Morning Routines for Successful People

morning routines for successful peopleI’ve seen a TON of posts and articles lately on morning routines for successful people. But a lot of times I come away from these articles frustrated because they set such ridiculous standards. Send 10 networking emails every morning! Read four newspapers! Get 90 minutes of exercise in! So I thought we’d discuss. I’ll admit I’m not always the greatest in the morning (this is such an understatement that my husband is dying laughing as I write this), but even I’ve found a few useful ways to hack my mornings and make them better. So let’s discuss: what do YOU do? What is your morning routine, and do you attribute it to your success at work or in life? (#Winning, right?)

A few notes from me:

  • Figure out what’s important to you — and do it in the morning. Something I’ve learned over the years is that if something is important to you, there is time for it in your life somewhere, but most likely in the morning. In my law firm days I tried to read a chapter of a novel every morning, or write for an hour. When I started this blog, I wrote most of the posts and ideas in the early morning hours. Maybe it’s important to you to be social — meet a friend for breakfast, or leave time for responding to personal emails then. Maybe you’re trying to be healthier — leave time for meal prep (or set your slow cooker up with a 12-hour recipe!) or…
  • Exercise. This is the #1 thing I’ve seen in these articles. Richard Branson does it! President Obama does it! Anna Wintour does it! We’ve talked about lunch workouts and going to the gym as part of an after-work routine, but I’ll agree that the absolute easiest way to get exercise into your routine is to do it first thing in the morning. If you lift weights you may enjoy the resulting metabolic boost (on my best days I call it “zooming” — that pepped up feeling that starts with a toning/weightlifting routine and continues throughout the day) — it’s also a great time to get some more sunlight into your life. (This is always when I’m tempted to Instagram silly pictures like the above, and dumb motivational quotes — I’m trying to resist!)
  • Eat. I’ve read a lot about what to eat in the morning, but the thing that I’ve found works the best for me personally is to have what I call two breakfasts. First breakfast is something really light within a few minutes of waking up, such as a string cheese, a banana, or even 5 or 6 almonds. Second breakfast is usually later, around 10:30, and can be more substantial (yogurt, protein smoothie, hardboiled eggs). If I’m craving something big like an egg sandwich, I try to wait until 11 and make it an early lunch, possibly with a midday snack like yogurt, hardboiled eggs, oatmeal, whatever.

If your mornings are really rough, a few notes too:

  • Try a tablespoon of peanut butter right before bedtime. Tim Ferriss talks about this in The Four Hour Body and if you can swing it calorically, I’ve found that this makes for amazing, amazing mornings. The theory is that low blood sugar overnight can lead to a rough morning — so if you have some peanut butter right before bed it keeps your blood levels stable.
  • Use your nighttime routine to make your morning routine easier. I’ve read writers talk about stopping mid-sentence at the end of the day so they can pick up where they left off… I’ve also seen advice to write down three things (no more than three!) on a post-it note the night before to really focus your time and energy in the morning. In terms of health, I’ve heard of people sleeping in their gym clothes. I’ve never done that because my sports bras are too binding, but I have seen success when I get out my exercise clothes and throw them on the floor of the bathroom so that I’ll be all set. If you’re a parent, I have heard of people putting their kids to bed in their school clothes.
  • Focus on gratitude as your eyes shut… If you feel like you’re getting lousy sleep because of stress, then really, really, really try gratitude. End the day focusing on what you’re thankful for — instead of what stresses you out.

Ladies, let’s hear it — what does a successful morning routine look like for you? Do you feel like it contributes to your happiness, your career success, or everything? What hacks have you made over the years; what’s working now?

Further Reading on Morning Routines for Successful People:

  • What 12 Successful People Do During Their Morning Routine [Levo League]
  • 6 Successful Women Share Their Morning Routines [Daily Worth via Levo League]
  • 3 Changes to Your Morning Routine That Will Drastically Improve Your Day [The Muse]
  • 5 Bedtime Routines That Will Make Your Mornings So Much Easier [The Muse]
  • 23 Morning Routines of the Most Extraordinarily Successful People [Inc.]
  • 11 Tweaks to Your Morning Routine Will Make Your Entire Day More Productive [Inc.]
  • The Morning Habits Of Highly Successful People [Forbes]
  • The Daily Routines of Geniuses [HBR]

Comments

  1. My morning routine is awful. It’s one of the biggest things I want to change about my life. I normally lie in bed hitting snooze on the alarm for 45 minutes to an hour before pulling myself out of bed and getting ready very quickly. Usually I leave within 30 minutes of getting out of bed. I do eat breakfast every day, but I do it at work. I’m the opposite of a morning person and I know I could never do anything like exercise or write in the morning, but I wish I could at least stop wasting an hour of my life every single day hitting snooze. Alas, this has been my routine for way, way too long.

    • Me too. I never used to be a snoozer and I blame it on my husband, whose snoozing used to drive me CRAZY but now I’ve adopted it. And now my kids, too, because they exhaust me so much that I can’t get out of bed.

    • Me too. So I scheduled trainer sessions in the a.m. to force me out of bed. Now my 7 a.m. workout feels really late and we’re moving to 6 a.m. It gets easier with consistency and accountability. I am NOT a morning person.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I was only able to break the habit once I was getting up over an hour earlier than my husband who has trouble falling back asleep in the morning. My alarm going off once and a quick kiss goodbye are below the threshold to really wake him up but an alarm going off every 9 minutes would cause him trouble. I used to be a champion snoozer and couldn’t break the habit on my own.

    • TO Lawyer :

      me too. I was hoping having my boyfriend stay over would change the routine but unfortunately I’m such an awful morning person, that I’ve brought him down to my level and we both snooze and then are running late.

  2. Maddie Ross :

    I’ve started 5am workouts at least 3xs a week in the last year and it has made a world of difference. I love it more than I thought I would. And oddly, way more than I used to like 6am/7am workouts pre-baby. 5am is such a different hour than my standard wake-up time – it feels like I have to listen to the alarm and get moving. With a 6am workout, it was too easy to just say “I’ll fall back asleep and wait for my normal alarm.” I get up and go before the world and the rest of my house is awake. I don’t eat pre-workout (I never have before morning workouts). I sleep in my running bottoms and running socks, and just switch out my t-shirt for a sports top and throw on running shoes and am out the door less than 10 minutes after I get out of bed. Then when I get home, I’m still up early enough to enjoy a cup of coffee before the morning mania. (My only fear – I talk so much about how much I love it, I’m afraid my husband will start wanting to do it too, thus throwing off my schedule or making me share my quiet! So shhhh!)

    • Wildkitten :

      Wow.

    • Stormtrooper :

      That’s interesting about the psychology of 5 am versus 6 am. I’m quick to hit snooze at 6 am, too. But, if I have to wake up at 5 am to go to a depo/flight/whatever that is a long drive, I hop out of bed quickly and hit the road without messing around. I don’t want to wake my SO by hitting snooze at 5 am. I wonder if switching my workout to 5 am for this reason you describe may have the same impact on me as when I have to wake up at 5 am for a work event. I may just give that a try…. Thanks!

    • Me too! When my alarm goes off at 4:15, I’m always tired. But I never, ever, regret working out at 5 am. I get very antsy and snappy when I don’t get a morning workout in for several days. I cherish that time to myself.

      • Yes, me too!! 4:30 alarm. Out the door to the gym by 5. Home by 6:15. Out the door by 7:15. PHEW.

        But, by the time I’m at my seat I’m feeling good about it/myself. I go to bed early (9:30 under the covers, watching TV or on my ipad), but I honestly can’t find a routine that works better. FWIW, I am NOT A MORNING PERSON. But, I found ways to negotiate with myself to get out of bed. It took a long time to get on this schedule, and it’s still not a perfect schedule (ever evolving), but it’s worked tremendously well for the last 9+ months!

    • anon-oh-no :

      I started doing 5 am workouts about 6 months ago and I love, love it! I’m usually home a few minutes after 6 and have time to shower and get ready in a quiet house. Then I have a full hour to work, make kids breakfast, read a paper, or just hang out with the kids and am totally relaxed when we leave the house at 10 minutes ’till 8.

    • What time do you 5am exercisers go to bed?

      • I get up at 4:40 a.m. to go to work and I am in bed at 9:00 p.m., read for a little bit, asleep no later than 10 p.m. (thank you drugs). I am childless and single though, which helps quite a bit for that type of schedule!

      • In my bedroom/bathroom prepping for bed by 9:30. On an average night I’m passed out by 10:30, I’d guess, but lights are nearly always off by 10.

      • Yeah even if I was in bed at 10 (which is difficult but not impossible), 6 hours is just not enough sleep for me… I can do it for spurts but it’s not a long-term possibility without me winding up seriously exhausted and sick.

        • Same. I’d need to be in bed no later than 9 and that’s just not possible on a regular basis.

        • +2. I have to have 7.5 hours every night to function normally, and if I get 9 hours I feel immeasurably better, so I do that as often as I can.

      • I wake up at 5 to work out and turn lights off by 9:45. I know Dh doesn’t always appreciate it but he knows it’s important to me so he supports me. And I support his evening workouts. We are better people & better parents when we are working out regularly. I work out 4 workdays a week, taking Wednesday off as a catch up day, still trying to go to have lights off by 10.

    • WorkingMom :

      I can relate to this so much. What helps me less than the hour of waking up is the consistency. I find that when I wake up early 5 days a week to exercise, it becomes SO much easier to keep going. When I try to workout early 2 or 3 times a week, I never fully adjust to waking up early, because I end up sleeping in on the off-days. I find that is the biggest piece for me, to be consistent.

  3. I have been exercising after work since high school (30 plus years) but when I can do it in the morning I have to admit it feels great. I have a long commute and need to leave early to avoid the worst of the traffic so when I do a morning workout I end up shorting myself on sleep (and skipping makeup) in order to leave the house early enough. So not ideal unless I find something closer to home.

    I’ve been getting my work outfit and breakfast and lunch ready the night before for over 10 years. My son has always slept in his school clothes (which is basketball shorts and a tee shirt so perfectly comfy to sleep in). Because I work out at night and my son plays sports or at least has gym class most days, we shower/bathe at night. I often blow dry my hair at night and just touch up with the flat iron in the mornings.

  4. Only anon so I don’t out myself …
    I’d like to gain back some minutes in the morning. I have just below shoulder length blond, straight, fine hair. I have to wash it every day or it looks far too greasy to be work appropriate and the color changes visibly when its greasy because its that blond. Normally I blow dry it every morning. Even doing that quickly takes 5-7 minutes and doing it well takes about 10 minutes. If I don’t blow it dry, it will be somewhat damp by the time I arrive at work (45 minutes to an hour later depending on how long I walk the dog), and I can put it half up with a side part so the dampness isn’t really that noticeable. When it air dries it is a little more frizzy on top than if I blow dry it, but no worse than if it had rained on my way to work. Is that still work appropriate for East Coast Big Law?

    • To me, you’re fine, so long as it’s mostly dry (at least seems visible dry) by the time you get to work. I don’t blow dry every time I wash, though I definitely do on days when I have court or meet with clients. If I’m just going to be at my desk all day, I just make sure it doesn’t look wet when I walk in the door.

    • Um, yes, air-dried hair is work appropriate. It’s kind of horrifying that you even had to ask.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Would it look greasy if you washed and blew it dry at night?

      • Anonymous :

        I have fairly light blonde hair, and I wash and blow out at night. Saves me precious minutes in the morning, and I’ve never noticed a difference in the way it looks. Silk or satin pillowcases help if you’re worried about creases or kinks, and they feel /really/ good, too.

        • Anonymous :

          Me too. Blond hair that is fine and semi wavy, gets greasy if I don’t wash it every day, and lots of it, so it takes ages to air dry or blow dry.

          I sleep with wet hair in the summer and blow dry at night in the winter. Sometimes I put it in a loose bun before I go to bed. In the morning I brush it and use a little hair spray if needed. I’m so not a morning person or a hair person, so although I’d love to come up with a better look that maybe involved a flat iron or curling iron, I usually just put it in a low ponytail. No one has ever complained and sometimes I get compliments. I’m in federal court all the time of that gives you any idea of the formality of my job. It isn’t fancy but I look polished and its within my limited hairstyling skill set.

    • Traditionalist :

      Maybe you’re already doing this but a few things that have sped up hair-drying for me — wash your hair first thing in the shower, wring it out, put it up, and don’t let it get wet again. Wring it out again when you get out of the shower, and towel dry/pat (for some people this creates more frizz, so YMMV). Brush/comb it out of your face to do your makeup but leave it down so it can start to air-dry. Get ready entirely, then do your hair very last. I shave off several minutes this way — same hair as yours (except brown and there’s a ton of it).

      And yes, if it’s visibly dry when you arrive at work, it’s totally fine.

    • I wash my hair every other night and let it air dry. On the nights I don’t wash it, I use Living Proof dry shampoo – the only dry shampoo I have found that works for me. Its a little greasy by the end of those days, but not too bad.

    • In my biglaw office, there were always a handful of associates (and even female partners) with damp hair first thing in the morning. No one really thought much of it, though of course I wouldn’t do that if I had a presentation/meeting in the morning. Can I recommend a turbie twist though? or some similar microfiber hair towel. I started using those about 2 years ago and completely cut my hair drying time in half. I shower, squeeze excess water out, put my hair up in the turbie twist, and leave that on while I finish getting ready, maybe 15 minutes. When I put my hair down, it’s as though it has air dryed for an hour (I have thick hair, so I imagine it would be even better with thinner hair). Cuts my style time if I’m continuing to air dry, and cuts blow-drying time if I go that route. Seriously, changed my life.

    • I arrive at work every day with damp hair. My hair is curly and I need to wet it every morning. And I’m a morning exerciser who has to leave the house about 6:50 to get to work on time. So I sacrifice dry hair. I’m management and nobody has ever said anything to me about it.

      • I also have curly hair and arrive with damp hair. It looks the same as dry hair, except that it’ll shrink a little as it dries completely. No complaints in multiple jobs.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you considered dry shampoo? Dry shampoo changed my life.

  5. I’m much better in the second part of the day so my ideal schedule would be 11 to 7/8. But unfortunately that’s not possible and I’m actually going to have to start being better about mornings when I go back to work since I won’t just be able to stay late like I used to. My plan so far is to do as much as I can the night before so I’m not spending 30 min figuring what to wear, ironing it, etc. The other thing I’d like to do is move my breakfast to my office so I’m not spending 25 at home having my eggs and toast and reading the news online. But Im stumped on what to eat in the office. I hate oatmeal, muffins are notm a good long term solution and Im sort of picky about my eggs so I don’t think I can microwave them. I could just pick up an egg and cheese on my way in but that doesn’t seem that healthy on a daily basis. Other ideas besides fruit and yogurt?

    • Could you keep some granola or cereal at the office? You could also prep a smoothie the night before and blend it in the morning.

    • I like egg cups — you bake eggs in muffin tins (can add veggies or meat if desired). They freeze really well and can be stored in your office freezer and microwaved at work. Adding a base of store bought pie crust makes them considerably more delicious but obviously less healthy. (But in the interests of full disclosure, I eat a muffin – a reasonably-sized homemade one, not a giant grocery store one filled with trans fats – almost every morning, so I’m not really an authority on healthy breakfast.)

    • I make green smoothies and bring them in a water bottle (think for a bike ride). I make them at night and typically make enough for 2-3 days. I take the train to work and so I typically just drink it on the train. Saves time and is a nutritious way to start the day. Otherwise I know I would end up buying a donut every morning.

    • I eat breakfast at the office pretty much every day. It helps to think outside the box and not limit yourself to traditional breakfast foods. Some of my favs are:
      Avocado toast
      WW toast with natural peanut butter and an apple
      Smoothies (if you have a bullet style blender you can prep it the night before and blend it at the office; add ice when you get there or even keep frozen fruit/veggies at the office)
      A light sandwich (one of my favs is ham, provolone, and spinach on a ww slimbun)

      I’ve also heard of people eating various salads (quinoa, chickpea, etc based) for breakfast.

      • I do this too. It help a ton to have a toaster at my office. Avocado toast, hard-boiled egg on toast, cream cheese or slice of provolone or cheddar on toast, PB on toast, etc. I leave various sliced whole-grain/multi-grain breads in our office’s kitchen freezer, so come to think of it, having that makes things much easier too.

        I also make smoothies with frozen fruit the night before, put them in a silicone water bottle, and leave them in my own freezer overnight. Take one with me to work the next morning and by the time I get to the office it has defrosted the perfect amount.

        Also, oatmeal breakfast cookies! I like 100 Days of Real Food’s recipe (tweaked by me somewhat — very forgiving recipe).

  6. This morning routine thing is a complete mystery to me. I wake up, eat a bowl of cereal while looking at the internet, get dressed, fix my hair, slap on a bit of makeup and I’m out the door in half an hour. I mean – should I be aiming for more than that? It seems like enough for me.

    I definitely have more of an evening routine. I’m a night shower person, so I don’t waste time in the morning showering. I also pack my bag, pack my lunch, and set out my outfit for the next day every night. My goal is to sleep as much as possible in the mornings.

    • Meg March :

      I think it’s just about what works best for you. I have no night routine (besides washing my face/brushing my teeth), so all those other things happen in the morning. That is because my goal is to maximize time with my fiance and friends– I leave the house in the morning before he is awake, so nights are our only time together.

    • THIS. I set everything up in the evening so mornings take me 30 minutes, max. I am seriously NOT a morning person, but I have to be at the office by 8 or 9 most days, & I want to sleep for every last second. The idea of exercising at 5am makes me die inside.

      You don’t have to follow a recipe or rules to be successful. I’d rather maximize my time by taking advantage of my own natural rhythms.

  7. I am not a snoozer. My alarm goes off, and that’s it, I’m up. I try to work out in the mornings, but I’m not always able to motivate myself enough. If I do go to the gym, I drink a glass of water before, but do not eat.

    I typically wake up hungry, so breakfast is a necessity, and a handful of almonds or even a hard boiled egg will not cut it. I enjoy a leisurely breakfast while reading the news on my laptop. I like to build in lots of time for myself to putter around getting ready. I wake up about 1 hour before I have to leave the house on non-gym days. This time does not include a shower, and I don’t have kids, so that hour is about 30 minutes of breakfast, 30 minutes getting ready (split before and after breakfast).

    • pugsnbourbon :

      This sounds pretty similar to my routine. I have a 6 am workout 2-3x per week, but on non-workout days I like to take my time. Feeling rushed in the morning throws me off at work.

  8. jumpingjack :

    I’ve never ever been someone to exercise or enjoy exercise, but in the past few months I’ve been getting up a half hour early to do 22 minutes on the elliptical. I’m amazed at how much better and more energetic I feel on the days when I do so. I’d barely call it exercise (though I’m on the elliptical for 22 minutes, my Fitbit typically only registers about 13 minutes of “active” time).
    .
    If you’re wondering, I picked 22 minutes because that’s the length of a half hour tv show, fast forwarding past commercials. So I can also get my Daily Show in every morning.

  9. I mess around on the internet until I’m fully awake. It’s good; I like it.

  10. I’m not normally a fruit eater but I recently got one of those blenders that blends right into a bottle you can take with you and now a few times a week I start the day with a smoothie made of frozen fruit, oats, yoghurt, and milk. I feel really good all day and it genuinely stops me getting hungry until lunch.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Can you specify what kind? I’m not sure I’m familiar with the one that goes into a bottle, but I like the sound of it… (I can’t justify a vitamix, though I totally want one.)

      • It’s the Breville BlendActive. It may be UK only though

        • Maddie Ross :

          Sadly, yes, as to that specific model, according to amazon. Although there are a whole world of other options on amazon I’ve never seen. I may do some shopping…

          • I really dig my NutriBullet. I got it as a birthday present last year and it’s possibly my most-used birthday present ever.

      • Wildkitten :

        If you search Personal Blender you’ll find dozens. The Sweethome doesn’t recommend them though.

      • I have a nutribullet and love it. It comes with various tops so you can take it on the go. Another option is to use a stick blender in whatever container you want.

  11. The idea of counting out “5 or 6 almonds” to eat as a meal or a snack really bums me out. Are we that desperate for nutrition/caloric perfection? We can’t have a handful of nuts anymore, now we have to count out five or six? Sigh. Not a criticism, just an observation.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Well, nuts are incredibly calorically dense. A big handful of nuts could easily be as many calories as a meal.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I mean, as a big, full meal rather than a light, equivalent-to-a-banana meal.

        • According to Mr. Google, an almond only has 7 calories. So I think it’s a bit of stretch to say it’s as many calories as a meal. A full cup of almonds is about 550, which is a lot, but that’s an awful big handful! Not trying to jump on you, Senior Attorney! I just agree with Anonna that it’s a bit of a bummer. I also think it’s assuming a lot to assume that most of us are restricting our calories to such an extent. Let’s try to not normalize extreme calorie counting any more than we have to.

      • Not really, unless you have huge hands. Twenty almonds have 165 calories, give or take.

    • Anonymous :

      My preferred method is to just stuff handfuls of trail mix into my mouth.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Right? Preferably the kind with m&ms or chocolate chips.

        • Trail mix memories... :

          I shared an office with this health fanatic intern. Her main diet was kale and quinoa. But sometimes she would get a tiny cup of trail mix out of the break room, only eat the M&Ms out of it, and throw the rest away. It always cracked me up, especially since we had a jar of M&Ms in the break room too.

          • Anonymous :

            Not a health nut, but I also prefer M&Ms from trail mix – they have a little coating of salt from the nuts on them. And are therefore more amazing than normal.

          • Anonymous :

            +1, M&Ms with the little bit of salt from trail mix are one of the most awesome things. Ditto for the raisins – a little sweet with a little salty is a fantastic combination.

          • Senior Attorney :

            You all need to try mixing M&Ms into your freshly popped popcorn. They get a little salty and melty-insidey and OMG…

    • Wildkitten :

      The measure of a serving of almonds (I think 20) is one ounce. A shot glass. So shots shots shots, but just one, and of almonds.

    • Anonymous :

      5-6 almonds is 1 point in WW, or at least it was, so it’s equivalent to the other 1-pt snacks. Much easier to count than deal with the digital scale.

  12. Senior Attorney :

    I used to get up and go to a class at the gym at 6 a.m., which I loved because I felt like it didn’t take any time out of the day that I would otherwise have needed for something else. These days, though, I use that time for snuggling with Gentleman Friend, which is my favorite part of the day! Our routine is to set the alarm for 6:00 and 6:30 a.m., snuggle through those alarms, get up at the 7:00 alarm, have a light breakfast together (these days we are big on homemade English muffins with avocado), then whoever visiting goes home. We live just a few minutes apart so it’s easier to go home and get ready than to pack a bag. From there it’s just shower/hair/makeup/clothes/out the door. Takes me 30-45 minutes depending on whether it’s a shampoo/blow dry day. If I’m home alone I tend to get out of bed earlier and do a little messing around on the internet before leaping into action.

  13. Yay! I love p’osts like this one, Kat, b/c I learn alot from others in the HIVE (and I hope they learn from me to!)

    I am NOT usueally a morning person when it come’s to exercise, but my DAD make’s me walk 10000 steps a day on my FITBIT, and he monitor’s me from his computer at home to make sure I am NOT slackeing. He bought sinker’s that I have plugged in at home and at work so that Dad can track me and KNOW if I am working out or slackeing and when I am doieng what! FOOEY!

    But it has CAUSED me to be MUCH more efficent in the morning, b/c by the time I get to work, I have done alot of steps and just have to clean up in the toilet b/f I can start workeing. I then have alot more energy to start my breif writing or my advance GQ work on my cases b/f I do my breif’s for court. So by the time 10:00 roll’s around, I have been at my desk for at least 1 hour and have incured billeables of at least 3.5 to 4.5 hours!

    I do have to take a 1 hour nap after lunch, which is NOT billeable, but all of this forces me into a great routine. I also am more fit b/c of all this, so that is also a good thing! YAY!!!

  14. Sydney Bristow :

    The key to my morning routine is my nighttime routine. Breakfast and lunch packed, clothes laid out, and showered the night before.

    I’m out the door as fast as possible in the morning. The earlier I get to work, the earlier I’ll get to stop working and enjoy the evening with my husband.

    My alarm goes off at 5:30 and I don’t allow myself to hit snooze because my husband has trouble falling back asleep and doesn’t need to get up until 7. Then I grab the clothes I laid out, get dressed in the bathroom, and brush my teeth and hair. Grab my purse and lunch and out the door by 5:40. When I get to work I fill up my ice water and eat the breakfast I brought with me.

    Doing this lets me bill at least 50 hours a week and leave at our official end of the day time so I can have dinner with my husband. If I need to fit in extra hours I can work from home at night. I’d work from home in the mornings but don’t because (a) there is a very real chance I’d fall back asleep on my couch and (b) the subway is far less crowded early in the morning.

  15. I highly recommend The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I started the routine January 1 and am still going strong March 17. Before daylight savings time began, I was waking up at 5am, spending an hour “miracle morning-ing”, spending an hour being active (running with my dog or barre), and spending an hour getting ready and eating breakfast, putting me out the door by 8am. Now, I am waking up at 6am and working out after work. These leisurely yet productive mornings truly set the tone for my day.

    • Any recommendations for an easy-to-operate alarm clock? I need something really loud and simple to work. I’ve been sleeping right through my embarrassingly numerous iphone alarms (two phones, ten alarms). Every morning I’m groggy, panicked, and running late.

      I just ordered The Miracle Morning. Thanks for recommending!

      • this bad boy. Love it: http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00S7LFCRA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00

        There’s also a cool alarm clock with wheels that jumps around your room called Clocky. http://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_9?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=clocky+alarm+clock&sprefix=clocky+al%2Cgarden%2C140

      • I love the sleep cycle app. It wakes you up when you’re in your lightest sleep cycle, so you wake up feeling refreshed.

  16. I don’t think many people use this feature but you can use your Fitbit to set an alarm so that you don’t disturb your partner in the morning. My husband gets up before me and uses his Fitbit because he gets up earlier than I do.

  17. Shock and Disbelief :

    Does anyone else want to throw up reading about being who work out at 5am? Or write for an hour?!? I mean, it is all I can do to get myself, my hubs, and my toddler out the door in order to be at work at 8:15 and I only have a fifteen minute commute. And night routines that include “getting ready for the next day”? Do you people never sleep? Or just chill for a minute to watch TV or decompress with your spouse? Do you hire other people to clean your house and do your laundry? Who has time for this stuff. Former big law attorney here, and I don’t typically think of myself as an “underachiever” but I’m reading this article and comments in shock and disbelief.

  18. I wake up at 440 AM, make some coffee and feed the pets. Then I put on my makeup and do my hair. I’m on my commuter train by 545 AM where I usually start scrolling through emails and reports on my phone. Sometimes I listen to podcasts and read the news. I’m at my desk by 615AM where I would call in to a conference call and have oatmeal for breakfast. My morning routine usually does not vary much. I’m in engineering.

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