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Don't Check Your Phone: 34 Things to Do When You Wake Up

Don't Check Your Phone: 34 Things to Do When You Wake Up

“Over my 50 years in business I have learned that if I rise early I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life.”

- Richard Branson

Checking your phone is always tempting. The invention of instant messaging has caused people to become addicted to their phones.

Once in awhile we all need to be reminded that it is ok to step away from the phone and take a moment for yourself. This is especially important in the morning, which Richard Branson believes is an incredibly important part of our daily routine.

The morning can set the tone for the rest of our day. If we wake up and see rain pouring down outside it can instantly give us a negative outlook.

It is the same with our phones. If we check our phone first thing in the morning we might see tasks from yesterday that haven’t been completed yet, messages that need to be replied to today, or celebs that are looking far more glamorous than us at 8 o’clock in the morning. This causes us to immediately begin thinking, planning and often worrying about the future rather than preparing ourselves for a productive and enjoyable day.

Don’t let that happen to you. Place your phone far away from your bed so that in the morning you are not tempted to check it and pick an activity from the list we’ve provided and inspire yourself to tackle the day ahead.

What do you do in the mornings instead of check your phone? Let us know of any great ideas you might have to start your day off right!

34 things to do when you wake up:


This technique is very popular with entrepreneurs and celebrities for good reason, It allows you to organize your thoughts and provides you with a moment of quiet before the day begins. There are many different ways to meditate, the technique you chose should be one that works for you. The aim of meditation is to clear your mind. You can try it by finding a quiet place to sit, setting an alarm so you don’t lose track of time, closing your eyes and concentrating completely on your breathing. Ignore everything else and focus on your breaths.

Practice mindfulness

This is a technique derived from meditation and can teach you to live in the present moment instead of letting your mind spiral out of control. It’s a particularly useful technique to practise if you are distressed or have a worry on your mind. Meditation is about clearing your mind. Mindfulness is about focusing on the world around you.

Try this technique: When you wake up count five items you can see in your room like a pretty picture, a photograph of your family, the walls that you painted in your favourite colour, anything. You can do this with all five senses. It allows you to focus on the moment and to appreciate your immediate environment.

Write a list of things to do today

This will help you figure out your day so that your aren’t confused later. Carry this list with you all day and tick tasks off as you go. If you get a new task or remember one then add it to the list. This will show you that you are making progress and you’ll feel great when you get to tick off the last task of the day.

Write a list of things you did yesterday

While writing a list of thing to do today will allow you to get organized, it may also make you feel like it’s not worth leaving your cozy bed. Writing a list of things you have already accomplished will make you feel accomplished before you even leave your bed and will invigorate you to go out and tackle your daily challenges.

Get dressed

You will feel prepared for your day if you are already dressed by the time you have your morning coffee. In the morning you brain is probably not up to the task of picking out what to wear, so lay out your clothes the night before. This means all you need to do is reach out and pull on your outfit for the day.

Pull on your bathrobe

Perhaps you aren’t ready to get dressed immediately. Getting dressed involves too much thinking and moving about so if you can’t face trousers then pull on your bathrobe instead. This allows you to roll out of bed and start your day rather than lying in bed staring at your phone.

Brush your teeth

As you sleep your mouth produces less saliva and this allows an influx of bacteria, which is why it’s important to brush in the morning. Many people brush their teeth after they’ve had breakfast but acids in food weaken tooth enamel meaning that brushing soon after eating can damage enamel. The strong, fresh taste of the mint in toothpaste can also increase your mental alertness. This makes brushing your teeth the perfect activity to do first thing in the morning.

Drink a glass of cold water

We are always told to drink lots of water but rarely told why. Drinking cold water helps you to lose weight, improves the condition of your skin and improves your immunity. Like brushing your teeth, drinking cold water will freshen your dry mouth in the morning, making you feel less sleepy and more alert.


Books are an endless supply of knowledge, ideas and thoughts. Books can confuse or force you to question your own ideas. They can provide you with information or remind of an emotion you felt when you were a child. Many leading industry professionals such as Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg read regularly, even running online books clubs or blogging about their favourite reads. Books have a strange power so take advantage of this resource and start your day reading a few pages from a great book.

Morning pages

They are a great way to pour out your thoughts and emotions onto the page. There doesn’t need to be any order or organization, morning pages are all about clearing the gunk from your brain. You can then put them aside while you get on with your your day. It also stimulates your brain and gets rid of any words r writing that may be clogging up your mind.

Morning drawing

Perhaps writing is not for you. If you are a creative type then you might prefer drawing a picture as a way to express your inner thoughts or a crazy you have woken up from. These pages are completely personal and private and can be used for anything. You can rip or scribble all over them if you need to.


While we sleep our body can end up in all kinds of strange positions, causing us to feel the need to stretch out our body as soon as we wake up. This of course improves flexibility and range of motion, but it also increases blood flow to the muscles meaning your muscles are being provided with nutrients. Stretching can also increase balance, coordination and the increased flexibility means your muscles won’t have to work as hard to maintain good posture.


Get your body moving however you can. Climb out of bed and perform a few press-ups, jumping jacks or run up and down the stairs twice. Do anything that will raise your heart-rate and get adrenaline pumping through your system. Exercise will stimulate your body and mind, making you more energetic and trigger your mind for the day ahead.

Take a cold shower

Jumping into a cold shower first thing in the morning can have a positive long-lasting impact on your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems. It also increases your metabolism and can help treat symptoms of depression as the cold causes your body to release mood-boosting neurochemicals.


It has all the benefits of exercise and a cold shower. Swimming is slow and steady yet works the entire body so it is an excellent sport for everyone. And you can jump into the steam room afterwards.

Go for a walk

Walking can allow you to exercise your body and practice mindfulness. Experience the fresh air and take in your surroundings, whether it is natural scenery or the big city. Try to walk at a brisk pace, this will push your body, make your muscles work and kick-start your metabolism.

Put the right food in your body

It’s easy to start the day with a bowl of chocolate cereal, a bagel or even skip breakfast altogether but everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Try adding fruit to cereal, cooking yourself a healthy breakfast of avocado and egg or attempt different recipes for a delicious energizing smoothie.


If you are religious then the early hours of the morning are an excellent way to reconnect with your beliefs. When you wake up say a few words or sit quietly and consider your life, your family and your faith.

Make a cup of coffee for everyone in the house

This will give you a chance to check in on and greet the people you live with, whether that’s family or friends, and do them all a favor. Everyone will appreciate the gesture, it will allow you to reconnect with everyone under your roof and you will have already had a productive start to the morning.

Listen to or read uplifting articles or radio programs

Reading is a fantastic way to start the day, reading uplifting content is an even better way to begin. It will provide you with a positive outlook on your day and give you the motivation to go out and help others.

Review your life goal

Do you have a passion? An all consuming life-long dream? No? That’s ok!

Many articles suggest you need a huge aim like starting your own business or writing a life-changing book but that is not true. Your life goal can be something as life affirming as supporting your family or making those around you feel good. Consider what’s most important to you and use that as motivation to look forward to the day ahead.

Do one small thing towards that life goal

If you know what you want out of life then try doing one thing first thing in the morning towards that. Instead of bothering to get dressed, you could get head to your desk, write a complimentary note and give that to someone you care about. Don’t give yourself a big task early in the morning, instead do something small that will take you one step closer to achieving your goal.

Appreciate your life

It is so easy to worry and wonder how you can improve your life. There is always something to do, something to change or something that might go wrong. Take a few minutes each morning to remind yourself of all the good things you have in your life. Think of five positive things in your life and asses your priorities. It could be your children, a cherished memory, or something as simple and important to your wellbeing as a hobby you enjoy.

Wash your face

By washing your face each morning you will wake yourself up and clean away any dirt or irritants that might have clung to your skin as you slept. However, washing your face too often can remove essential oils and leave your skin unprotected against the elements so be careful and use gentle products.

Brush or style your hair

Or do anything you know will make you feel confident. If you enjoy styling your hair then doing this first thing in the morning will make you feel positive about your appearance even if you are still wearing your old pjs. Feel fresh and hold your head up high to start out your day out feeling good.

Tidy or clean your room

This might not be for everybody but organizing your home can have fantastic impact on your mental health. When you wake up each morning, wouldn’t it be nice to know everything is in its place? You could tidy away yesterday’s clothes, put the washing on, or wipe down the windows. This will set you up for a day in a pleasant and inspiring environment.

Organize a particular project

Do you have one task that is bothering you? Then write it down and separate the task into manageable chunks. Depending on your deadlines, you probably don’t have to do the entire project in one day so plan to do a little bit today then stop. Organizing a task will seem much simpler and far more manageable.

Research a “side hustle”

A side hustle is a part-time project you can start to make money. If this feels like a stressful activity then don’t do it, your morning if for you. But if this sounds fun and inspirational then try it. There are millions of ideas out there to enjoy scanning through.

Begin your side hustle

If you find an idea that you like then why not work on this idea a little bit each morning. It may provide you with a thrill to be working on your own project outside of work and, if it all goes well, there is the potential for your side hustle to become your passion or full-time income.

Prepare your lunch

If you enjoy cooking and exploring new recipes then this one could be for you. Use the first ten minutes of your day to put together a lunch with a twist. Maybe throw some seaweed, berries or crocodile meat in your lunch and try something new every day.

Play a game

Brain teasers and puzzles can be a great way to fire up your brain in the morning. If you enjoy sudoku or playing cards then this would be a fun and fascinating way to get into a problem solving frame of mind.

Open all the windows

Letting in natural light will help you to wake up by telling the animalistic part of your mind that the sun is up and it’s time for you to get moving. Natural light is also an excellent mood-booster after you’ve been sitting (or sleeping) in a dark room, research has shown that it can make you more productive, happier, healthier and calmer.

Make your bed

This is a great thing to do. You are already by your bed so you certainly won’t have to go far, it’s simple activity so your early morning brain won’t have to think too hard, and it will give you a small sense of pride, encouraging you to move onto your next task of the day.

Put together a morning routine

Everyone is different and needs a unique routine. Some people may be happy doing the same thing every morning, others may want variety like going out for a jog one day and drinking coffee in bed the next. Spend your morning putting together a list of personalized and inspiring activities that you could do instead of checking your phone.

Any of these activities will make you feel far more inspired and energized for you day than checking your phone. The phone screen may by bright and imposing enough to keep your eyes open when you first wake up but it certainly won’t help you stay awake and if you have access to emails or instant messenger apps then seeing new messages arrive will only cause you more worry.

You cannot enjoy your life if you aren’t living it, that’s why you need to take time for yourself and ensure you have time to recognize your own needs before responding to the rest of the world.

Try out one of the activities we have listed and let us know if it works! Or even better, try out lots of ideas from this list. Not everything will work for you, we are all unique, but if one of these activities sounds like a positive way to start you day then give it a go.

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