Do I Really Need A 10-step Morning Routine?

6.00 AM — wake up + drink water

6.05 — meditate

6.15 — bathroom routine

6.40 — journal

7.00 — plan the most important tasks of the day

7.15 — visualize how you want to show up for them

7.45 — stretch/go for a walk/run

8.30 — breakfast

9.00 — read

9.30 — write down any new ideas/ notes from your reading

10.00 — start your tasks/work

This sounds like a good day, almost like an off day, but I still get the feeling that after all these I’ll be tired. These days we are seeing plenty of videos and articles about miraculous morning routines that look similar to the one above, but how doable is it on a daily basis?

For most of us is not, and not because we are lazy, but because we are not robots. If you look at the schedule you’ll see there is barely time considered for changing clothes, cooking (for more than 1 person), showering, or simply enjoying an activity for more than 15–30 minutes. If you have to go to a 9 to 5 job, this routine is not even an option, unless you wake up at 4.00. Why are we so obsessed with this perfect morning routine?

We like when we can control what is happening around us, and making perfect schedules on paper gives us satisfaction, we are in charge. But then the next day comes, and you wake up 15 minutes later, you rush the meditation thinking about breakfast, you speed brush your teeth, you write about sleeping well in 2 minutes and that you’ll finish your tasks from yesterday, no need to write that down or visualize. You go out for a walk checking your watch constantly and decide to buy a croissant and some coffee because you don’t have enough time for cooking. Back home you feel like showering but you jump into reading a nice book, but of course, it is already 9.10, you’ve walked a bit more than 30 minutes, so you try your speed reading skills. After that, your brain is just fuzzy and you don’t feel inspired or like writing anything. You go and make another coffee because you already feel tired and then start your tasks with a long face. Sounds a little bit familiar?

If you managed to actually enjoy and benefit from a routine like this, congrats, that is amazing. But if you can’t make it work, don’t worry, the problem is not just you or your planning skills, the problem is humans don’t work the same as machines. You can’t just write a schedule and then have that programmed into your brain.

And then not all of us want or need so many steps before actually starting our day. I find that for me it works best if I pick 2 or 3 things to do in the morning, and they are not the same ones every day. I may read for an hour and write some stuff down, and of course, the usual getting ready and eating business. Or I may meditate and stretch, and so on. The thing that I never skip is a glass of water, right after waking up.

We need to learn to be flexible with our routines rather than creating stiff schedules that end up stressing us out. This is not to say that you shouldn’t push yourself to create a morning routine if you don’t have one at all. But maybe start 2 steps and add more or switch them up after 3 or 4 weeks. Not sure what to start with? Read here about the best habits to have in the morning.

We live in the optimization era, where everything has to function without interruption and without a mistake. Well, flash news that can be sustainable for human beings. It may be fantastic for your phone’s operating system, and we should celebrate the advancement, but let’s not get carried away and have some boundaries when it comes to how we function.

Next time you are reading about someone’s insane morning routine ask yourself:

1. What part of this routine do I actually like?

2. Will it make me more prepared and hyped about the day ahead?

3. Can I integrate it without causing too much disruption? Or replace an existing habit?

You get the gist of it. Never copy someone’s way of doing things step by step, they don’t know you. Make it yours.

Read more about how to revivify your lifestyle here.

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