Subconsciously, I've always been a fan of routines. However, over the last 3-4 years, I've become much more aware and driven by them, specifically morning routines.
I've learned that by having morning rituals you love and look forward to, you wake up each day with excitement and energy, ready to tackle everything. Additionally, these routines help alleviate decision fatigue, which will begin to set in after you've made a series of decisions.
By having a morning routine, you make far less decisions early in the day, allowing you to save your brain for when you have far bigger and more important choices to make. The early part of your day is already planned and likely even optimized to exactly how you want it.
Steve Jobs for example always wore jeans and a black turtleneck. Why?
Was Jobs just a lover of denim and turtlenecks?
No, he was a lover of saving his brain for later in the day when he was forced to make far more difficult decisions. Not having to choose what to wear was just one more choice he didn't have to make.
So what are some examples of great morning rituals? First I'll list off 7 of my favorite routines, then follow it up with some examples from other successful individuals.
1) Wake up earlier than you need to
2) Do not check your phone or email until you're already out the door
3) Do morning activities in the same order each day: ie, shower, breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, then feed the dog
4) Stop at Starbucks for your morning coffee
5) Listen to podcasts on your way to work (a few of my favorites: Tim Ferriss, Joe Rogan, and the Art of Charm)
6) Know what you'll be working on first -- Eat the Frog (or tackle your biggest task first)
7) Know your body/mind (ie: I am most creative in the am, so that's when I do most of my work)
Some Morning Rituals from successful people who inspire me:
Tim Ferriss - Journals each morning for about 5 minutes, also does meditation
Tony Robbins - Tony goes into great depth about his AM rituals in this podcast interview for Tim Ferriss and Four Hour Workweek (4HWW), which includes Cryotherapy, ice baths and daily priming
Joe Rogan - Swears by his kale shakes and Caveman Coffee
Speaking of morning routines and coffee, each morning I get four shots of espresso hand-crafted by my favorite local Starbucks barista, who 99.99% of the time will write me notes on my cup.
I'm also a firm believer that weekends should have a routine that match your weekdays, so I don't veer much from what works. The only change is I'll go to another coffee shop later in the morning, after my first Starbucks visit. Often times I'll get another 4 espresso shots. For those keeping track and good with the math, that's 8 shots of espresso. And that makes it go time. Talk about creativity and productivity...I'm off the charts until the early afternoon.
P.S. Remember, the left coast is the best coast and because of that, our coffee rules. Check out this book about the best of West Coast coffee.