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What Morning Routine Activities Should You Do According to the Latest Science?

Jun 2, 2022
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Table of Contents

Let’s create a thought experiment. Imagine you have the freedom to make 5 or so choices about what you do in the beginning of the day, and then the rest of the day you are made to complete random tasks for a reward.

In this experiment, you’d probably think really carefully about what exact choices you’d want to make. For example, maybe you’d prioritize getting the coffee ready over checking your email. Or perhaps you’d focus on feeding the pets instead of browsing social media.  

You may be thinking “Hey! This theoretical experiment sounds a lot like my actual mornings!” For many people, 5 is the magic number of different activities we can commit to in the morning before we get to work. For some of us, that number is even lower.

So what if we upped the stakes to make it more experimental? What if those 5 or so choices had to be the same choices you were stuck making every single day? While it may seem like a crazy idea, humans are designed for routine. In fact, we spend time much of our time obsessed with it

Warren Buffet has a similar thought experiment that he calls the “20 slot rule.” It’s a little more broad, giving you 4 times as many choices that pertain to becoming wealthy. But it’s the same idea: quality over quantity.

You can win the start of your day by engaging in the best, most efficient activities within a healthy morning routine; and when you win the start of the day, you win everything!

In this article, we’ll break down the best morning routine activities. Instead of creating some megalist of a bunch of random options, we’ll give you the supreme choices and explain how to do them efficiently, with science!

Get Caffeinated, but Not Too Soon

Coffee has been proven to lower your risk for a variety of illnesses, from Parkinson’s to diabetes, and even kidney disease. It’s even linked to brain health and weight loss!

But hey, you probably don’t need a medical study to tell you how great caffeine is in the morning if you’re one of the 90% of Americans that will consume some kind of caffeine today.

However, consuming caffeine right when you get up might not be a great idea: this is because of a steroid hormone that your body produces called cortisol. If you’ve ever seen Pulp Fiction, it’s a bit like the stuff that Vincent Vega injects into Mia Wallace’s heart.

The release of cortisol is connected to your circadian rhythm, so when you wake up, your adrenal glands pump a ton out for you to say “Wake up mother****er!”

Your cortisol levels skyrocket for about 45 minutes after you wake up. Unfortunately, they spend the next few hours going back down, and they stay low for the rest of the day.

What does all this science mambo jumbo mean for you? Wait about 45 minutes to drink the first cup of coffee or energy drink or tea or whatever. Then (when your cortisol levels drop), sip that caffeine away.

Not only will you get the most out of your caffeine throughout the day, you’ll also avoid that anxious jolt-to-a-start wave of energy from mixing it with cortisol right when you wake up.


Everyone knows an annoying runner who gets up before anyone should be awake and acts super motivated all the time, and we know how energetic it seems to make them.

But did you know that exercise is scientifically proven to make us more focused, in addition to giving us extra motivation? It even helps us to learn new concepts and recall information faster.

That’s right. Your body didn’t evolve to sit around at a desk all day without getting your blood flowing and muscles working for at least a few minutes.

Depending on the type of exercise you do, there might be even more benefits in store. For example, running makes you happier and yoga has been shown to reduce anxiety.    

Journal Your Thoughts

It’s been suggested that journaling helps with anxiety disorders, depression, and even PTSD.

But don’t just take science’s word for it. All you need is a paper and pen or a few stone tablets and a chisel if you want to go old school. Journaling is a great activity because it helps you dump out distracting thoughts that will derail your productivity and emotional stability if you let them stick around.

Besides, the beginning of the day is the perfect time to jot some ideas down. You could try to make a list of what needs to be done that day, or try to recall the dreams you just woke up from.

Take a Cold Shower

If you’re like us, you might have originally thought of cold showers as quite possibly the worst way someone can start their day.

But cold showers have actually been studied as a treatment of depression. Another study even found that they boost your immune system.  

Moreover, cold showers get your blood pumping faster in the same way that exercise does. Try one for yourself. It might just be the slap in the face that you need to get your day moving on an energetic vibe.

Early to Bed, Early to Rise  

We know that starting the night before doesn’t really seem like a “morning routine”, but believe us, it is one.

Being an early riser has been proven to have some benefits: early birds have more energy, higher rates of productivity, and they’re even more organized.

Even if you’re not into the whole waking up early thing, there are some clear benefits to at least maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. Your circadian rhythm matters, and keeping it in check is proven to conserve your energy, make you more focused, and even ease digestion.


The above morning activities all have extensive scientific research that suggests they’re extremely helpful for maintaining focus, energy, and productivity throughout the day. If you want to implement these tips, but find your mornings filled with distractions, we recommend using a screen time blocker like Focus Bear. Good luck, and good morning!

Jun 2, 2022

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