Stop Doing Morning Routines — They’re Bad For You
This is a message Alex Hormozi preaches a lot.
Alex Hormozi has been popping off on the internet recently with his practical and useful tips on self-improvement and entrepreneurship.
But to be quite honest, I think he’s famous because of the moustache.
His LinkedIn bio:
Managing Partner at Acquisition.com — We help bootstrapped founders with companies between $3M-$30M in revenue triple their businesses within 60 mos and become sellable enterprises without giving up majority ownership.
So he’s very successful and is disgusted by morning routines.
I’ve written an article where I said this.
To cultivate the path of least resistance I’ve created a morning routine, to which I stick to religiously.
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I do still believe in morning routines.
So why that title in this article? Isn’t it contradictory?
First I’ll give my previously extreme pro-morning routine stance.
Then Alex’s arguments on why morning routines suck.
And lastly, I’ll add some nuance to my previous stance.
Our brains are hardwired to take the path of least resistance, it’s an evolutionary instinct, and it simply just makes sense.
You can abuse your brain’s natural tendency, taking the path of least resistance, to stay consistent in tasks.
I do not keep my phone near me when sleeping.
It’s charging on the other side of the room.
So when my alarm goes off, I have to panically run towards it and turn it off.
When I’m in my morning haze of
“Where am I?”
“What day is it?”
“What am I supposed to do today?”
I just do my routine.
It’s the same every single day so I never have to think when I’m in that haze.
My routine is easier to do and gives me more enjoyment than going back to my bed and lying down.
So I’d rather do the routine instead of going back to sleep when I wake up.
This causes me to stay consistent in waking up at 5 am.
Morning Routines Are Bad For You
If I wanted to conquer somebody who is a competitor of mine, I would hope, I would pray that they have crutches and superstitions that I can exploit.
- Alex Hormozi
“I have to get my coffee and eggs at 6.30 am every morning.”
“I have to get at least 8 hours of sleep”
“I must meditate before starting my work”
These types of beliefs are crutches.
Life gets in the way and you won’t always get your morning coffee.
Even if you do, after a while the benefit of coffee goes away.
At first, you feel great after drinking some coffee.
After a while, you have to drink coffee to get back to your normal or maintenance level.
So it doesn’t add any value to your life anymore.
If you want the value coffee can give you, then you need to cycle it, which means that you can’t have a routine.
Cycling stuff means taking multiple doses of said thing over a specific period, stopping for a while, and starting again.
You can’t become dependent on your routine.
They become dependent on these superstitions about how they must go to bed every night,
how they must fall asleep,
and what they must take,
and how they have to have their morning coffee.
Or they create a punishment for themselves.
“Oh I can’t be productive”, “Oh can’t think straight”, “Oh I’m really really agitated all day”.
That’s so weak.
It makes you so non-resilient that I would hope to compete against you.
- Alex Hormozi
So what do I do?
It’s hard to listen to Alex talk about this, but he’s completely right.
The benefit of something drops if it becomes a routine.
That’s just how our brains are wired.
Huberman talks a lot about this in this podcast, which is fire btw, go take a listen.
The purpose of a morning routine is so that you stay productive and don’t get back into bed when you wake up.
But it can’t become a crutch, you can’t be dependent on it.
I’d still keep the first couple of things in the morning a routine to cultivate the path of least resistance.
First ‘tasks’ in the morning should have less resistance than going back to sleep.
For example, having to turn off your alarm from across the room, where your pen and paper lie.
That way you can do gratitude journalling with a desk lamp on that wakes you up.
It’s easier to just sit in your chair, grab the pen and paper and start writing, than to walk back to your bed and go to sleep.
Then after your very short routine that wakes you up and is easy to do, add some variables.
Here’s where you break from your routine.
The easiest variable to add is to just get straight to work, your morning work session.
Your work will differ day to day.
You can also do some preparation before immediately working.
Some days drink your coffee for energy.
Some days meditate before you start for clear-headedness.
Some days prep lunch before work.
Some days make lunch after work.
This helps you to become resilient to your routine.
You won’t be dependent on your coffee so that you can work.
Instead some days you’ll enjoy your coffee.
On other days you’ll enjoy cooking your lunch or meditating.
This way you’re not dependent on your routine to be productive.
Either way, you’ll be productive but you’ll have a bonus on some days.
Still have a routine but make it different every day with your variables.
If Mondays you drink coffee and Tuesdays you meditate that means that the variables aren't variables anymore.
You just made a weekly routine instead of a daily one.
Make it truly random.
Either decide on the same day or the day before when you plan the next day.
You can even do a random number generator if you really want to.
That’s a bit excessive in my opinion but to each his own.
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