lots of money and gives the convenience of not having to leave the house. When I am home with my family we use out drip coffee machine and when I am in my dorm, I use a French press – super fast and easy.
Quickly tidy up!
Never underestimate the power of having a clean an tidy environment. When our environment gets too messy, it makes it harder to focus, so I recommend taking just 10 minutes at the beginning of the day to tidy up your room a little bit. Make the bed, take out the dishes that are left over in the room from last night and clear the clutter from your desk. If you do this everyday, it will never take too much time and it will feel much better to be and work in a clean and tidy space, I promise.
Another staple of my morning routine is sitting down at my desk –this might still include sipping on my coffee if I haven’t finished it while reading the news- and looking through my planner. I like to check what things I already have scheduled for the day, as well as for the rest of the week. Will I have class? Meetings? Due dates? Tests coming up? Then once I know all the things that are set and I need to prepare for I write my to-do list for the day. Seeing each task listed and then crossing them out once they are done makes me so much more motivated to go through them all and gives a structure for my morning and day. Let me know if you are interested in my planner set-up and methods and I will write up a post or make a video on the topic.
Getting up early, getting the energy needed for the day from breakfast and coffee, being hydrated and surrounded by a tidy environment for a clean mind and planning ahead, having an organized morning and day are my essential steps for a morning routine that helps me to have a successful school year in college. With less structure in the day ‘by default’ it takes more effort and motivation to stay motivated and on top of things, but these few easy steps will definitely help you too to be efficient and productive in the mornings and perform well in school all year round.