There’s No Such Thing As A “Perfect Morning Routine”

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Perfect morning routine

Hands up: how many of you jump out of bed every morning, bright-eyed and raring to seize the day?

You’re up at 5am, green juice in hand before sprinting five miles, meditating and baking a dozen cupcakes for your co-workers, right? And you combine the school run with yoga, eating avo-on-rye, writing a killer pitch, and still leave for work by 7.30am?

Please tell me y’all said no? Otherwise I’ll assume you’re frickin’ TIME LORDS to win at that frantic morning chess match every day without losing your s***. Yet it seems not a week goes by without someone somewhere peddling a hyper-productive, ‘perfect’ morning routine as the key to unlocking ‘successful’ modern womanhood and career success.

The perfect morning routine is dead, there's no such thing 3
The perfect morning routine, is your own
Let go of perfection and the perfect morning routine concept

This strive for dawn-time perfection is problematic. For those who aspire to ‘perfection’, checking off 15 opposing tasks before our facial features have fallen into place can be like trying to wrestle a giant kitten. We’d love to play, but look at the size of that thing! That beast is just too big.

I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with being a morning person and wanting to get things done. My point is, the pace of life’s treadmill can often overtake, nay floor, our ambitions to achieve morning-time perfection. And why does it have to be morning-time, anyhow?

In a bid to overthrow the pressure of perfection, I‘ve taken a look at some of the internet’s allegedly ‘perfect’ routines, to highlight the need to tailor a routine to your unique needs and wants.

The World Economic Forum

The WEF pinpoints a whopping 14 different activities pocketed by ‘successful’ people before breakfast. These include working on personal-passion and top-priority business projects, spending quality time with your family, meditating, reading the news… valiant aims. But why so essential to achieve all of these before you chow down your Cheerios?

Alan Sugar

The British business boss’ favourite morning activity is a 50-mile countryside bike ride before heading to the office. I’m all for this, and frankly this is why the working day should start later, to fit in things like epic cycles without having to rise at 4am to manage it.

Gwyneth Paltrow

The actress, Goop founder and vagina steaming champion psyches herself up for tomorrow’s chaos with an Epsom salt bath and organic essential oils on her pressure points. I’m melting just thinking about it, and the salts themselves are reassuringly inexpensive. Tricky if you live alone or without a tub, mind. Epsom salt sponge bath anyone?

Sakara Life

It’s said that Sakara Life organic meal program founders Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise like to finish a busy day by sipping Sakara Night Water – at just US $18 a pop. $18?! Pays to be a company founder. I say brew some bog standard builder’s tea and be done.

Kate White

The former Cosmopolitan Ed takes things even earlier with her pre-morning routine, tending to her “idea bar” – working at a butcher-block counter in her kitchen – until 1am, fuelled by espressos. Love the ideas bar, but the late night espressos? It’s giving me the (caffeine) shakes.

MyDomaine

For MyDomaine, morning power starts with Sunday prep, getting the life-admin (read: boring) stuff out of the way, from weekly shopping to laundry and tidying. It can be galling to choose chores over the harbourside boat bar, but it does then mean you’re prepped to host that next social soiree. Swings and roundabouts.

Oprah

Curious to discover your Zodiac sign’s ideal morning routine? Oprah.com has 12 different answers. While Virgos seek hyper-organization and a long shower, Librans are energised by a socialising sesh. Sagittarius wants to delve straight into exciting projects, while Taurus needs to ease in with instrumental music and minimal interaction.

The takeaway: horses for courses

Whether or not you believe in the power of the stars, here is an important takeaway. There can be no one-size fits all for developing a make-the-most-of-it routine, morning or otherwise.

Figuring out what matters to you, and maximising the time you’ve got to enjoy it, whether you’re a lark or a night owl – that’s the ticket to success, whatever your life goals. As is accepting that it’s not about the quantity of enriching daily activities you get through; it’s the quality.

Daisy x

What’s your morning, day-time, or evening routine? What makes your routine unique to you, and how did you stumble upon it? Share your stories in the comments below. Then head over here to chat with me, other business women and female entrepreneurs in the Iris Lillian Squad about your daily routines, and how they support your life goals.
Meet Daisy

Daisy lives in Bristol UK where she writes for themessyrunner.com, runs and hunts live music shows and pizza. She shares a teal 18th century flat with a kitten called Bees and Harry who has Robert Plant hair.

Perfect morning routine

3 Comments
  1. Jessica A. Walsh says

    I have been trying to “perfect” a morning (and night) routine and all I’ve discovered is that balance is key. Yesterday I ran a 5k and gardened all day. So guess what? I was sore as hell and hit snooze until 6:30 this morning. But yesterday I was up at 5 am jotting down a to-do list and sipping lemon water.

    Every day is different for me. The one thing I try so hard to keep consistent though is that I don’t spend time staring at my phone as soon as i wake up. Ideally, I get up, drink some water and/or coffee, journal for a few minutes, meditate, exercise, have a great breakfast, plan for my day ahead, etc. I hate rushing and I love my quiet mornings. But yeah, we need to stay flexible and listen to our bodies. I am happy to have come across your post in the blogging boost giving a contrast perspective to the whole morning routine argument. (www.jessicaannwalsh.com/blog)

    1. Iris Lillian says

      Hey Jessica, thanks for sharing your experience. I totally agree with your strategy. Some mornings I’m up early, chugging down a kale, carrot and ginger shake while hanging a load of washing. Others, I’m exhausted, unable to drag myself out of bed. I have decided that, instead of worrying about what I haven’t achieved, I try to give myself a little leeway and some TLC. It’s not always easy though 😉

  2. Isobel says

    So true! There’s no single correct routine – and so many morning routines seem to be a way of showing off rather than a way to actually get more done! I actually just wrote a post about morning routines on my own blog, and I definitely don’t think there’s any ‘right’ way to approach mornings. Whatever works best for you!

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