Recently on Quora someone asked about AM/PM routines, and in my answer I shared screen shots from my morning routine app to show what I do. Thought I’d republish here with some improvements.

Do you have a morning/night routine? What are they?

I sure do.

At the advice of Noah Kagan I downloaded a morning routine app called Morning Rituals ($2 in the AppStore, no affiliate status).

AM Routine: Screenshots from my Morning Routine App

Here’s my exact routine for the time being. I make adjustments here and there.

I don’t follow it to a T every day. It’s a great guide.

Btw, Morning Rituals released an update this week and the new UI is way cleaner than what you see below. New UI screenshots in my follow-up post with friends’ routines.

Morning Routine App: Morning Rituals

Lights -> best way to speed up wake up

Weigh -> I weigh myself with a FitBit Aria scale which sends weight and body fat % to my FitBit account. I don’t worry about the day to day. I look at the trends.

Water -> we lose a lot of H2O while asleep, great thing to replace in the morning

Make Bed -> surely you’ve seen this:

#1 lesson of basic Navy SEAL Training: “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.” – Admiral William H. McRaven, University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address

Morning Routine App: Morning Rituals

breathe -> aka meditate aka sit still and listen without thinking

read -> a real paper book

Side bar: One of the common bits of “How to Be a Good Mormon” wisdom that, IMHO, gets tossed around rather cavalierly is “just read your scriptures for 15 minutes a day.” As a full-time missionary I relished in a full hour of personal study time each day and another full hour with my assigned companion. And that’s how every day went. I also had no idea what else I would do in the mornings to be productive, and it was the first time in life I wasn’t a full-time student. So for both those reasons, I loved having the study time as much as an approved diversion as it was independently fulfilling.

Outside of being a full-time missionary (and up until Jan 2016), I can’t say I made a habit of reading 15 minutes of anything on a daily basis. Perhaps through long sections of high school and college I did read 15 minutes or more every day — but that would have been assigned reading. Reading by assignment and reading by choice … two different experiences and outcomes.

Well, I’m now several weeks into reading just 10 minutes a day of what I want and simply because I want to. And … I’ve discovered … 10 minutes is plenty of time to cover a lot of meaningful ground. I think I discounted the advice to read 15 min daily because people said it like it was something everyone “should” do. But I never heard the advice by someone using first-person pronouns and present-tense verbs (see Clayton Christensen’s 2002 piece on this, just below “Constants and Variables”), and hence, I wasn’t believably touched or inspired by this suggestion.

Well, I am reading 10 minutes a day and it’s fantastic. It’s fantastic on the level of daily accomplishment, like making my bed; it’s fantastic on the level of seeing myself work through books when normally finishing a book had been a rarer occurrence; it’s fantastic on the level of starting my day by thinking about what I want to think about — typically something enriching — vs. staring with what my inbox wants me to think about.

Currently reading The Articles of Faith and other works.

10 ideas -> a la James Altucher and his Ultimate Guide for Becoming An Idea Machine

reddit -> I jump on to support people with questions on r/triathlon and r/running and learn from the other experienced people there

Morning Routine App: Morning Rituals

fig4 + lunge + pigeon -> stretches for my hips … I run a lot, this helps

crunch-push-plank -> core strength … I run a lot, this helps

workout -> 59 minutes is the max time allowable on the app right now … I do whatever my workout calendar calls for and either pause, exit, or advance this morning routine app to adjust accordingly

fuel -> post-workout: mix of carbs + protein is essential to solid recovery

Morning Routine App: Morning Rituals

goodies -> fish oil, safflower oil, vitamin D, digestive matrix; sometimes magnesium, glutamine and vitamin B12

shower + dress -> final stage to get ready for the day

stop -> is where the morning routine ends. I stop the timer, exit the app, and come back to that spot when it’s time for my night routine.

PM Routine: Screenshots from my Morning Routine App

Morning Routine App: Morning Rituals

stop -> I resume here at night time and use that minute to close up whatever I am doing

change -> a strong action and change of physical state to signal to my mind that the day’s work is done and I’m now headed for bed

“fish” “oil” + “night” “pill” -> a little healthy fat (fish oil, an omega-3) before bed is a good way for me to keep general inflammation down and support proper brain function. I take melatonin only if I’m feeling super alert and/or in a sub-optimal sleep environment.

Morning Routine App: Morning Rituals

brush -> duh

floss 1 tooth -> as Ramit Sethi says (on page 6), tell yourself to floss just one tooth and you’ll end up flossing them all

3 actions+attr -> I reflect on my day and write down 3 actions I am pleased I took that day and the attribute that I have that matches that action

read (part 2) -> while I listen to lots of books during the day, while driving, and so on, this time is reading a paper book. What I’m currently reading.

There are lots of options for your morning routine app and the routine you choose.

Good luck!

P.S. Find any of that helpful or inspiring? I’d like to know. Leave a comment or otherwise holler at me.