Time management expert says this is the only reason to have a morning routine

There is so much advice on how to have the perfect morning routine, many of it featured on this site. After all, people with morning routines just seem to be winning at life.

In my head, they all have beautiful 80s commercial type breakfasts (including the glasses of juice and milk and the slab of beef on the side of their cereal bowl), are perfectly dressed and managed to go running, get a haircut in, play with their kids and garden all before going to work.

Rise with purpose

But if you truly want to have a morning routine that really accomplishes something Laura Vanderkam, time management expert and author of Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done says this is the secret.

“Think about what would make you excited to get out of bed. There’s no reason to have a morning routine just to have a morning routine,” she told Ladders. “The reason to do it is that there’s something cool you want to do in your life that is not fitting in your life otherwise.

“For many people, that’s something like exercise because it is hard to fit it in the rest of the day or creative pursuits like writing a novel. You are probably too tired at the end of the day to write,  but if you get up in the morning it could work. Or maybe it’s family time and a dinner just doesn’t work so go for family breakfast. This is anything you want to have in your life that you can’t make space for otherwise.”

Marie Kondo your morning

It’s similar to Marie Kondo-ing your life, you just are doing it with your morning. You want to be getting up for something that brings joy into your life. If you are just doing it to say you did it, that is just adding more clutter.

This school of thought may help you put less pressure on yourself and figure out what you really want to get out of your morning routine. But she does encourage going to bed earlier in order to help you have the space for a morning routine. “Going to bed early is how grownups sleep in! If you go to bed earlier you can get up earlier,” she said. Sounds good.