I always thought I had a morning routine, until I quit my full time job to take time out for myself, go travel and launch my own business. Suddenly, there was nothing I had to get up for. Noone was going to complain if I didn’t make it to the office by 8:30a.m. I found myself sleeping in longer and longer, eating breakfast at random times, and quite quickly my energy levels and ability to focus took a decline. I felt as though I was a long way from where I used to be, where I should be, and realised that my lack of a proper start to the day wasn’t setting me up to be productive, or even to enjoy my day to the best of my ability.
I’m not writing this to advocate for any particular practice included in this routine. I did want to share with you what I do each morning, and make recommendations to anyone who’s looking for an outline morning routine. I know there’s loads of people out there who explains what they do in the morning. The difference with this routine is that I’m a normal guy. Not an ex-navy seal. Not a neuroscientist. Not a millionaire who can afford the optimal treatment in all aspects of life. Just a regular middle-class guy trying to get by.
- Wake up around 6:15a.m. Hit the alarm and get out of bed within 30 seconds. No snooze alarm.
- Get dressed.
- Brush teeth, splash some water on face.
- Drink 500ml of water with electrolytes.
- Go outside and get some sunlight.
- While outside, either take a walk or do some stretching.
- Five or six minutes of breath-work (e.g. State App)
- Twenty-ish Minutes of Meditation
After this, you can either start your day, or follow it up with some reading, writing a gratitude journal, or even get in your workout. It depends on what you have going on. The above works for me as it hit’s the essentials no matter what I’m doing for the day. Personal Hygiene. Check. Movement. Check. Sunlight to set circadian rhythm. Check. Mindfulness. Check.
I usually either read or make a start on some low mental-input work to start ramping into the day. If I had to commute, I’d probably throw on a podcast if driving, or read a book if using public transport.
Have your first caffeine at least an hour and a half after you wake up (if you take caffeine). This gives your body chance to finish processing the substances that make you feel sleepy, and stops a mid-afternoon crash. I have Andrew Huberman to thank for this tip.
So there you go, a morning routine that takes around a hour to work through, but sets you up well for the day. I started off making this my only goal for the day. I told myself I had one job. Do the routine. After that I could waste the day, but if I did the routine I’d be successful and could feel like I’d achieved something. After doing the routine for a month, it’s not my standard practice and requires no effort, and leaves me feeling ready to start the day. Give it a go for a week and see what you think.