Decision fatigue, as defined by Wikipedia, is: “the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual, after a long session of decision making.” Basically this means that you only have so much decision making power in your day and when you use it up, the quality of your decisions suffers. For anyone looking to get the most out of their day and be as effective with their time as possible, it is important to put off decision fatigue for as long as possible. An easy way to do this is to have a set morning routine. Doing the exact same thing at the start of every day helps to save your precious decision making power for things that actually matter. It also helps to streamline your morning so you don’t have to take time deciding on things like what to eat for breakfast and can get on with your day faster!
Here is what my morning routine looks like:
6:00 Wake up! I use to app “Step Out!” which makes it impossible to snooze and gets me out of bed and moving right away.
6:05 Write in my 5 Minute Journal, which gets my mind into a good place right away and sets a positive focus for the day.
6:10 Make coffee. Yes, I’m an addict.
6:15 Meditation. I use the “Headspace” app which I find very useful for keeping track of progress and I like the “mindful moments” feature that reminds me to stay present a few times a day.
6:45 Drink a cup of coffee while I make my daily green smoothie.
6:55 Chug my green smoothie. Although they can be delicious, I drink them purely for the health benefits so I just drink it as fast as I can.
7:00 Leave for the gym. Working out first thing builds positive momentum and makes me unable to skip my workout later in the day.
8:30 Return from the gym and eat breakfast: 4 eggs scrambled with lots of coconut oil, minced garlic and chopped vegetables, served with homemade fermented sauerkraut, sour cream and coffee.
9:00 Begin my day.
It’s a pretty long 3 hour routine but it also includes a full meal and workout. I find that if I hit every point in my routine, it builds great momentum for the day and I’m a lot more productive. There are a few other things that I should mention that would be a good idea to build into your own morning routine:
Drink water: you have been asleep for 8 hours and are dehydrated. Drink two to four cups when you wake up. Coffee is not good enough.
Keep your phone off until you’re ready to deal with it: I sleep with my phone in airplane mode and don’t turn it back on until after my meditation. There’s been many times that I turn my phone on right when I wake up and see a negative email that puts me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I’ve learned now that I need to wait until my mind is ready before I interact with the world.
Make your bed: It takes less than a minute and is a good way to start your day off with a little win. It’s all about building momentum.
Limit your media consumption: Includes social media but also newspaper, TV, radio, etc. You don’t need to start your day off by being reminded of another political issue that might upset you but doesn’t really affect your personal life.
Smile: Studies have shown that if you make an effort to force a smile even when you’re not feeling it, you can begin to trick your brain into being happy again and start to change your mood.
If you’re the type that would not consider yourself a morning person, having a solid morning routine can really help with the challenge of getting out of bed. Because every morning is the same, you can run on autopilot for the first part of your day and it might be ok if your mind wakes up a little later than your body. Having a consistent morning routine has had a huge positive impact on my life but I’m always looking to try new things and improve. I would love to hear about some things that work for you, let me know in the comments!