What makes a good morning routine?
To me, a good one isn’t one you copy from Elon Musk or Warren Buffett. It’s the one that you want to do and actually works for you.
A good morning routine can prepare you for the day ahead, but a bad one can also break your day. While there are many principles on what a morning routine should look like, I believe that a good one prepares you for action. It can be as simple as grabbing coffee and getting started with work, to something complex with workouts and time for learning.
However, you should start your day without distractions. Don’t reach for email, Twitter, or even your text message. Postpone your morning check-in and use the first hour of the day about you.
Footballers have superstitions and routines before they step on the pitch. Rafael Nadal places his sports drink and water bottles the same way and takes a cold shower as part of his pre-game ritual. A morning routine aims to do something similar, as it primes you for the day ahead.
The popular notion is that you have to wake up at 5 am to do these morning routines. I don’t agree. Morning routines are supposed to set you up for a great day instead of causing sleep deprivation. Since everyone’s schedules and demands are different, pick the time that works for you. There’s nothing wrong with starting your day in the afternoon if you work late at night. Sure, it’s not exactly a morning routine, but the concept is the same: a routine you do upon waking up that prepares you for the day. If you don’t like calling it a morning routine, call it a startup routine.
If you’re just starting with morning routines, start simple. Make it as simple as having a drink, showering, and ignoring your phone. Once you’re comfortable with it, experiment and see what you can add. Too often, we start big, then fall flat a few days later. The alternative is to start small and use the success to propel you forwards.
That being said, here’s how my morning routine currently looks like
- Make bed
- Take 3 deep breaths
- Do 10 pushups
- Plan day/do 5 minutes of journaling
- Read 20 pages of a book
It usually takes me about 40 minutes to get done with everything, but it works for me. Some days I just drink some water and get started with work. Some days, I don’t get to do all of these. But I don’t let perfection get in the way and try to get 1 or 2 simple ones done. And sometimes, I don’t even do it in the morning.
How do your mornings look like?