My ADHD Morning Routine + Checklist | Millionaire Morning Routine

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ADHD Morning Routine with Checklist

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Hello! It feels a little surreal to be writing a post about having a ~routine~, because, well, I wouldn’t say that I’m a *routine* person. As someone with a LOT of ADHD if you had asked me a few years ago if I’d ever have a morning routine, I would have laughed in your faceI

Oh how the winds of change blow!

I’ve figured out some pretty KEY things about building my own ADHD morning routine, and today I’m sharing those updates with YOUUUU! In this post, I’m sharing how I built (emphasis on BUILT) my morning routine – what I call “My Millionaire Morning Routine.”

I built my ADHD morning routine over TIME. I know we ADHD kids love to try to overhaul our lives in a weekend, but that’s just not reasonable, imho!

business and career coach brianne huntsman
Hey, ADHD friend! My name is Brianne Huntsman, AKA “The Huntswoman”! I’m so excited to share my ADHD morning routine with you on this post, and I hope you find it super helpful! I’ve linked more of my in-depth ADHD guides below, as well as my socials if you want to connect there! <3

As someone who owns multiple businesses, and has purposefully designed and built my life to do whatever the HECKKKK I WANT – routines didn’t really factor into that.

I have designed and built my life to do whatever the HECKKKK I WANT

“Having a routine” sounds, frankly, boring.

Super duper boring. UGH.

If you’re also on this level, read on, friend!! Routine doesn’t have to be boring, and I’ve found different ways of adjusting my ADHD morning routine to keep myself engaged.

Heads up, this blog post was first published on January 20, 2022. Since then, I’ve updated it a BUNCH, with the last update on my ADHD morning routine on August 25, 2023.

This blog post is all about my ADHD morning routine!

ADHD Morning Routine with Checklist
Me on Twitter talking about a ~morning routine~

ADHD Morning Routine

I eventually got on board with having a morning routine, because I started time tracking. Time tracking is a great way to figure out where your time is ACTUALLY going and how much time you ACTUALLY have (I use it to help with “time blindness” that comes with having ADHD). I track what I’m doing every time I switch tasks or do something else. I literally just do it in my iPhone Notes App.

Anyways, I started time tracking and I was SHOCKED to see how long my morning routine takes me. – I realized that it was taking me over 2.5 hours to get ready and go out for the day.

That’s right, 2.5 HOURS!

“Why is my morning routine taking TWO FREAKING HOURS?!” -Me to me

ADHD morning routine
Pls sir, may I have an ADHD morning routine meme?

Now, I’m not one of those utilitarian or fascist people who think you should only spend X minutes getting ready for the day! If you want to spend 4 hours or 14 hours getting ready, I’m here for that! [Also, uh, maybe drop your fave products in an email to me, because I love learning about beauty products!]

No, I was [am] miffed at myself for taking 2.5 hours to get ready in the morning – because it didn’t make sense. I should be spending about an hour – but it was taking me forever.My morning routine includes some makeup, but I wasn’t like, doing a full face and contouring the crap out of my cheeks – doing things that take time.

ADDITIONALLY, I felt like I had BURNED THROUGH a lot of my attention and focus my 10AM, just trying to get myself READY for the day. UGH.

ADHD Morning Routine with Checklist

I felt like I had BURNED THROUGH a lot of my attention and focus my 10AM, just trying to get myself READY for the day.

After time tracking, I knew I needed to figure out a different approach to my morning routine. I was losing my best “brain time” to flailing around in my bathroom in the AM.

An Attitude of Experimentation is KEY!

“Ok, self,” I said to myself. “We’re going to figure this out.”

I did a LOT of testing and playing around with things, and I think that’s the key to start with here. You want to treat yourself like your own little experiment. Test things! Try doing things in a new way! Half the time, I build out a new little system so it feels NEW, and I can get a bit o’ serotonin! My ADHD brain LURVES new things.

I really think that you must engage in this process with an ATTITUDE of EXPERIMENTATION.

ADHD Morning Routine – Figuring Out a Checklist

Ok,now that you’ve got your handy dandy attitude ready, here are the steps I used to figure out my ADHD Morning Routine!

ADHD Morning Routine – Creation STEPS

  1. Brain dump everything I want to do in the morning into my Notes App [This info helped me develop a Morning Routine Checklist! I share mine below!]
  2. Sort it // Organize it, grouping similar tasks together. Think of this sorting as putting things in different categories
  3. Time myself to see how long this stuff ACTUALLY takes
  4. ITERATE! Experiment with doing things at different times!

I included that third step ^^^^, because I wanted to leave space for the possibility that maybe I do need 2.5 hours for my ADHD Morning Routine!

But I was pretty sure I wasn’t – here’s why:

I spent every morning SCRAMBLING.

I kind of wish I had taken some time lapse videos of getting ready in the morning – I think it would’ve made for some COMEDIC TikTok content.

My ADHD mornings would’ve made for some COMEDIC TikTok content, LMAO.

I scrambled between rooms, walking around half dressed – toothbrush hanging out of my mouth – jumping from putting on facial moisturizer to choosing an outfit to realizing I forgot to floss to then remembering I needed to take my meds/vitamins. To then being like “Oh shit I need to eat something!”

I’m not sharing this to be overly dramatic, rather, I want you to know that if you feel a little bit insane about how YOUR morning goes, you’re not alone!

By the time I got *OUT* the door, I felt like I had lost a ton of executive function. And the day had just started!

I know [as a business owner, coach and consultant] that I need to preserve that executive function [brain power] for my business and tasks that grow my business ++ also in my creative work!

ADHD Morning Routine with Checklist
I wish my mornings looked like this, lol!

Develop an ADHD Morning Routine Checklist

I was tired of using my executive function on scrambling all morning long, so, I developed my Morning Routine Checklist!

Below, I have shared the specific steps I used to develop my ADHD Morning Routine – so you can create yours.

Step #1: ADHD Morning Routine – Braindump

I knew going into this that creating a Morning Routine would be an iterative process. It would evolve over time, and that’s ok!

The first thing I did was brain dump everything I wanted to do in the morning. I imagined myself going through my morning routine, and made a list.

I literally did this on my iPhone Notes App.

ADHD Morning Routine with Checklist

Example List of Morning To-Do’s:

  • Exfoliate in shower
  • Brush teeth
  • Wash face
  • Floss
  • Put on sunscreen
  • Moisturize skin
  • Say affirmations // do mirror work
  • Pick up bathroom floor
  • Use Listerine
  • Drink 8 oz water
  • Take meds & vitamins
  • Make bed
  • Get dressed
  • Micellar on face
  • Toner for face
  • Deodorant
  • Pick up bathroom floor
  • Pick up bedroom
  • Eat breakfast
  • Drink 8 oz water
  • Drink “health concoction” [this is my collagen, fiber & a few other things]
  • Meditate
  • Money manifestation practice in journal
ADHD morning routine

Step #2: Sort the ADHD Morning Routine Checklist into CATEGORIES

Ok, so looking at the list above, I soon realized I needed to organize my morning into segments or SECTIONS. Grouping like tasks with each other! I needed CATEGORIES.

Something I realized while doing this is that my categories or sorting didn’t always make a lot of sense. I didn’t rely on logic here, I sorted things by room, by desirability, habit stacking (more on that in a sec), etc. It doesn’t have to be LOGICAL, it just has to WORK!

It doesn’t have to be LOGICAL, it just has to WORK!

Category #1: Shower

  • Mark time started getting ready*
  • 3 Manifestation Pins*
  • Grab washcloth from under sink
  • Shampoo
  • Body Wash
  • Face Wash
  • Brush Teeth [I brush my teeth in the shower]
  • Get out / dry and put washcloth in hamper

Category #2: Bathroom – Round 1:

  • Floss
  • Listerine
  • Mirror work // affirmations
  • Drink 8 oz of water
  • Micellar for face
  • Toner for face
  • Deodorant
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Pick up bathroom floor
  • Put on makeup [if desired]

Category #3: Kitchen – Round 1

  • Drink 8 oz water
  • Get out pills/vitamins
  • Cook breakfast [eggs, bacon and avocado]
  • Send a note of love and thanks

Category #4: Bedroom

  • Make bed
  • Pick up bedroom floor
  • Get dressed

Category #5: Kitchen – Round 2

  • Eat breakfast
  • Take meds /vitamins
  • Health concoction
  • Drink 8 oz water

Category #6: Bedroom – Round 2

  • Meditation
  • Money Manifestation practice
  • Mark finish time

^^^ With these items, you’ll notice I’m SPECIFIC. I don’t put “Shower” or “Wash face.” I broke down literally every dang step! <3

You’ll also notice that I organize my ADHD morning routine by ROOM. I experimented and found this worked for me. I also go back to a room during different morning phases.

STEP #3: Try Out Different Line Ups

Ok, so you can see above that I organized my morning into phases and rooms. I want to be clear that this happened organically via TESTING. I literally tested doing things in different order, and then checked in with how I felt.

It looks organized in this post, but this was MORE than a bit messy as I tested things out!

STEP #4: Time To Track Your TIME

Tracking my time helps me “gut check” my internal judgements. I had a lot [a LOT] of negative self-talk around getting ready. Tracking how long it takes me to get ready helps combat that negative self-talk, and it also lets me know how I’m doing – routine wise!

ADHD Morning Routine with Checklist

4. What about working out? | | Morning Routine Checklist

Because I work out with one of my best friends, I don’t need to include that in my morning routine // ADHD checklist. We have a time that we meet at the gym [that I can walk to], so I just roll out of bed 20 minutes before and put on workout stuff.

I get nauseated if I eat before I workout, so [in my brain] this is pretty separate from my morning routine // getting ready.

5. Find ways to “Habit Stack” | Morning Routine Checklist

In his book, “Atomic Habits,” James Clear talks about “habit stacking,” This is where you take something you do regularly, and you attach a new habit to it.

I use this to take my meds and vitamins! I make eggs every morning, so I’ve trained my brain to associate grabbing my spatula with my meds. As soon as I grab my spatula, I remember my meds and vitamins.

Habit stacking FTW!

ADHD Morning Routine with Checklist
Details on this book here! [I listened to it on Audible!]

6. Print ADHD Morning Routine Checklist?

Some folks take the checklist they’ve made and print it out – so their phone isn’t in their hands as they get ready.

I find it’s easier for me if I can just pull up my Notes App, as I carry my phone from room to room.

ADHD Morning Routine with Checklist
When I start getting overwhelmed, I ask myself, “WHERE is the checklist?!”

BONUS ADHD Morning Routine Tip: Delete Social Media Apps

One of the reasons why it was taking me 2.5 hours – sometimes 3 hours!!! – to get ready was because I got sucked into social media.

Now, being on social media and engaging is part of my job. It’s part of my businesses.

Buuuut, I realized I could be more intentional about this time.

I don’t get on social media before 1PM, and I delete my social media apps on my phone multiple times a day.

I delete my social media apps on my phone multiple times a day.

Now, I don’t want to sound like one of those annoying people who is all snarky and judgey about folk spending time on social media.

Social media is a great tool, and it’s one of the ways I stay connected to other humans [especially after March of 2020!]

I don’t view it as “depriving myself.” I delete the apps because they take time to re-download – and going to re-download them often gives my cute and wonderful and brilliant ADHD brain time to go, “Wait, no! We’re getting ready. Not spending time on social media right now. We’ll say hi to our besties later this afternoon.”

I delete a social media app every time I close it. Doing this helps me be more intentional about connecting [not just mindlessly scrolling] while I’m on social media.

ADHD Morning Routine with Checklist

FINAL ADHD Morning Routine Tip: Cold Showers

Ok, so I kind of stumbled across this ADHD tip, as I had a pinched nerve in my back and was alternating hot and cold water in the shower.

Like, ICE COLD. I was desperate, baby!

When I got out of the shower, I realized I was WAYYYY energized and had FOCUS. Turns out this is a whole documented phenomenon (and cold showers aren’t for everyone — talk to YOUR doctor, mine cleared me!), and cold showers have CHANGED MY LIFE, adding way more focus and energy to my day.

I’m going to write a whole separate post on cold showers and my ADHD, but I wanted to give you that hot tip! The Huberman Lab podcast has a great episode on cold therapy!

ADHD Morning Routine – Next Steps

I hope that this blog post helped you make the most out of your mornings! I must admit that I was pretty skeptical about having a written morning routine – but I’m such a fan!

Having a Morning Routine Checklist helps me preserve my brain energy, as well as regularly do the self-care and adulting tasks I often forgot in the past [taking meds, flossing, etc].

This blog post was all about my ADHD morning routine!

ADHD morning routine

More ADHD Posts —>

Below, I’ve shared some ADHD-focused blog posts to help you work *with* your brain! My intention with these posts is to create a way for you to find new ways + tricks + helpful hacks to live your best life – and circumvent the guilt and negative self-talk that can often show up if you have ADHD!

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