I have a pretty epic morning/daily routine. Personally, I think It’s awesome. It’s also getting better as I get older and continue to refine/improve what works and what doesn’t. Many of you might look at this and say “How the hell do you fit all of that into one day?!”, but I make it work. For me it comes down to prioritization — these are things that I prioritize because I know that they will make me a happier, more productive, more amazing individual. I still have a lot of room for improvement, but so far I believe I have a daily routine that is amongst the greats.
Curious? Here we go.
1) Wake up @around 6am:
I don’t use alarm clocks as I find that they disrupt my natural sleep cycles. Some mornings I wake up earlier, some mornings I wake up later. Generally speaking I’m usually up by around 6am, give or take. (*Note — this one took some practice. I used to wake up around this time, only to think it was too early, and then go back to bed for another hour and a half-2 hours. I found that when I would take this extra 1.5–2 hours of sleep I would actually wake up groggier and less clear headed than if I just got up when my body initially woke up. For this reason I have started simply getting out of bed right when my eyes first open in the morning, and it’s made a huge difference).
2) Drink 2 cups of water (~5 mins).
Drinking water right when you wake up in the morning wakes your body up, gets the metabolism moving, and is generally very healthy for you. Go do research if you don’t believe me, this is probably the simplest health hack you can do.
3) Stretching/Light Yoga (~15 Mins):
Once I have some fluids in my system I’ll spend the next 15 minutes or so doing some light stretching and yoga to get the body loosened up after a night of rest. My routine will typically include one very slow round of Sun Saluations, holding each posture for around 5 very deep breaths, then another round holding each posture for 3 deep breaths, then 1 round of one very deep breath. After these three rounds I’ll do 10 rotations at normal breathing as outlined in the chart above. By the time I’m done with all of these rounds I feel much looser and my breathing is very calm and controlled. I feel magical 😃
4) Morning Poo!
Might be too much details, but once I am finished with these morning stretches it will usually stir up a nice morning deuce. Great way to start the day!
After this I’ll shower, starting with the water on cold. Cold showers are incredibly healthy and are a great way to jolt your body awake. I’ll normally do the first minute on cold, then do the remainder on hot, then once again for the last minute throw it on cold again. I’ll then brush my teeth, floss, dry off, and get dressed as I get prepared for the next (and favorite) part of my routine.
6) Meditation (1 Hour, 5 minutes):
I practice a form of meditation known as Vipassana. In this form of meditation I sit for 1 full hour every morning, concentrating first on my breathing and then scanning my body repetitively for sensations throughout the body, paying attention to how those sensations correlate to thoughts and vice versa. That’s Vipassana in a nutshell, if you have any other questions I’m happy to answer as it’s a much much much longer discussion than I can touch on in one paragraph.
At the end of the 1 hour meditation I practice 5 minutes of “Metta” meditation, which is known as Peace, Loving, Kindness meditation. I’ll spend these five minutes thinking about forgiveness for those whom may have harmed me, wishing love, happiness, and compassion to all of those whom I love in life, and then spending some time thinking about what I am grateful for in life and why I am excited to be alive and start my day. It’s a beautiful way to start the day 😃
At this point I’ve been up for around 2 hours (the entire process for the routine up to this point takes about 2 hours depending on how quickly you move. I like to take my time and move slowly). I’ll then go make myself some breakfast. My breakfast is actually quite boring and standardized, but I like it a lot. Here’s my recipe for what I like to refer to as “Oats of Champions”.
Oats of Champions: 1 cup of oatmeal mixed with puffed amaranth, walnuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, cinnamon, honey, 1tsp organic peanut or almond butter, and flax seeds. Optional: Some days I’ll add some milk, some days I’ll add some extra fruit. My buddy Matt likes to add Bananas, but I’m allergic so I don’t.
8) Read while eating (20 minutes):
I don’t like to randomly look through my phone or work while I eat, so I like to take this time to read my Kindle while I eat. I’ll time myself for 20 minutes and make sure that I eat slowly and take time to both enjoy my food and my book while I’m reading. I thoroughly enjoy this part of my day.
9) Tea time!
Once I finish eating I’ll put my dishes in the sink and make myself some Green or Black tea with Ginger and Turmeric. Ginger and Turmeric are both anti-cancerous, anti viral, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory, and are, simply put, powerhouse herbs. Putting them in hot (not boiling) water, also increases their absorption, making it all the more reason why you should do it.
Note: I can typically accomplish all of this before 9am hits. Most mornings this entire routine up to this point takes around 2.5–3 hours. Like I said before, it comes down to priorities. I personally value this part of my day more than anything and taking time to have these activities sets up the rest of the day for success. On top of this it still isn’t even 9am, meaning that I have the entire day ahead of me for a full day of work madness. Sack up and get shit done if you want the life you think you do.
10) Daily Mapping (10 minutes):
Before I start my day I like to sit down with a pen and my notepad and map out what needs to be accomplished for the day. At first I will usually Braindump things as they come to mind, and then from there I will number them based on priorities and what needs to be accomplished first. This is a really great way for me to visualize my day, make sure I prioritize the most important things, and get started with a clear head free from distractions. I’ll also keep my notebook by my side throughout the day and add tasks/priorities as they arise, but taking the first 10 minutes of my work day to map out what needs to be done helps me a lot from an organizational perspective, so I can be on the offense rather than constantly reacting.
11) Turn on My Phone
Up to this point my phone has been on airplane mode. Time to turn that fucker off and let the onslaught of messages flood in.
12) Work! (5 hours)
I’ll usually put in one fat ass shift here, as mornings are when I’m very productive. I leave this time generally flexible depending on what needs to be done for the day. As CEO my responsibilities shift on a daily basis, so one day I might be in meetings, one day I might be writing and planning, and one day I might be answering a ton of emails. I like to leave this time flexibly, but will always put in a solid 5 hours to get the day moving. Generally speaking though, I’ll start off by getting through a handful of important emails that require immediate attention. I try to only answer emails mornings and night-time unless absolutely necessary).
I listen to some hour long deep house saxophone mixes on Soundcloud while I do this. Or hip hop.
13) Lunch! (around 1pm-2pm)
Pretty standard here. I have 2–3 restaurants I eat at locally, and alternate between these three. I’ll typically go high on the veggies, then some meat, then last on the carbs. I try to keep my carbs to a minimum as I personally have a pretty high insulin sensitivity and any carbs I eat immediately go to my belly. I also try to eat pretty modestly as I hate feeling sluggish after lunch.
14) Afternoon coffee (optional):
Trying to cut down on this one but I love a cup of coffee in the afternoon when my energy levels are slowly dwindling before I jump into the next round of work. I’ll also mix in a tsp of organic coconut oil for some healthy fats (MCFA’s).
15) Work round 2 (3 hours):
Time to put in another ~3 hours of work. I personally like to do writing in the afternoons whenever possible. I’m more relaxed and feel like I have a days full of thoughts for inspiration. If necessary though I’ll use this time for meetings and phone calls. I generally remain open and flexible for whatever type of work needs to be done here.
16) Pre-Workout Snack:
I’ll usually have a half a mango (when in season) or some papaya and a handful of almonds, walnuts, cashews before I go to exercise
17) Exercise (1 hour):
Lately I’ve been working out at a park nearby my house where I do a circuit routine. My routine is as follows…
10 minute warmup — arm circles, stretching, leg swings, practice bodyweight reps, etc.
8 Pullups>25 pushups>20 lunges on each leg>15 leg raises or full body crunches>10 dips
Rest 1 minute, repeat x 4.
I listen to some hour long deep house saxophone mixes on Soundcloud while I do this.
This whole workout takes around 35–45 minutes depending on how sluggish I’m feeling. I like to go really slow during my routine and make sure to squeeze my muscles as much as possible and not rush through it. The slower you go, the harder it is. (I’m also not in particularly great shape).
My roommate is a great chef and he’s been teaching me to cook. We’ll usually chop up a bunch of vegetables, throw in some eggs, chicken, tofu or paneer, and then make some simple Indian breads. We like to chat while we eat and don’t do any reading or anything traditionally productive. If we don’t cook we’ll go out to eat. (I’ll also usually take a quick shower before dinner).
19) Work Round 3:
From here I’ll put in one final round of work that will power me through till around 10–11pm depending on how much work I have left to do for the day. I like to cap it off with all of my emails being finished so that I can wake up the next day with minimal email load. This will normally be around 3–4 hours, capping off the day at around 11–12 hours of solid WORK for the day (yes, actual hours focusing on output and getting shit done, not time spent in transit or bullshitting).
Once the work day is done I like to spend 10–15 minutes in my evernote reflecting on the day. I ask myself questions like “What went well? What went wrong? Where could I have improved? What are some learnings from the day?” etc. These often have a different format every day. Some days I’ll journal a story. Other days I’ll write bullets, others I’ll answer questions like I did above. I like to leave room for fluidity, and as long as I am going through the process of retrospection it doesn’t matter what form it takes.
21) Draw/Write Poetry:
Once I’m done with my retrospection I like to spend some time (untimed) to draw a quick doodle or write some poetry in my little black notebook. Sometimes I’ll do this with a glass of red wine or whiskey too. I love this part of my day.
22) Stretch before bed:
Same stretching routine I do in the morning.
23) Read until I get sleepy.
Untimed, will usually just read until I can feel myself dozing off.
(usually around midnight).
That’s it! How’s that for a full day of activities!?
I will add that during the weekdays I don’t do anything social. I work (I hate that word “work” though because I thoroughly enjoy my work). Social interactions during the weekdays aren’t very important to me, and I can save that for the weekends.
On the weekends I still do much of this stuff above, but I’m way more flexible with when I wake up and when I do many of these things. I allow things to happen more fluidly and if I don’t fit everything in, I don’t. I’m also grateful to say that I work with my friends, so I like to think I get my social interaction hanging out with them during the workday.
I also don’t have to commute to an office and work from home most days. This definitely cuts down on unnecessary time spent moving to and fro.
Some things I’ve experimented with:
- Binaural Beats: Before bed I’ve experimented with Binaural Beats for sleeping. I’ve had some great experiences with them, but I’ve also had nights where they keep me awake. Still not convinced on these quite yet.
Things I want to implement in the future:
- Dream journaling — I would like to spend the first few minutes when I wake up in the morning journaling and documenting my dreams so that I can begin experimenting with lucid dreaming. This is one I definitely plan on doing more of.
Two activities I will add here that I didn’t properly get to touch on –
1) Duolingo — whenever I’m waiting for food at a restaurant, or waiting in general, I will use Duolingo and brush up on my spanish skills.
2) Podcasts — When I do have to travel to and from meetings, or walk somewhere, I always do it with a podcast in my ear. My personal favorite is the Tim Ferriss Podcast, pure gold.
I hate aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and checking Snapchat. It’s a fucking waste of time and I can’t stand mindlessly consuming content that provides me with no value.
Try my routine and let me know what you think! Can you handle it?!?!
Thoughts? Similar experiences? Let me know in the comments below!
Also published on Medium.