Best New Morning Routine

I’ve experimented a lot with morning routines in the past because they are so overly-written about and each one claims to be the secret sauce for overnight success. I don’t buy into any of that garbage but I am in favour of a morning routine, providing it’s simple, for two reasons:

1) It reduces decision fatigue. Anytime you can wake up and take care of the first hour of your day without thinking about it, you’ll be in better condition to make important decisions throughout the day

2) If you create the routine around something you look forward to, then it starts your day off on a positive note, and it’s less likely that trivial things will bring down that mood throughout the day.

Lately, as work has basically consumed my life over the past four weeks, I’ve started a simple routine of waking up, making the bed, brushing my teeth, throwing on a t-shirt and shorts, and walking out the door. I take a 20-30 minute walk around the neighborhood - without headphones - and just breathe the fresh air, admire the relatively quiet streets, let my mind wander, and listen to the sounds of the city as it wakes up.

What’s interesting is that I really haven’t missed the walk once since I started doing this, and now I look forward to it every morning so even when I’m tired, it’s easy to pull myself out of bed. This is even a better routine for me than running. While it’s important to me to run plenty of miles throughout the week, I’ve never been great at running first thing in the morning. I easily hit snooze or make an excuse that I don’t have enough time (to run, shower, etc).

With the walk, I don’t really care if I am only out for 15 minutes, whereas I would think a 15-minute run was a waste of time.

I do expect work to calm down next week as I move to a new project, but I don’t expect my morning routine to change. If you’re looking for your own routine to get you in a positive mindset for the day, I suggest making it easy/obvious, and more importantly, something to which you will look forward.

Thanks for reading.

Mike

Tompkins Square Park on a quiet Tuesday morning