Successful people have been sharing their morning/daily routines forever — a classic case is Thomas Jefferson — but of late our obsessions with these regiments border on mania, as evidenced by the seemingly endless lifestyle listicles. See this, this, this, this…you get it. As Americans, we love the notion that if we tick off certain boxes everything will come together. How tidy and hopeful to imagine that green juice the right productivity app will make you a successful person.
While some trite tidbits can be gleaned from these articles (exercise is good, waking up early gives you a head-start, eat breakfast) many of the routines themselves are not helpful #lifegoals for the average person. Here’s why:
1. They are primarily sourced from people with jobs in the business or tech sector who have totally different priorities and schedules than people in say, the entertainment or restaurant industry.
2. They are written from a place of socioeconomic privilege of people who have the resources to pay for the nannies, assistants, and expensive juicers that make their pristine mornings possible.
3. Their inherent perfectionism sets people up for failure – particularly those who struggle with anxiety.
So I decided to take a look at my own morning routine, if you can call it that. I’m not too proud to admit some of my derision for the subject comes from my lackluster mornings. Here’s a look at an average day (it’s yesterday):
- 8am, alarm goes off. It’s “Hold Up” by Beyonce. I hit snooze, though I can feel Queen B’s disappointment.
- 8:08am, first snooze alarm goes off, stirring me from a dream about being in high school again. I reply to my mom’s “Good Morning” bitmoji.
- 8:15am I check facebook, tumblr, twitter, Pinterest, absentmindedly look at my calendar, think about all the things I need to get done, vow to have a super productive day, and fall back to sleep.
- 9am, I think seriously about getting up so I can have a nice breakfast before work. I check twitter again.
- 9:30am. I’m not sure where the time went. Did I slip into a wormhole? I’m really getting out of bed now, seriously.
- 9:47am, I finally tear myself out of bed and get dressed. I rock the #nomakeup look. Again.
- 10:01am, I rush out of the house, chocolate Silk and mushy banana in hand.
- 10:02am, I forgot to open the blinds for my dog. She likes to look out of the window.
- 10:03am, I also forgot the package I need to mail. I lock the door a third time, and run to my car.
This is obviously a tongue-in-cheek exercise, but in all seriousness, it is nice to add some structure to your mornings. I’ve been known to read The Skimm to catch up on news and recently signed up for daily affirmations/goals from the new text service Shine. And since moving to my new place, I even take the time to tidy up most mornings. Baby steps, friends.
But you can miss me with the 6am green juice.
Love and theatre,
PS – do you have a favorite morning ritual? Let me know in the comments!