Common on the journey of self-development is establishing a kick-ass morning routine. It may even be one of the first things you do when starting out.
I’ll bet that when you’ve had an amazing day, you’ve probably had an amazing morning. On the other hand, when you’ve had a crappy day, you’ve probably had a crappy morning.
So to carpe diem, you must carpe mane. Mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. No wonder you’ll find endless guides in the self-development community on how to wake up without hitting the snooze button, the top morning rituals of über-successful people, etc.
A strong morning routine is undoubtedly crucial to long-term energy, productivity, and success. And no two people’s morning routines are the same. Which is a good thing. Different rituals work for different individuals.
But many people screw up by constructing an overly elaborate, lengthy morning routine which actually ends up hurting them.
I know this is true because it was true for me. When I was a self-development newbie, my morning routine looked something like this:
9:00-9:05am: Brew coffee
9:05-9:15am: Watch a subliminal messaging video
9:15-9:45am: Read a book
10:05-10:15am: Journal/gratefulness exercises
10:15am-11:00am: Catch up on the world, check social media
11:00am: Begin homework/blogging/some other priority
Yes, my original routine seriously lasted two hours. Now I even feel silly writing it out, for I realize that no one needs two hours to get “warmed up” for their day.
Suffice it to say that this routine lasted only a few weeks before crumbling. First I no longer felt like meditating, then I no longer felt like watching any subliminal videos, then I no longer felt like journaling. Thus I gradually lost control of my mornings and began to slip back into indolence and unproductivity.
After a while, I realized that I was simply over-complicating matters. I did rituals I felt I needed to do but didn’t need to do at all.
People new to self-development tend to overcompensate for their previous lack of a morning routine by packing in so many rituals that they end up further procrastinating on their work and their goals. This is exactly what I was doing.
What does my morning routine look like now? Let me oblige:
9:00-9:05am: Brew coffee
9:05-9:35am: Catch up on the world
9:35am: Begin homework/blogging/some other priority
Much simpler and much more effective. I can dive right into my priorities with just as much, if not more, energy in thirty-five minutes than in two hours.
Now I still journal, read, and meditate, but I do those later in the day instead. I consider those my “rewards” after putting in a solid morning of work.
So simplify your morning routine. Keep it to one hour at the most. Do only two or three of your favorite rituals before getting down to business. Either cut out the rest or push them back to later in the day.