There are countless list-based essays on optimized morning routines to ensure the highest level of productivity, but this is not what this essay is about.
I won’t make any particular recommendations, but more than anything seeks to understand what the possibilities are in the morning, mostly to aid myself to build a morning routine that allows me to flourish in my life.
If it helps you do the same, then great.
I’ve noticed a strong correlation between certain habits, and what I’ve then subsequently written down in my journal about how I feel.
Personally, I hate doing “work” in the mornings that include meetings, or pretty much anything to do with other people.
I far prefer to spend this part of the day looking inwards, but of course this is not always possible, especially if one has a career where you are expected to be present at 9am.
I find that the common sense ideas here generally prevail, and a mix of healthy food, exercise, and reading all give me a good start to the day.
The idea here is that there are certain things that have a compound effect in life. This means that the more you do them, especially in a sequential every-day manner, the more value their add to your life in an exponential manner.
One exercise session is not going to make you a particularly healthy individual. Two thousand exercise sessions over the course of ten years will make a big difference, especially compared to the person who hasn’t done those sessions.
And the same it is for reading good books, for thinking, for doing high impact work, or for almost anything you can think of.
It also works the opposite way. Negative habits such as drug or alcohol abuse, worrying, will have an exponential negative effect on your life.
This logically means that you can indulge in an occasional indulgence, because if it is a relatively isolated incident, it will not be able to take advantage of the compound effect and ruin your life.
So smoke the occasional split if need be, but don’t become a dope head.
So, because this compound effect is so strong, it is perhaps the most important thing to look at while living your life. And funnily enough, life needs to be lived one moment at a time, and grouping these moments into a day at time makes good sense, because it can encourage a certain amount of healthy repetition.
So, I find the mornings are best for doing the certain positive things that I feel will have a compound return over months and years, and for me these are exercise, thinking, reading, and writing.
I tend to spend my time thinking mostly on philosophical questions, life, business, and my relations with other people.
Every other optimization advice pales in comparison to this simple advice.