I hate mornings, but I love morning routines.
I’m a firm believer in the idea that the first 1-2 hours of one’s day should be completely routine to avoid decision fatigue, simply by saving your energy for more important decisions that might come up during the day.
So I make sure to follow a pretty strict morning routine. Some days I fail to follow each step, especially when I’m traveling, but when I get everything right, then I feel great for the rest of the day!
Therefore, I thought that it would be useful to check out my personal morning routine. And please make sure to add your best tips and tricks in the comments.
Phase I: Getting Up
I get up around 6:30 am. I have a sensor mat underneath my mattress which determines my sleep rhythm, pulse, and movements, information that is then used by the connected alarm clock1 which then wakes me up with a subtle light when my sleep is at its lightest. Our bedroom can be made pitch black with heavy-duty blinders for all windows, so the wake-up light helps keep my circadian rhythm2 in check.
- A pinch of Himalayan salt.
- Vitamins (B6/B12 and D3).
- CILTEP5 by Natural Stacks (for better mental functions).
- 5-HTP capsules (for increased levels of serotonin).
- PQQ + CoQ106 (to increase mitochondrial energy levels).
- Krill oil (Omega 3 oils).
- Minerals (Zink, Chrome, and Magnesium).
I also make Bulletproof Coffee by using a French press and blending7 the coffee with unsalted high-quality butter and taste-free coconut oil. It’s not exactly optimal to make blender noise so early in the morning, but I always try to be quick about it, hoping no-one will wake up.
I make one thermos with regular coffee for my wife and one thermos with Bulletproof Coffee for myself.
Phase II: Getting Ready
Before I “get to work” (I work from home), I give myself three options:
Option 1: Meditate For 20 Minutes
- Relaxing all parts of the body, one by one.
- Practice Image Streaming9.
Option 2: Gym Routine For 20 Minutes
I go to the neighborhood gym (literally 50 meters from our building) where I hit the gym mat for 20 minutes. I guess my routine resembles some sort of hybrid between stretching and qigong10. The idea is not to do any type of strength training, but rather to get the blood flowing throughout and get rid of any stiffness in the joints.
Option 3: Podcast Walk For 20 Minutes
Some mornings are just tough, and it’s difficult to motivate yourself to do anything. Those days I just dress like Rocky-in-training and go outside for a walk while listening to a podcast or some awesome playlists.
Phase III: Getting Started
On my computer lies a piece from the night before. On it, I’ve written down the biggest to-do of the day. If I do this it first thing in the morning, then the rest of the day will feel like “rolling downhill.”
Once I’ve completed this big task, then I’m allowed to literally crumple the piece of paper and throw it away (yes, I have a small basketball hoop for this purpose). A great feeling!
Sometimes, a light breakfast isn’t enough. For those days, I use the Vitamix to do this smoothie while finishing the first task of the day:
- A handful of chopped up kale.
- A small piece of ginger.
- A scoop of frozen blueberries.
- Tim Ferriss — Yes, I’m a fanboy. I digest his podcasts, his books, and his blog posts. Lately also his tv show, The Tim Ferriss Experiment. It’s not just about “lifehacking”, it’s also about finding a stoic outlook on life, tackling the world’s challenges like Jason Bourne and doing content marketing like a bonafide genius.
- Dave Asprey — This guy (who created Bulletproof Coffee) is someone who’s teachings I literally take with a “grain of salt”. He also has a podcast and a blog, but also a range of enhancing supplements. He does seem to have a crush on himself and his ‘science’ often tend to be too anecdotal for my taste — and he seems to buy into all that homeopathic nonsense, which is a big alarm clock in my book. Still, he’s an interesting guy.
- Ludvig Sunström — a Swedish guy with an incredibly interesting blog, StartGainingMomentum (in English, of course), focusing not just only at physical improvements, but at cognitive enhancements as well. What makes Sunström so interesting is that he presents concepts that are his own. Looking forward to meeting this guy and hopefully, he can teach me where I go wrong in an area where I’m constantly failing — weight loss.
- My Morning Routine — Nicely laid out blog, with a growing number of posts about interesting people and their morning routines.
- Daily Rituals: How Artists Work — Audiobook with a great many examples of morning routines of famous and historic people. It reads a bit like a “staccato” with super-short chapters, but well worth the listen anyway.
- I use the Withings Aura wake-up lamp.
- “A circadian rhythm is any biological process that displays an endogenous, entrainable oscillation of about 24 hours. These 24-hour rhythms are driven by a circadian clock, and they have been widely observed in plants, animals, fungi, and cyanobacteria.” Source: Wikipedia.
- I use a Brita to filter my tap water. If I can get rid of some antibiotics residue this way, then that’s a plus.
- I’m not a physician (despite this blog’s name) and you should always consult your doctor before following any recommendations yourself. Please also note that I take these supplements on a cyclical schedule and therefore not every day.
- If you’re in Sweden looking for this supplement, I can recommend Succeeder, an import company run by Swedish Memory Champion Mattias Ribbing.
- Check out Unfair Advantage by Bulletproof, a company founded by Dave Asprey, the inventor of Bulletproof Coffee.
- For blending, I use my beloved Vitamix. It’s an expensive piece of kitchen equipment, but at 2 horsepowers, it’s a beast!
- I use Bose QuietComfort 25, over-ear headphones which I also use when listening to music in my home office and when traveling.
- Image Streaming is a technique developed by Win Wenger during Project Renaissance. The idea is to activate our brain by allowing ourselves to “see” visual streams of images while recording them into a recorder or onto a piece of paper.
- “Qigong is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training.” Source: Wikipedia.