Have you ever woken up in a panic at 8:00 A.M., bleary-eyed, with barely enough time to down a cup of coffee and get dressed before you have to get out the door? Have you ever looked at successful people and thought to yourself, “What are they doing that I’m not? How can I gain greater control of my life, like they have?”
For most of our adult lives—Michael in Berlin, and Benjamin in London—our mornings would follow this same pattern: we would roll out of bed and straightaway fall into the trap of checking our phones, email, and any notifications that happened to pop up overnight before rushing out the door for work. The underlying stress of these mindless mornings fed into workdays of fluctuating moods and haphazard productivity. Far from feeling accomplished after a long day of work, we felt exhausted, and not at all excited to repeat the whole process the next day. Does this sound familiar?
The way you spend your morning has an outsized effect on the rest of your day. The choices we make during the first hour or so of our morning determines whether we have productivity and peace of mind for the rest of the day, or whether it will clobber us over the head. Unfortunately for most of us, good days don’t happen by accident. Unforeseen events will step forward to challenge your best-laid plans. If you don’t dip into your inner reservoirs of energy, focus, and calm first thing, you won’t stand a chance. Start your morning with intentionality, and you can then bring these “wins” with you into the rest of your day.
In the morning, alone in my office without interruption, I can write more in the first couple hours of the day than I can throughout the entire next twelve hours.—NICK BILTON, AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST
Since launching the My Morning Routine website five years ago, we have conducted interviews and extracted data from the morning routines of hundreds of successful individuals around the world. We quickly noticed that more and more of us are waking up to the idea that there is a better way to start the day than rushing through our precious few morning hours. What we discovered as we got deeper into the process of interviewing people about their morning routines is that almost none of the world’s best and brightest leave their mornings to chance. This is not a coincidence!
Alongside the collective wisdom of our growing archive of more than three hundred interviews, this book contains sixty-four morning routine interviews featuring a cast of characters from retired U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal to three-time Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Soni to the president of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, Ed Catmull to the life-changing tidying-upper herself, Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo. We’ll share with you the surprising similarities among these routines, as well as the innovative improvisations many of these individuals made.
Some routines are all about early morning exercise and spartan living; others are more leisurely and self-indulgent. From sleep patterns and dietary preferences to electronics use and workout rituals, we’ll give you a wide range of possible practices to try at home.