An observation on morning routines

Thanks to podcasters like Tim Ferriss, it’s become acceptable to ask people about their morning routines.

Questions like:

“What does the first 30min of your day look like?”,

“What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning” and

“What’s your morning routine?”

They provide a fascinating insight into the minds of those who respond and, while the answers can be mixed and varied, there is one clear pattern. 

Most high functioning humans, or those you might consider a ‘pro’ in their industry, start their day proactively.

When asked a question like the above, they rarely respond:

“Well, I grab my phone and begin the morning scroll.

First, I open Facebook to see what memes I’ve been tagged in, then Instagram to check whether anyone posted a story of their perfect morning, Snapchat is next because ZOMG Chloe went to Maccas last night, then Twitter to get my dose of clickbait headlines, then back to Instagram because I forgot I already checked it, then Messenger to see if someone messaged me in their sleep, then Whatsapp because some of my friends don’t like Messenger, then iMessage given mum doesn’t understand Whatsapp, then my Gmail to clear out the spam, then Snapchat again to re-watch Chloe’s Snap and then I realise I’m running late, don’t have time for a shower and sprint out the door…”

So, why not?

I mean, what’s wrong with starting your day with some version of the above?

It’s chaotic, for starters. I’m exhausted just typing that out. But most importantly it’s reactive

A morning routine that starts with picking up your phone is a morning routine that encourages and welcomes other people, other products and other services to dictate your mood and intention for the day. 

You can’t help but react to the stimulus.

So instead, try the opposite.

Whether it’s making your bed, having a cold shower, meditating, writing, doing push-ups, brewing a cup of tea or all of the above, these small, proactive tasks can set the tone for a more productive and creative day.

You don’t need to go Jocko Willink on the situation and commit to a 4.30am workout every morning (followed by an Insta of your watch), or drink a green smoothie with 17 vegetables followed by an hour of monk-like meditation.

Instead, try starting really small.

Just 5 minutes.

And ask yourself: in this 5 minutes, how might I start the day more proactively?