This page is still under construction.

back to posts

The Perfect Morning Routine (Backed By Science)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, the Russian composer, started by having tea, smoking, and reading from his Bible and philosophy collection.

The research by Steve Key, a professor of molecular and computational biology at the University of Southern California, shows that “[w]hen it comes to doing cognitive work, most adults perform best in the late morning.

footnote:Shellenbarger, Sue. “Your Body’s Best Time for Everything.” WSJ., 25 Sept. 2012. Web. 28 Oct. 2016.

Most importantly, a morning routine generates momentum.

Momentum is a fundamental part of human psychology.

This then is the purpose of the morning routine: You should get one “small win” to create momentum in each life domain that’s important to you.

Establishing a Morning Routine

The first step is to make a list of all the areas you want to move forward and list one “small win” you could do in each.

A little self-experimentation generally makes this abundantly obvious. In the documentary Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock ate McDonalds three meals a day for thirty days. In that month, he developed high blood pressure, cholesterol and early signs of fatty liver disease. He also gained 25 pounds, became depressed, moody, lethargic and completely lost his sex drive.

Vertical coherence is the largest predictor of motivation that I’ve found. If I can see a clear line between the tasks I am working on today and a bigger future that aligns with my values, I find it much easier to get to work.

The next thing you’re going to do is list the number one most important priority you have today. If you start the day with ten priorities, you’re likely to get none of them done. I find, if you start with one thing you absolutely must do, you’ll always get it done.

The most important ingredient to having a morning routine that works is to customize it for yourself. To reiterate Bruce Lee: “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”

Small win ideas:

If you found it useful, please consider signing up to my newsletter. Every week, I share my thoughts on cool stuff I found around the internet. No spam, ever. Unsubscribe any time.