My Massively Simplified (Yet Highly Effective) Morning Routine
by Mike Mehlberg
Ah, the coveted morning routine.
Never in the history of mankind have so many high-achievers worked so hard to uncover a perfect sequence of activities that would guarantee success while in a sleep-deprived daze.
Count me amongst the journeymen in search of said truth.
I once awoke to a 36-point morning routine that included exercise, journaling, mediation, affirming my gratitude, taking an ice-cold shower, talking to plants, walking uphill (both ways) through an enchanted forest, and injecting coffee directly into my eyeball.
It didn’t work.
Not only did it take 23 hours and 59 minutes to complete, but exercising at 5 a.m. was the pits, meditation was more frustrating than homeschooling my kids during a global pandemic, and cold showers stopped being cool after cavemen discovered fire during the ice age. In other words, the morning routines of all the influencers, billionaires, and life-hackers didn’t work for me. And so I simplified.
First, I removed the cold showers. Those had to go—for my own sanity and physical well-being. Next, I removed everything else. Everything but the coffee that is.
Meditation? Wasn’t doing it for me.
Journaling? Helpful, but only on days when I felt lost or introspective.
Gratitude? Wasn’t necessary every morning as I’m a generally jovial chap.
As it turned out, a morning alone on my porch was my meditation. My lonesome thoughts were my journal. And exercise? Well, I didn't give up on that. But I did push it off until later—You know, after I stopped feeling like a twice-dead zombie with a bad attitude.
As for gratitude, my small green mug full of hot black liquid made me more grateful than any conscious gratitude practice ever had. And lately, thanks to RYZE, I’ve been sipping steaming, mushroom-infused caffeine while listening to the birds chirp their anthems on my back porch; it’s coffee without the buzz.
This ultimately means coffee was the only part of my routine I couldn't let go.
Was I addicted? Who knows (yes). But I do know that brewing it has cathartic effects. Sitting with it is more encouraging than Tony Robbins' Netflix special. And drinking it… well... drinking it is the rocket-fuel to my SpaceX, the wings to my unicorn, the fire to my ice-age.
So now, my 36-point morning routine has been simplified to just me and my coffee on the back porch. I have no agenda. I have nothing to do. I don’t look at my phone, I don’t read, and I don’t worry about the time. I just enjoy the sun on my face, the cool morning air in my lungs, and the age-old benefits of the little roasted bean until my blood starts pumping and I'm inspired to begin my day with aplomb.
About the author
Michael Mehlberg is a husband, father, technologist, business professional, author, fitness nut, organization freak, and productivity junkie. His Amazon best selling book, "Home Early: Destroy Distraction, Become Powerfully Productive, and Finish Work Before Dinner," helps high achievers connect their purpose to their daily actions so they can live a wildly productive and successful life.