How to Design a Killer Routine to Kick-start a Productive Day

animated image with good morning cassette

Want to maximize your happiness and increase your productivity? It all starts with a killer morning routine that sets you up for success.


Are your mornings always hectic? Maybe you can never find your phone or you’re always running late—and that makes your day feel stressful from the start. It’s the worst, right? That’s why you need a morning routine that keeps you organized and sets you up for success all day long, even if you’re learning remotely. Follow these tips to get started.


Get ready early

Preparing the night before is one of the best ways to ensure a successful morning. That could mean packing your backpack, laying out your outfit, and/or making a list of things you want to achieve the following day. Then you can go to sleep feeling ready for what’s coming up—and, as a bonus, you won’t have to make any big decisions when you’re still half-asleep the next morning.

Set your alarm for the same time every day

As much as possible, try to wake up and go to bed around the same time each day. (Sure, an occasional late-night study session may happen, and that’s okay. Just do your best.) Keeping regular hours helps the body’s internal clock regulate the hormones that make you feel drowsy at night. By getting on a regular sleep schedule, you’ll start feeling way more rested.

Don’t hit the snooze button

This is a tough one but trust us on this: When your alarm goes off, give yourself a few minutes to wake up, stretch your arms and legs to shake off the stiffness of sleep, and then get straight out of bed. Any extra sleep you might gain from those extra 10 or 15 minutes under the covers won’t benefit you at all, as your body doesn’t have time to finish a complete sleep cycle. You’ll just end up dragging yourself out of bed later than you planned, likely feeling groggy for the first couple of hours of the day. Not worth it.

Stretch your body

You can do this while you’re still in bed or after you get up. And it can be simple; you don’t need to whip out a yoga mat and spend 30 minutes doing sun salutations facing east (although, if that’s what you’re into, go for it!). Just focus on a few simple stretches to wake up your body after being powered down overnight. Feels good, right?

Do some cardio

One key benefit of stretching before you get out of bed is that it can help the body re-oxygenate. If you’re someone who finds it a challenge to wake up, incorporating 10 to 15 minutes of light exercise into your morning routine will help you shake that foggy feeling. There are lots of ways to do this: Maybe you want to do a 15-minute HIIT video on YouTube before you shower, or you could walk to school instead of catching the bus. Do what works for you.

Set your intentions

After getting out of bed, hit the shower, get dressed, and then list what you’d like to get done that day. You don’t necessarily need to write it down; just taking the time to run through your schedule in your mind can help you achieve your goals. But if you feel like you’ve got a lot to remember, jotting it down in a notebook or in your phone can help reduce feelings of stress.

Fuel up

One of the most important things you can do to set yourself up for a successful day is to fuel your body. We’re all different, so you’ll want to find what works best for you—but here are some key tips: Make sure that you hydrate (with water, not just coffee) and eat a small, well-balanced meal. Go for something like a smoothie bowl packed with protein and vitamins, or scrambled egg on whole wheat toast. And try to avoid sugary cereals that will leave you feeling lethargic after the initial sugar rush.

And on that note, don’t forget to pack a lunch bag with protein-rich snacks and a healthy lunch too. Brain foods like omega-3, good fats, and protein will help you to survive even the most challenging lecture or work schedule.

Limit your screen time

Device like laptops and televisions emit something called blue light, which the brain interprets as daylight. This suppresses melatonin, a sleep hormone, making it harder for your body to drift off. So at the end of the day, help set yourself up for success the next morning by avoiding screens at least 30 minutes before you get into bed. (Pro tip: Tuck your phone in an accessory pouch and use that time to practice a little self-care instead.)

Practice meditation

If you’re going through a tough time or are feeling stressed about exam prep, taking time before bed to relax and unwind can have a positive effect on your sleep. Even something as simple as reading a book can be a form of meditation. There are also some great smartphone apps that offer guided meditation, relaxing sleep sounds, and soothing audio tracks that you can use to distract your busy mind. Give it a try; you may feel way more rested when you start your routine over again the next morning.


Now that your day is off to a great start, it’s time to make a difference in the world . What will you do next? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #LifeUnzipped.

By: Charli Moore