I have been experimenting and defining my frustration-fee morning routine for a lot of years and in this article, I’ve shared what works for me. I urge you to go ahead and experiment with your morning routine and turn it into a frustration-free experience.
Time to read
Time to read: 8 minutes (150 wpm).
Have you ever seen these people that seem happy every day? That greet you with a sincere smile no matter what they feel inside. People that are beacons of light and energy. You surely have them in your environment and you often find yourself asking the questions:
- How do they do that every day?
- I want to know their powers?
- How do they get the energy to: 1) do their stressful job; and 2) have enough left to energize others?
My answer to this is: the morning routine. I call mine “frustration-free morning”. I have diligently studied my own preferences and the preferences of my wife and kid. And I strive every morning to get to that perfect sequence of events (or as close as possible) that allows me to be that sunny person.
My frustration-fee morning routine …
… consists of 8 simple activities. I call them hygiene activities, because each of them takes care of a certain aspect of my life which is crucial for my success. I may not get enough time to do all 8 activities on every single day, but the closer I get to “perfection“, the better.
Hygiene activities, in my opinion, means the bare minimum to keep my healthy. For example, you know that you have to wash your hands, or otherwise you will be unhealthy. But do you know what you have to do for your spirit? Or for your relationship?
Below, I have described how did I get to my list of 8 activities.
Step 1: Define your best morning imaginable
Imagine that you are Harry Potter and you have a magic wand. You can use it to create the perfect circumstances for the perfect morning. The morning that you’ve always dreamed about. The one that is going to set on a path for the perfect day.
Be careful though, you need a set of pleasurable activities, some energizing activities, and you need to prepare for the day ahead. You also want to include your family and significant others. Based on my experience, your frustration-free morning depends also on your family.
My personal, perfect morning is the following:
- Sleep hygiene: I make sure I get at least 6-7 hours of sleep. This involves: 1) getting to bed on time; 2) not drinking caffeine after 4:00 PM; 3) not watching TV after 8:00 PM.
- Mind hygiene: I wake up and I DON’T get my phone to check emails. I don’t get my mind boggled with work, tasks, and worry.
- Body hygiene: brush my teeth and shave, sometimes even a shower after my exercises.
- Spirit hygiene: I meditate for 30 minutes drinking sips of water (not optimal but it works for me). Meditation helps my mind relax and prepares me for the day. I stay away from troubling thoughts and let them flow. 1 liter of water helps me flush the toxins out. To learn more about meditation, click here: How to Learn Meditation and Change Your Mind and Body.
- Muscle hygiene: Then, I do exercises (push-ups, squats, planks), while doing the morning chores (empty the dishwasher, prepare coffee and breakfast, squeeze orange juice). To learn more about my exercise routine, click here: Practicing Discipline – The Ultimate Daily Routine for Entrepreneurs.
- Fun hygiene: If time permits (usually on weekends), I would write or read. This is my fun part of the morning.
- Relationship hygiene: Then I would go up and wake my wife giving her a massage. She loves it and this is her frustration-free morning.
- Family hygiene: Finally I will wake my son up. He likes fresh orange juice in the morning.
Step 2: Define your main frustrations
There are things that you know will irritate you. Things that can ruin your whole day. Keep track of them and be aware of them.
For me these may be:
- A problem at work. These are hard to avoid and important to solve, because your performance depends on them. I try to avoid email for as long as possible.
- Loud TV or other sounds. I am writing/reading type of person. I rarely put music on in the morning and if I do it is very quiet.
You will also discover other things that will irritate you. Others will irritate your significant other. Track these too and avoid them.
Many families have a habit of having a Sunday-morning fight. Just because. Study and avoid these habits.
Step 3: Schedule the activities
It cannot happen on day one, but after a few weeks you will get a feel on how much time it takes to do everything. Calculate the total time that you need before waking up. And sequence the activities.
I regard this task as pure project management. You have your estimations, you know the sequence that you want to follow. All you have to do is to calculate the total time.
Do not try to over-optimize in the beginning. You can use each day to adjust your timing. You can use each evening to reflect on the process.
Step 4: Execute
Go ahead and do it! Force yourself to get up and start executing your plan. It is sometimes hard but this is where you need discipline and commitment. Some days you will feel lazy, other days you will lack motivation. And they are the most important ones to keep your habit.
If you decide to pursue the frustration-free morning routine, you have to stick to it. Day after day after day. It takes about 18 months to form a habit.
Not all days will be the same. But you will stick to your plan and you will make sure to get the best approximation of the perfect day. Avoid your main frustrations.
Step 5: Reap the results
When you turn your frustration-free morning into a habit, you will see the benefits on your performance. We will be able to turn a sleepless night into a successful day. Or a dark, overcast morning into a sunny day full of joy and success.
You will notice how small tweaks increase or decrease the results. According to the law of diminishing returns, the effect on your days will decrease. Be brave and male changes. If they do not work – get back and change something else.
Happiness is a choice, not an effect. You make it every day and that choice determines your success or failure, if you will be happy and smiling or sad and grumpy.
Create your own frustration-free morning routine, stick to it, and start reaping the fruits. You will see the improvement in your life-style and your energy levels.