Morning Tips for a Productive Day

Thank you to Bloomingdale’s and ShopStyle for sponsoring today’s post.

I’m finally back to “normal” after our Memorial Weekend trip – it always takes me a few days back home to recover.  And we’re looking at just one more day of school before summer break officially starts.  This year started off so slow, but sure has sped up these last few months.


Today, I’m sharing how I start my day so that I can get things done (GSD!) and be productive.  I’ve found that when my morning is off to a good start, the rest of my day flows better and I tend to get more accomplished.  I also like to make sure that I get even a little time to myself each day, and the only guaranteed way to make that happen is in the morning.


The best morning routines start the night before.  Before bed, I like to physically write out what I need to do the next day. It helps me prioritize what must get done and be prepared for appointments.

Morning Routine

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I like using this little notepad because it has a section for your Top 3 priorities, fitness, a checklist and important times.  Taking even 10 minutes to fill this sheet out at night helps me focus and make decisions about the next day.  It’s also a HUGE help to plan the day before exactly what exercise you’re going to do and what you’re going to eat.

When I don’t do that, there’s no plan and I tend to ‘forget’ or get confused about what’s for lunch or dinner.  Knowing in advance helps you plan so you can pull something out of the freezer, allow for cooking time or just frees up that mental energy.

I created a similar printable for our Get Fit Done Guide because I find it so useful.


During the school year when life is crazy busy with school, sports, activities, I like to wake up really early- around 5:00 a.m. so that I can ensure I have “me” time and get my workout in.

With summer approaching, I’ll probably relax that and sleep in more since we’ll tend to be up later.  But, regardless, I still like to wake up a good hour before my kids.  That quiet time is so precious to me and I’m convinced it makes me a better mama and human!

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I head downstairs and fill up a big jug of water and also make a cup of coffee.  I’m the kind of person that goes to bed already dreaming of that first delicious cup of coffee in the morning!

Morning Routine (2)

Sitting alone in silence and sipping coffee just makes me happy.  It’s one of the only times in my day when I’m not going 100 miles per hour and it feels so good.

Morning Routine (3)


A couple years ago, I started mediating with the Headspace app.  I found that on the days I meditated (even just 10 minutes), I was calmer and more able to focus throughout the day.  I no longer use the app, but I will sit in silence for about 10 minutes to try to get centered for the day.

I don’t meditate everyday, but I want to.  Now that we’re done with the #move20for3o fitness challenge, I want to challenge myself to meditate everyday.

It’s at this time that I’ll also pray.  I’m a huge believer in the power of prayer and it makes me feel so connected to God.  It wasn’t until I started law school that I really immersed myself in God’s word and I literally felt like a light turned on in my world.  There’s so many heavy issues and challenges that we deal with in life, being able to talk to God about them always helps me.

There’s no fancy way I pray, but I do think it helps to start with thankfulness.  And then my prayers often turn to my children and I’m constantly asking for wisdom in parenting.


Something I learned from the Miracle Morning was the importance of journaling and getting your thoughts down on paper.  For a long time, I was too scared to write down everything that I truly felt in my heart for fear of someone reading it, but now I’ll just rip up the pages after I write and it frees me to be very honest about my feelings.

I’d encourage you to write at least two full pages free hand to go deeper and let things out.  It’s kind of like free therapy.  Whether you’re happy, sad, angry, resentful, jealous, joyful or depressed- writing it down is therapeutic.


Then it’s time to get moving!  If you really want to commit to exercising, first thing in the morning guarantees you’ll get it done.  The bonus is that it’s over and done for the day and then you don’t have to think about it again!  I also tend to eat so much better throughout the day when I’ve exercised in the morning.

morning routine - exercise 20 minutes

It doesn’t matter if you stay home, go for a run or head to the gym- your body doesn’t know where you are exercising.  If you find it hard to make time to exercise or don’t know what to do, that’s why we created the Get Fit Done Guide.  It’s got 4 weeks worth of at-home workouts, meal plans and grocery lists, along with a 7-Day Reset that will help you get in shape quick.

After I’ve done at least 20 minutes of exercise, I’m feeling so good about how my day is started and I’m pumped to get in the shower and get ready.


There’s nothing better than a good shower after a sweaty workout.  Even if I was only doing light exercise, jumping in the shower in the morning helps wake up me up and feel fresh and alive for the day.

I only wash my hair every 3-4 days, so most of the time I put it up in a shower cap and just wash my face, letting some of the cleaner into my hairline.  Then, I’ll air dry and use a hairdryer if I need to.  Dry shampoo does the trick for days when a full wash/dry/style isn’t in the cards!

Ever since I turned 40, I’ve been very conscious of taking good care of my skin.  I’ve had a lot of trouble with breakouts and sensitive skin so I’ve been cautious about trying new products.  I tread carefully and watch how they make my skin look and feel.

I’m familiar with Kiehl’s brand and love their body lotion, the travel size is the one I keep in my travel case.

The Kiehl’s Calendula Serum – Infused Water Cream is the second product I’ve tried, and after using it for about two weeks, I can report that I really like it.  It’s a weightless “water cream” infused with Kiehl’s Calendula Serum that contains concentrated Calendula Flower Extract and hundreds of micronized Calendula petals.

I had never heard of a water cream before, so here’s the scoop:

Water creams are lightweight, gel moisturizers with a unique formulation. Kiehl’s water cream is uniquely developed to “house” their concentrated Calendula Serum within the water phase of the formula. Upon application, our Calendula Serum transforms into a burst of watery freshness and delivers hundreds of micronized Calendula petals and our highest level of Calendula Extract directly to skin.

I have a heavier moisturizer that I love, but I like this one for it’s super lightweight formula that provides a burst of soothing hydration for fresh, radiant skin.

In your skincare routine, the Kiehl’s Calendula Serum goes onto your clean, dry face, after you’ve cleansed and applied your toner.


  • Visibly evens skin tone and boosts radiance in just 1 week
  • Helps visibly reduce redness in just 2 weeks
  • Helps improve uneven texture, dull skin and dry fine lines
  • Softens skin immediately with lasting 24-hour hydration

It seriously smells divine, with a hint of fresh citrus scent and goes on almost liquidy smooth.  When I put it on my skin, there’s no oily residue left over, which I love.

When I was younger, I wouldn’t really do anything to prep my skin before makeup.  Now, I’m religious about my skincare products. In your skincare routine, the Kiehl’s Calendula Water Cream goes onto your clean face, after you’ve applied your toner and serum. You can use it both morning and night.

If you try it and love it, you can even do a Subscribe and Save service to save 5% and never run out!!


Even if I have a super busy day, I like to take a few minutes to get myself “ready” by putting on some makeup and fixing my hair. It just makes me feel better about myself and it always makes me even more productive.  Plus, if I happen to be out running errands that day, I’m not embarrassed if I run into someone I know!

sweatshirt shorts and tee

Bobeau Lounge Shorts • Bobeau Lounge Top

I’d love to hear about your morning routine and how you prepare for the day.  These kinds of routines are fascinating to me!  Of course, watch summer come and my routine go out the window! Ha!  But seriously, I love waking up before the kids, so hopefully that part doesn’t change! 

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. Hi Megan,

    It was such a pleasure to read your article!I have two kids,3 and 2 years old,and they keep me busy all the time so I read your posts only from time to time,but this one-it was like reading about my mourning routine.. people keep asking me,why i get up so early when i can get up with kids ať about 7,but as you said,thé quiet time in the morning Is priceless And having time to drink my cup of coffee in peace really does make me a better mom later on during thé day.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by when you can. I agree with you about being a better mom. It’s so true! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!

  2. I also love that time in the morning when everyone else is still sleeping and I can sit with my thoughts and my coffee in the quiet. There is no substitute for the solitude and stillness.

  3. I always say “if it doesn’t happen before my kids get up, there’s no guarantee it will happen.” So like you, I’m up by 5:00 and prioritize my Bible reading and exercise. I can’t have caffeine (it started making my heart race a few years ago. So sad!) but I enjoy my cup of crio brew on the back porch with my Bible. It is definitely my favorite time of the day. Well- and bedtime. ?

    1. Oh man, how did you give up coffee?? I’m intrigued to look up crio brew- I’ve never heard of it. Now that I’ve spruced up the back porch, I should do my Bible and coffee out there too. Thanks for sharing that! 🙂

  4. Such great ideas…I would love to carve out time for a morning “me” routine this summer!
    Love that little “Own the Day” notepad too…where is it from? Thanks!

  5. I recently started using Colleen Rothschild radiant cleansing balm to cleanse (per your & Ms. Sugarplum’s recommendation!) and then Kiehls ultra hydrating lotion and my skin has never looked better!
    P.S. I would love the meditating challenge!

  6. Megan, I just love your morning routine posts!

    I started going to my work out classes in the morning after reading your 5 am wakeup rationale ~2 years ago and i am hooked! I also go through trends of using a meditation app in the AM as well, there’s a “morning meditation in bed” that really makes me feel centered AND feel accomplished before my feet even touch the ground. I’ve yet to try journalling but let’s be honest, i’ll probably try it at least once because all your other suggestions have fit my life so well!

    I’m curious if your skincare routine has updated now that you are promoting kiehls – do you use a combo of this and colleen R? alternate days?

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