How one small change to your evening routine can help you nail your morning routine

I have made one small change to my evening routine that has made my morning routine so much more effective. It is a very quick and simple concept which involves writing a MUST DO list for the next morning, before you go to bed. The list details out all the things you want to achieve the following morning.

I have a morning routine that I like to follow, but it is quite high level and doesn’t get down to specifics:

  • Alarm goes off 5.30am
  • Check social media (max ten minutes)
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Healthy breakfast
  • 15 minutes productivity blast
  • Showered and ready for work
  • Write

One of the things I have found is that sometimes I wasn’t achieving as much as I would have liked to in the time I had. One evening I decided to write down exactly what I needed to do the next day and I was amazed by the difference it made in my productivity. I got up, looked at the list and proceeded to go through it one by one ticking each item off as completed.

The list looked something like this:

  • Alarm goes off 5.30am
  • Go for a 5k run
  • 10 minutes Headspace Mindfulness Meditation
  • Cook breakfast
  • Productivity blast:
    • Book hotel for weekend trip
    • Find lease agreement for flat
    • Change direct debit amount for flat management fee
  • Finish and publish blog post

As you can see the items are all under the original list, but they are much more specific about exactly what I want to achieve. I found this approach is a really effective for the following reasons:



When you get up in the morning, if you have a really clear guideline on what you want to achieve, you don’t have to spend any time or energy thinking about that and instead you can get straight down to being productive and focus on what you really want to be spending your time on.

Reduces procrastination:

If you have a list already defined, it reduces the likelihood that you will waste time thinking about what you would like to do whilst putting off actually doing it. This means you get a much better use of your time.


If you have detailed out the specifics of what you want to achieve it reduces the chance of you telling yourself you have achieved what you set out to, whilst in reality you have done less. For example if your objective is to exercise, having decided if that is a 7 minute workout at home or a 10k run is quite important to ensure you fulfill the desired goal.

Increased will power:

Deciding your intentions for the next day the night before helps you to get up and follow your intended plan. If you decide in the morning exactly what that looks like, there is more likelihood that you will do less than if you planned out the detail the night before.


Do you have any hints and tips on how to make your morning routine more productive? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.


  1. Bren August 18, 2015 at 6:41 am #

    Nice piece!!! Do you have tips for getting ones ass out of bed at 5.30? That’s the toughest part – works for a few days but then bed becomes too comfortable…:.


    • Mel Johnson August 20, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

      Thanks for your comments.

      I have a few ways to motivate myself to get out of bed. Maybe I’ll write an article expanding on them, but here is the summary:

      1) Don’t question it
      As soon as your alarm goes off, don’t allow yourself even a moments consideration, just get up without thinking.

      2) Make the evening MUST DO list
      If you have made the evening MUST DO list you will have a plan of exactly what you want to achieve that morning. Think about how disappointed you will be if you stay in bed and don’t get those things done.

      3) Put your alarm across the other side of the room
      If your alarm goes off and you need to get up to stop it, that forces you out of bed and gets you up and raring to go.

      Once you get into the routine and see how productive you can be, you will start to find it easier. You also need to go to bed at a reasonable time to allow yourself to wake up early and not be tired.

      I hope that helps 🙂


  2. Christopher August 18, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    Good read Mel….I will sure follow


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