The Morning Routine
Show me a person who says that they sleep well every single night and I’ll show you a liar. These days people are lucky if they can string together 3-4 consecutive days where they get, what is defined as a full night of uninterrupted sleep. The problem isn’t just with getting to bed earlier; it’s using the little time we have more efficiently.
"Life Moves Pretty Fast. If You Don’t Stop And Look Around Once In A While, You Could Miss It". Ferris BuellerThat way, we could all get some alone time after work, a chance to catch up on chores and hobbies and spend some time with our partner and kids. Hell, we might even be able to go to bed before 12 o’clock feeling like we’ve had a productive and satisfying day. Well, this all starts by creating a great morning, a routine that will help push your brain into high gear and allow you to get things done. A routine that will ensure you start the day with a series of wins.
Is There Such a Thing as "Starting the Day Right?"First things first – with all the conflicting advice and people talking about different habits being better for specific temperaments and character traits, can we really use such broad generalizations? Yes and no. Yes, we all need roughly the same amount of sleep, based on our age bracket and activity levels. We also need a bit of time to prime our brain in the morning, and we definitely all benefit from some movement and solid nutrition. No, we don’t all need to go for a run at 7 AM, nor can we all stomach a big meal for at least a couple of hours after waking up. That’s why you’ll need to find a good general template and modify certain aspects to fit your lifestyle and goals. If you aren’t sure what would work best for you, try out different strategies for a few days. Switch between strategies each week and see which approach had you feeling the most energized and focused.
Your Circadian Rhythm Also Has a Say in ThisThe circadian rhythm falls into the category of general rules that are true for almost everyone. It is the body’s natural clock, and it’s affected by light. That’s why a good morning routine is closely connected to a solid evening routine – you can’t wake up feeling fresh if you’ve hardly slept the night before. Read: Understanding the Role of Light and How it Wakes Us Up Here are a few ground rules for keeping your circadian rhythm nice and balanced:
- Leave 30-60 minutes between bedtime and when you start preparing for bed.
- Keep the temperature just right (One study found that the temperature of the room where you sleep is one of the most important factors in achieving quality sleep).
- No screens and bright lights in bed for at least 10-15 minutes before going to bed
- No planning and thinking about chores in bed. Use the time to read or reflect on your day; journaling is a great way to clear your mind.
- Warm showers (cold ones in the summer) and relaxing music are your friends.
- Leave the curtains open so that the natural sunlight will wake you up in the morning if sunrise aligns with your time to get up. If not, make sure your light exposure in the morning is sufficient enough to wake you.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Morning Routine?Well, we could sit here and talk about the morning routines of successful businessmen and celebrities, but the truth is that most of them developed these routines after attaining success, out of necessity and when control of their time was more feasible. That’s why you hear silly stuff that has little carryover or application to most of us. And we’re not here to tell you to ask Alexa to turn on the jacuzzi to just the right setting and prepare a kale smoothie with extra quinoa. That being said, a lot of these people have gotten to where they are now due to, at least in part, hard work. It’s safe to say that they’ve always had some form of a morning routine and a plan for the day, week, and even the whole year. While the price tag on the equipment changed over the years, and some of the steps on their list became comically spoiled, the principle remained the same. Having a structured morning routine consisting of several clearly defined steps and a precise timeline has allowed numerous people to get their lives together. It can give you the extra time, energy and focus to go after your goals.
What Can I Do to Create One for Myself?As we’ve mentioned, you don’t need specialized equipment or overpriced gadgets, all you need is the desire to live on form, determination, perseverance coupled with some solid direction. After you become more successful, you can feel free to add ultra-expensive coffee makers and morning massages to the list, but for now, a basic routine will do just fine. Here are a few things you can do to create a great morning routine:
- Get up at least 60-90 minutes before you need to be out of the door or at your home office desk.
- Devote at least 10 minutes to a light physical activity to get the blood pumping.
- Have several outfits already put-together, ironed and waiting for you in the closet.
- A quick shower is the best way to wash away that drowsiness.
- Have some form of breakfast, some protein and fresh fruit or veg as a staple.
- Use nootropics, coffee, tea.
- Grab a piece of paper or a journal and make a to-do list for the day.
- Do something that relaxes you for 15-20 minutes, listen to a podcast, watch some YouTube videos or read.