How did I go from hating morning routine to loving it by simply realizing one element.
We all have read couple articles maybe even scientific studies about how morning routines help us be more productive during our work day, how it kick-starts our days etc.
Sure, they are great, and we often read manuals or guides how to develop a morning routine that will help us. In most of them we can read something like this.
Do something active (jog, walk, quick workout), read news or book, have healthy breakfast and tea or coffee and, yeah, don’t forget to meditate.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of routines. They can be very helpful, once done right. What do I mean by that? Well, my routine is this:
- Wake up around 7 a.m. (depending on the day, sometimes I wake up at 5, sometimes later, but never after 7)
- Read one article still in bed
- Breakfast and coffee
- Watch one episode of TV series I currently watch
- Walk my dog
And then I do what I need to do, whether it is doing work for my company or writing. I can say with clear conscience that this routine works for me the best so far.
I did try to copy routines of some of the most powerful and influential people, but I couldn’t make it work, something was missing in there. While I was trying those routines, I kept thinking that if they make it work, I have to make it work as well. I mean I don’t have so much responsibilities and duties as they have, so there shouldn’t be a problem. Oh boy, was I wrong.
I couldn’t make it work and I tried for so long. It didn’t feel like a routine, it felt like a punishment. It felt like I need to talk myself into doing it every single morning and I certainly don’t want to start my day with that kind of mind set. After months of trying, I quit.
But I didn’t give up, I believed the science behind it, I just thought that I am missing something that will make it work for me. For a student, who has company, teaches English language and wants to write full time. Then I realized that I know where the problem is.
I tried to implement someone else’s routine into my life. Let that sink in.
Someone else’s routine into my world.
Does it sound crazy? No? Okay, try this. Imagine that you are letting someone else decide for you on every single day for couple hours, or even just one hour. If you are asking why you would do this, then read the quote again. Why do you even want someone else’s routine?
They are not tailored for your mornings, for your needs. Maybe you don’t like to eat breakfast, or you hate coffee, or you don’t have a dog. I know that when I wake up at 5 in the morning there is absolutely no chance that I will eat breakfast because I am way too much sleepy and I need to wake up before eating. Coffee? Sure, that I can do. But nothing else.
How I got to my routine then?
Well, at first, I had no idea how to actually build one. I started simple. I wrote down three things that I do every morning, with the exceptions when I wake up sooner than 7 o’clock. I had this written down:
- Walk my dog
- One episode
- Breakfast and coffee
And that was my base, I knew that if I want to be a bit more productive, I have to build around it, not replace it. Even if I tried, and I did, I wasn’t able to make it without watching that one episode or being nervous about something, being grumpy, fidgety etc. This way, I got what I wanted and later on I could actually focus on what I needed to do without this one distraction.
I know that you might find this a bit peculiar, but it works for me and some other people. Not the same routine but having that one distraction is like blowing off steam for me. I although had to work hard and still sometimes have to fight the urge to watch another episode, but after some time I hope I will get to that place where only one episode will be enough.
In order to, however, feel a bit better I had to add reading an article every morning, to develop at least some kind of reading habit. Now, I have to stop myself from reading another article, because then I know that I will get stuck on that and my day will be a bit off balance.
How do I build my routine?
I can’t tell you what you should do in your routine but try to watch yourself and mark down some activities you do every morning for some time in different conditions. Do you wake up every day at the same time? Are you a breakfast person or no? Coffee, tea, water? Do you want distraction?
And then try to stick to it and if you manage to stick to it, build around it what you want to have in your morning routine. But don’t you dare to cut from your base. That base is untouchable, and nothing should change in it.
That’s the only thing I can tell you. You have to build your own routine tailored just for you. Not for your sister, brother, Barack Obama or Gates or whoever. You. You are important in this story and you should be aware of it.
If you want to meditate, add that to your base. If you want to stare at white wall, add it. The morning routine is about starting your day right, but RIGHT FOR YOU, not anybody else.
Thank You for reading!