I’ve been obsessing over my early morning routine this year. The time between waking up and leaving the house for work. Research shows that we have a certain capacity to make decisions over the course of the day, so ideally you want to conserve your decision capacity for the important stuff. Hence having a clear and regular routine with minimal decision points is ideal. It’s as if you can do it in auto-pilot. That’s the key over-arching principle. In fact, my routine requires no decisions to be made.
Specifically, when I first wake up, I do not check emails. I need to hold in my mind any ideas that have been worked on by my subconscious during my sleep. I do one push-up. Yes, just one! I’m not really much of fitness buff, and whenever I’ve tried to do something more serious I’ve given up after a few weeks. But setting the bar so low in terms of my target for exercise, I suffer no performance anxiety! Often I do end up doing more than one push-up! After that, I shower. This is where most my ideas start popping into my conscious mind. Rather than forcing myself to remember all those ideas, I discovered something called “Aqua Notes”, which you can fix to your shower wall and write things on (the paper is waterproof). It’s been a revelation, and allows me to note down all those (often crazy) ideas. I end my lovely warm shower by switching it to freezing cold water! I can only take it for a few seconds, but boy does it wake you up! I then wash up (shave etc).
Then before getting into my work clothes (which I have decided the night before), I do one cycle of basic yoga moves (again one cycle to keep the bar low!). I do a standing pose (mountain pose), a forward bend (you stand and flop your upper body to allow you touch your toes), a push up pose (plank, you don’t go down to do a push up), arch my back up (cobra), and then with only my hands and feet on the floor, I stick my bottom in the air! (downward dog). I get changed; have breakfast, then leave to catch my train. There you have it, my early morning routine!