The Morning Routine: Forming The Most Important Keystone Habit

(Note: This article is based on my previous post from my previous (now defunct blog): The Morning Ritual: Injecting Routine In Your Day To Boost Productivity.

It’s amazing what a little bit of routine can do for your productivity.

For the last month, I’ve been formulating and following a morning routine from the moment I get up. I’ve learned, from tracking my experience over the last few days, that the simple activity of doing an action every morning allows you to get into the mindset you’ll need for a successful day.

Ask yourself: What did you do this morning? And what did you do yesterday? Was it the same?

We all wake up with a blank slate every morning, a chance to have an awesome, productive, successful day. A morning routine will help set the path for an awesome day to follow.

In the video below, you’ll see my morning routine. It’s a simple process.

My *Past* Morning Routine

1) As soon as I get on my computer, I activate Freedom, a simple app that turns off the Internet, for 30 minutes.

2) I drink a liter of cold water. This jumpstarts my metabolism and makes me feel great during the day.

3) I journal 2 pages in my LiveScribe Notebook. Part of my journal includes my MITs (Most Important Todos) of the day, so I know exactly what I have set for me.

At this point, I will still have 10-15 minutes of Freedom left–so I’ll turn on my computer and start working on whatever is the most important task of the day. Restricting access to Internet is the most successful way, at least for me, to really focus on a task and get work done.

The Morning Routine habit makes creating new habits very easy

One of the biggest benefits of creating a Morning Routine is that you can easily add a new habit into the routine. For example, if I decide that, after Journaling 2 pages, I want to write 1000 words for a blog post, I can simply add it as step 4) of my routine. The main habit is the Routine itself—after that, everything else is just a sub-step.

Some other successful peoples’ morning routines

Leo Babauta’s Morning Routine is similar.

  1. Wake at 4:30 a.m.
  2. Drink water.
  3. Set 3 Most Important Things (MITs) for today.
  4. Fix lunches for kids and myself.
  5. Eat breakfast, read.
  6. Exercise (run, bike, swim, strength, or yardwork) or meditate.
  7. Shower.
  8. Wake wife & kids at 6:30 a.m.

Tim Ferriss has one as well (paraphrased from Leo’s excellent Sea Change program)

  1. Wake up and brush teeth, boil water, and set up his thermos and tea.
  2. Immediately write, without eating or using the Internet

Simple, right? Do it immediately upon waking, and you can pump out your most important tasks of the day.

So what about you? What is your morning routine?

Try instituting a repeated process for the next week, immediately upon waking, and WRITE IT DOWN. You’ll see some instant benefits immediately.

Tell me below, in the comments, what your routine is.

One thought on “The Morning Routine: Forming The Most Important Keystone Habit

  1. Mine is not nearly as noble, but its my survival routine none-the-less.
    Up at 5:30. Get a cup of coffee. Get self fixed up, dressed and ready for the day.
    Drink a glass of water and take vitamin C.
    Check emails. I do still work a job and am not available during the day. I want to make sure I don’t leave any customers hanging.
    Make breakfast and lunch. Fill water bottle to take. Plan dinner.
    Eat while making to-do list for the day, listening to the news and weather to see what’s going on in the world.
    Read or listen to something motivational.
    Leave house at 7:15.

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