My Morning Routine – a book review and self reflection

A couple of months ago, I read the book My Morning Routine from cover to cover, except for the chapter on living with children. It is a good feeling, (almost) reading an entire book and being able to say ‘I was reading this book, and I learned …’ in a conversation has been rewarding.

I’d like to say that this book has changed my life, but that wouldn’t be entirely true, because it wasn’t just the flip of a switch. It seems that this book was more of a push in a positive direction, and the rest of the work had to be done by myself. I believe that change comes from within oneself, all others can do is give advice and support.

The cover of the book in question, image from Google

Quite some time has passed, and it seems that I know what has to be done for me to improve my lifestyle. Actually, we all know the obvious rules – eat well, sleep well, and use your time wisely. However, how many of us actually go the distance and put in the work to be productive more often than not?

The beauty of this book is that it is in the format of interviews with successful people, and it opens the reader’s eyes to all the different ways people who have ‘made it’ go about their lives. Some are early risers, some only seem to be able to work when it’s late at night.

I love how the book groups the interviews into categories and reminds us at the end of each chapter that different things work for different people, and there’s no set routine that everyone should follow. The book encourages readers to try out some things the interviewees do in their routines, and if it works, keep it, and if it doesn’t, it’s not a big deal.

Looking back at my mornings before I read this book, I hardly had a routine – I just did whatever felt right. However, having read about how successful people have their morning rituals, some involve working out in the morning, and in some interviews they mentioned how they adjusted their routines to fit in different environments, I felt inspired to at least go through a list of good things to do every morning.

So far, my morning routine is to rise at generally a fixed time, do some stretches, drink two cups of water and have something to eat. Then I would try to sit down at my desk and plan my day ahead. I prefer to write down a list of things to do and try to come up with the best way to complete all the tasks efficiently. I wish I could say that I exercise in the morning but that is something I am still trying to fit into my daily routine, let alone my morning routine.

The book suggests many things to help set one up for a ‘successful’ morning as well. Unwinding as bedtime approaches, avoiding anything with a screen 30 minutes before bed seems like a good way to get a good night’s sleep. Picking out an outfit for the next day is also a way of doing oneself a favor.

It is interesting to read the interviews, especially when one recognizes the interviewees, and it has inspired me to try and incorporate some things into my routine as well. I was surprised to find out that many of the busiest people out there don’t look at social media or check their emails for the first few hours of their day. It makes sense for some people, if they’re more productive in the morning, it is a good idea to avoid distractions.

I find myself getting out of bed and going about my day normally on most days, but sometimes I wake up with my phone nearby, and spend almost an hour just browsing in bed before doing anything else. I do realize that most of the things I see on my phone contribute nothing to my productivity (memes, videos, the list goes on), but it really is hard to put my phone down once I’ve picked it up. Perhaps the next thing I am adding to my routine is to charge my phone farther away from my bed (one of the interviewees said that he leaves all his electronics in another room!).

My morning routine is still a work in progress and it is (quite) far from perfect, but this book has definitely taught me that it is great to have a routine to follow that promotes productivity and sets one up for a productive day. I have a feeling that anyone can become unstoppable when they get better every day. My personal advice would be to make small but strategic changes rather than a drastic change that one cannot keep. I hope more people can discover this book and unlock their potential by being more productive, and have their productive mornings lead to productive days, and hopefully, productive lives.