Win the Morning, Win the Day: 7 Things I Do Before Heading to the Office

I have a confession to make- I am a morning person.

There’s just something energizing to me about waking up early, full of optimism and excitement for the day ahead!

Before you night owls judge me, I have to say that being a morning person has been so much harder with preschoolers. Before kids, I could wake up whenever I wanted and still get done the things that were most important.

Now, I have to be much more purposeful.

However, I truly believe in the following saying: “win the morning, win the day.”

When I start each day intentionally, I always feel better about myself and my accomplishments. On the flip side, when I start my day in reaction mode, I almost always feel like I’m treading water, struggling to stay afloat.

How about you? Have you ever noticed how your morning routine (or lack thereof) has impacted the rest of your day?

If desire to get more out of each day, perhaps it’s time to start winning each morning.


Here are the 7 Things I Do Before Heading to the Office:


1. Start the Night Before

In order to really win the morning you must start planning for it the night before. Get to bed at a reasonable, consistent time. Studies show that you will perform better if you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Even on the weekends.

On top of this, take care of the little things at night that will free you up in the morning to focus on the things that are most important. For me, this means prepping coffee and setting out my clothes for the day. You don’t want to waste any time or mental energy on the little things.


2. Wake up Early

I know I know. Some of you are already pushing back but this one is so key.  One of the major things I’ve learned from studying successful people is that almost all of them wake up early.

This isn’t flashy and this doesn’t come naturally for many people. But it’s vitally important if you want to win the day.

Wake up early enough so you can be proactive with your day. For me, this means 6 am.

What time is right for you? Simple- just work backwards from the time you need to be available for others. I know my kids will be up by 7 and I need about an hour of time for myself before I can turn my focus on other things and people.

This also means I am in bed around 10 pm so I can get between 7-8 hours of sleep.


3. Drink Water, then Coffee

The first thing I drink in the morning is a large glass of room temperature water. Your body needs lots of water and studies show that hydrating first thing in the morning fuels your body and fires up your brain. Most mornings, I can almost hear by body saying “Thank you!” with every sip.

Next…coffee. All the coffee.

When I prep my coffee the night before, I literally get excited in anticipation to enjoy that first cup of coffee.

When my alarm goes off I almost jump out of bed because that means it’s coffee time!

If you’re not a coffee lover, that’s fine!  Try to find something else that motivates you to get out of bed like tea or a smoothie.


4. Spend Time with God

Immediately after pouring my cup of coffee, I head to my favorite spot on the coach for a time of reading, prayer, and reflection. It’s amazing what a difference this makes.

Every day I am reminded that I am a part of a much bigger story than my own. While it can be human nature to get consumed with neverending tasks and worry, this time with God helps me focus on what’s important in life.

Here’s what my time consists of:

  • Bible reading
  • Prayer
  • Journaling (sometimes)
  • Being grateful

If having time with God is not part of your morning routine, I encourage you to give it a try!


5. Identify my top 3 priorities for the day

The last thing I do on my own before everyone else in my home is awake is review my top 3 priorities for the day.

Like everyone else, I have regularly scheduled meetings. I have emails to catch up on. On top of these, though, I’ve found it helpful to identify the three most important tasks that I could realistically accomplish that day.

I’m willing to bet if you prioritized your work day around getting 3 really important things done, you would be able to move many more things from your to-do list to DONE.

(For more information on productivity hacks like this, check out this post: How to Make the Most of Each Day: 4 Proven Productivity Hacks)


6. Make My Bed

Ok I have to be honest, most days my amazing wife makes our bed. However, I’ve found that there is just something motivating about spending 2 minutes to make sure the bed is made.

It makes sense though- how can we expect to do big things during our day if we can’t spend 2 minutes making sure a simple task like making the bed is completed?

I recently read great book by an retired Navy Seal who talks about this concept which I highly recommend:

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World


7. Spend time with my family

I love getting to spend at least 30 minutes with my family before heading to the office. Usually this involves eating breakfast, talking about our days, and sometimes even going for a walk.

Spending time with my family before heading to the office helps me put things into perspective. Besides my faith, my family is the most important thing in my life. Jobs will come and go, but my family will always be with me.



So there you have it- 7 things I do every morning before heading to work that helps me win the rest of my day!

If you’ve never paid too much attention to your morning routine, I challenge you to incorporate at least one new habit before heading to work that will set you up to succeed the rest of your day.

What does your morning routine look like?  I’d love to hear from you!

9 responses to “Win the Morning, Win the Day: 7 Things I Do Before Heading to the Office”

  1. Gayle says:

    I totally agree with the morning time with God. When I miss it, I can tell a difference in the day. I really like the idea of setting your three priorities each day. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jessica O'Neill says:

    I’ve been doing the water thing for a few years now, and it makes a HUGE difference! Especially since my work schedule is 7 to 4, so I wake up around 5:30 every day. I prep my water in my RTIC mug at night, and after I turn off my alarm I drink all 24oz before getting out of bed. It’s been a huge game-changer, and I don’t get sick as often either!
    I love the setting 3 goals/priorities for the day. 🙂

    • tom says:

      Wow Jessica that’s a lot of water! I’ve been drinking 8-12 oz but I’m going to increase that and see what happens! Thanks for posting!

  3. Carol Dykhouse says:

    LOVE THIS !!!!!!!! need to do the water thing for sure !!!

    thanks, I enjoy this !!

  4. Great tips, Tom! I’ll always struggle with waking up earlier, though 🙂



  5. Conrad Antaya says:

    Hi Tom.
    Even though I’m retired, I am still a morning person myself. I usually make coffee about 5:30 and get on my computer to read my devotional from Port City Church. I then read a number of papers (USA Today, Sun Journal, etc.). I then try to plan out my day. Usually nothing major 🤠.
    Keep up the good work. I enjoy your blog and look forward to updates.
    Conrad Antaya


September 26, 2017


Tom Skilling


Personal Development

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