Just recently I changed my whole morning routine, which truth be told was a behemoth of a morning routine. All in all, it took me about three hours to complete the whole routine which included meditation, affirmations, journaling, the whole Ashtanga Primary series, breakfast, etc etc. By the end of it I was a balanced, centered, better human being, but dang it was hard to put my 'focus-work' cap on and get to work. Instead, I wanted to contemplate life - which is fine and dandy and even encouraged but not when a deadline is looming. I needed lean, mean, working Hani, but she had become Pacified Pony, no good to anyone in the working world.
A few times during crunch time, upon waking I would immediately get to writing. I noticed that on these days my overall productivity level was high and I would hit my daily goals and would end the day with a yummy glass of congratulatory wine. #score
So I did a little experiment
I spread out my 'morning routine' so that the only thing I did upon waking was my morning pages and meditation - nothing more than 30 minutes in total - then get straight to work. The rest of my routine was completed in the evening, after work.
It worked, but only when I did not check any of my social media. On days that I started with emails, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other type of social media, I would waste half the day mucking about and get to work really late. Which defeated the purpose because I wanted to get my work done and spend less time on my laptop and more time outside.
The current routine
So now the new morning routine is to RPM (rise, pee, meditate), journal and straight to work. Maybe stop to make a cup of coffee/tea. And no social media/emails until after two hours of work, after which I can also stop to make some breakfast if I'm hungry. Usually, by this time I would've put in enough work to take a break and slow down a little.
The problem with doing it all
The problem with my old morning routine was that:
- I wanted to do it all, get all the good stuff in there before the day started.
- I wanted to, 'get it done with'.
Instead of finding something that worked for me, I put in everything that worked for everyone else. I used up all my precious productive time in the morning doing my morning routine and when it came time to work, I wanted to take a break. I'm not knocking it, on days that I don't have to work, I still do my whole regular, long morning routine because it does make me feel great - just not the kind of great that got me to my table to write.
It will never end
I'm pretty sure that at some point this will stop working for me too and I will have to change it up. My type of resistance is like bacteria, every time I find the morning routine 'cure' that will overcome my resistance, it works for a while and then my resistance morphs into a newer stronger form and comes back with a vengeance at which point I have to come back with a stronger, better 'cure'. It is certainly a 'who is smarter' game here. Sometimes resistance wins, sometimes I do, but the war will always continue.
How about you? I'm curious if long morning routines work on others, if so, what do you do. Maybe your productive time is in the afternoon? Talk to me!