I’ve always thrived with structure in my life, but regardless of that, I was never one to diligently follow a morning and/or evening routine — until this year. Largely due to spending more time at home and embracing the hybrid workplace like so many of us, it’s become increasingly necessary, but also valuable to my wellbeing to ensure that each day starts and ends with certain routines that ensure I’m running things at my peak-performance.
The Rigidity Dilemma
Despite the lack of a more catchy title, I do believe that there needs to be a good degree of balance between structure and flexibility to generally lead a more happy and productive lives. But, there is general consensus around the importance of routine on the road to ‘success’ in any pursuit.
“Masters manage to blend the two — discipline and a childlike spirit — together into what we shall call the Dimensional Mind. Such a mind is not constricted by limited experience or habits.” — Mastery by Robert Greene
Think of it this way, arranging days in this way, allows us to have the discipline required to succeed and the ability to see clearly what helps or hinders our goals and tweak our protocols accordingly. But, as mentioned by Greene, it’s important to ensure we leave that ‘wiggle room’ to allow spontaneity to inspire us in our creative endeavours.
But with that said, here is my current morning and evening routine:
- Mineral water
- Supplements → Vitamin D and Zinc
- Fruit and veg smoothie
- Coffee → 1hr after wake up
- Gratitude and intentions journal → I use an app called Day One
- Morning emails
- Evening emails
- Set tomorrow todo’s → I use Notion for this
- Daily reflections journal
- Foam roller
- Sleepy tea
Note: For those interested in the various products found in these routines I’ve linked them all at the end of the article.
Morning Routine Deep Dive
As a Senior Partner at a busy creative consultancy and like most of us, busy hacking away at various side hustles, it’s fair to say that waking up ‘properly’ (and sleeping for that matter), can be a struggle.
However, ever since my lockdown monk mode, I’ve found it extremely helpful for my productivity and wellbeing to start my day with this routine.
As you may have noticed, it helps me tick all the ‘life boxes’ to ensure I’m doing as much as I can to put my best foot forward and set up my day for success.
Physical wellbeing → Mineral water, supplements, smoothie and movement
Mental wellbeing → Gratitude and intentions journal
Productivity → Coffee, morning emails
Evening Routine Deep Dive
In a similar vein to my morning routine, depending on project phases, clients locations etc. sometimes I can be working late which if you know the basics about sleep health (check out Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker), is not optimal.
So, to mitigate the risk or at least increase my chances of getting high quality sleep, I make sure to stick to a simple protocol that primes my body for rest and gets me away from screen-time — probably the biggest sleep disrupter in my experience.
After the protocols becomes habit, your body will start to associate these actions with sleep and further increase the likelihood of getting a restful night.
“Practice does not make perfect. It is practice, followed by a night of sleep, that leads to perfection.” ― Matthew Walker, Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams
A Final Note on Momentum
All in all, ensuring I set up and end each day in this way can be nicely tied together by the universal law of momentum that states:
Things in motion tend to stay in motion.
To ensure we stay / work towards being on the ‘positive side’ of life, we can create a type of personal compounding effect via lots of small ‘positives’ or habits. In doing so, we can set ourselves up for success each day and help us build-up the required discipline needed to reach our desired goals.