Recently on Quora someone asked about AM/PM routines, and in my answer I shared screen shots from my morning routine app to show what I do. Thought I’d republish here with some improvements.
Do you have a morning/night routine? What are they?
I sure do.
At the advice of Noah Kagan I downloaded a morning routine app called Morning Rituals ($2 in the AppStore, no affiliate status).
AM Routine: Screenshots from my Morning Routine App
Here’s my exact routine for the time being. I make adjustments here and there.
I don’t follow it to a T every day. It’s a great guide.
Btw, Morning Rituals released an update this week and the new UI is way cleaner than what you see below. New UI screenshots in my follow-up post with friends’ routines.
Lights -> best way to speed up wake up
Weigh -> I weigh myself with a FitBit Aria scale which sends weight and body fat % to my FitBit account. I don’t worry about the day to day. I look at the trends.
Water -> we lose a lot of H2O while asleep, great thing to replace in the morning
Make Bed -> surely you’ve seen this:
#1 lesson of basic Navy SEAL Training: “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.” – Admiral William H. McRaven, University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address
breathe -> aka meditate aka sit still and listen without thinking
read -> a real paper book
Side bar: One of the common bits of “How to Be a Good Mormon” wisdom that, IMHO, gets tossed around rather cavalierly is “just read your scriptures for 15 minutes a day.” As a full-time missionary I relished in a full hour of personal study time each day and another full hour with my assigned companion. And that’s how every day went. I also had no idea what else I would do in the mornings to be productive, and it was the first time in life I wasn’t a full-time student. So for both those reasons, I loved having the study time as much as an approved diversion as it was independently fulfilling.
Outside of being a full-time missionary (and up until Jan 2016), I can’t say I made a habit of reading 15 minutes of anything on a daily basis. Perhaps through long sections of high school and college I did read 15 minutes or more every day — but that would have been assigned reading. Reading by assignment and reading by choice … two different experiences and outcomes.
Well, I’m now several weeks into reading just 10 minutes a day of what I want and simply because I want to. And … I’ve discovered … 10 minutes is plenty of time to cover a lot of meaningful ground. I think I discounted the advice to read 15 min daily because people said it like it was something everyone “should” do. But I never heard the advice by someone using first-person pronouns and present-tense verbs (see Clayton Christensen’s 2002 piece on this, just below “Constants and Variables”), and hence, I wasn’t believably touched or inspired by this suggestion.
Well, I am reading 10 minutes a day and it’s fantastic. It’s fantastic on the level of daily accomplishment, like making my bed; it’s fantastic on the level of seeing myself work through books when normally finishing a book had been a rarer occurrence; it’s fantastic on the level of starting my day by thinking about what I want to think about — typically something enriching — vs. staring with what my inbox wants me to think about.
Currently reading The Articles of Faith and other works.
10 ideas -> a la James Altucher and his Ultimate Guide for Becoming An Idea Machine
reddit -> I jump on to support people with questions on r/triathlon and r/running and learn from the other experienced people there
fig4 + lunge + pigeon -> stretches for my hips … I run a lot, this helps
crunch-push-plank -> core strength … I run a lot, this helps
workout -> 59 minutes is the max time allowable on the app right now … I do whatever my workout calendar calls for and either pause, exit, or advance this morning routine app to adjust accordingly
fuel -> post-workout: mix of carbs + protein is essential to solid recovery
goodies -> fish oil, safflower oil, vitamin D, digestive matrix; sometimes magnesium, glutamine and vitamin B12
shower + dress -> final stage to get ready for the day
stop -> is where the morning routine ends. I stop the timer, exit the app, and come back to that spot when it’s time for my night routine.
PM Routine: Screenshots from my Morning Routine App
stop -> I resume here at night time and use that minute to close up whatever I am doing
change -> a strong action and change of physical state to signal to my mind that the day’s work is done and I’m now headed for bed
“fish” “oil” + “night” “pill” -> a little healthy fat (fish oil, an omega-3) before bed is a good way for me to keep general inflammation down and support proper brain function. I take melatonin only if I’m feeling super alert and/or in a sub-optimal sleep environment.
brush -> duh
floss 1 tooth -> as Ramit Sethi says (on page 6), tell yourself to floss just one tooth and you’ll end up flossing them all
3 actions+attr -> I reflect on my day and write down 3 actions I am pleased I took that day and the attribute that I have that matches that action
read (part 2) -> while I listen to lots of books during the day, while driving, and so on, this time is reading a paper book. What I’m currently reading.
There are lots of options for your morning routine app and the routine you choose.
P.S. Find any of that helpful or inspiring? I’d like to know. Leave a comment or otherwise holler at me.
Thanks for sharing this! I have been struggling this. This morning I listened to you on the Mormon Channel. I appreciate the ideas and suggestions! One question — the morning routine app reviewers state that you can only record one routine. How were you able to add a night routine as well? Thanks for the inspiration!
Hey, Melanie! You’re welcome and glad to hear the MC interview was helpful for you. As for your question, yeah for now just one long routine. You’re not the first person to suggest multiple routine lists…
How I manage right now is I have a routine line called “Stop!” When I get to that point in the morning, I click cancel, which stops the timer and goes to the app’s main screen. When I’m ready to wind down for the day, I open the app up again and click start, which resumes wherever there is time left. I often will need to click “next” through a few lines to get to “Stop!” which starts the evening routine.