Our energy level is at its peak in the first 60 to 90 minutes of the day. During this time, our body and mind are energized and refreshed by a good night’s sleep. Many high performers are spending a lot of effort optimizing their morning routine in order to achieve peak performance throughout the day.
How you spend the first hour of your day dictates how your spend and end the rest of the day. It sounds like an exaggeration but it’s true. As a writer, a healthy morning routine is crucial. If I ruin it (and I have, many times), I ruin my day.
I was always curious about how high achievers spent their mornings. After spending some time studying this, I came up with a 59-minute morning routine that you can practice to crush your day.
0 – Brush Your Teeth
The first thing you should do when you get out of bed is to brush your teeth. While you sleep, your mouth produces less saliva and it dries out quickly. That decrease in saliva causes an increase in bacteria. So the best thing you can do when you get up is to take two minutes to brush your teeth and tongue thoroughly. This helps to get rid of the influx of nighttime bacteria.
Estimated time: 2 minutes
1 – Hydration
Just like your mouth dries up during the night, your body and brain also need hydration after a good night’s sleep. Drink a glass full of water right after brushing your teeth to rehydrate your body.
Estimated time: 1 minute
2 – Make Your Bed
You may be wondering: “Why make my bed? I don’t have time for this.”
We are all masters of distraction, and most of us live our life day by day without the awareness of what we should do, what we can do, and what we’re doing. Making your bed usually takes less than 5 minutes, but it will help you start your day with the right tone of proactivity.
Personally, this small act creates the momentum for getting the next little thing done, and the next, and the next.
Estimated time: 4 minutes
3 – Meditation / Breathing Exercise
Many people think they need to meditate for 30, 60 or even 90 minutes to reap the benefits of meditation. That misunderstanding kills the drive and motivation before they even get started.
The purpose of meditation is not about achieving a god-like mental state or tapping into the hidden power of your true self. These are what many self-help gurus have told us. For me, the purpose of meditation is to practice focus and concentration.
To make it a daily morning routine, start small. Personally, I have found that 10 minutes of guided meditation works best. During the 10 minutes, all I do is focusing on my breath. It may sound easy now, but it’s challenging when memories, thoughts, and inner voices start to bubble up.
You can also use apps like Headspace or Stop Breath Think (what I’m using right now) to start as a beginner.
Estimated time: 10 minutes
4 – Mindset Work
The difference between meditation practice and mindset work is that the first is about NOT thinking and the later is about LEADING your thoughts. This routine helps you set a positive tone and intention for your day.
There are many ways you can do this. However, here is the flow I’m practicing:
- Practice gratefulness. Every morning, ask yourself what you are grateful for and express your appreciation to that person or thing. This is the shortcut to happiness because it shifts your mindset to see abundance in your life instead of scarcity.
- Ask better questions. Ask questions that will challenge yourself, like: How can I achieve my 10-year goal in 6 six months? (source) This questions may sound absurd. The point is not to be unrealistic, but to bend your mind productively with tough questions.
- Goal and process visualization. First, visualize your long-term product goal: who you want to be, what you want to have, how you want to live. This strengthens the connection between you and your goals. Then, visualize yourself doing TODAY’s work to move towards the goals. This process visualization creates a mental model that helps you navigate your day with greater focus and self-control. This technique is widely used by many top athletes.
Estimated time: 10 minutes
5 – Physical Training
After the mindset work, the next routine you can practice is a short session of physical workout. (I sometimes do it before meditation and mindset work.)
You can hit the gym for resistance training or jog at the park if you have time. However, most people don’t have one to two hours to spare in the morning. The best workout you can do is high-intensity interval training.
These exercises get your heart rate up, improve your blood circulation, and strengthen your cardiovascular system. Besides, they are one of the most effective techniques to lose body fat because they increase the energy you expend throughout the day with only a short period of training time.
After a session of HIIT training, you can also perform another session of stretching to loosen up your muscle and tendons.
Estimated time: 20 minutes
6 – Plan Your Day
Lastly, spend 10 to 20 minutes of planning your day. Think about the most important tasks you need to accomplish that day, and in which area you need to make improvements, and what habits you need to check in.
I would suggest you get right into your most important task for the day because your mind and body are still fresh at this time and are ready to tackle more challenging work.
Estimated time: 12 minutes.
Those are the basics. It’s a quick morning routine in less than an hour that almost anyone can practice. Instead of scrolling through social media or checking emails in your bed, this quick routine gets you ready to perform your best for the day.
If you’re interested in what else I’m doing to perform better, here is the list.