Why You Need Three Morning Routines

Why You Need Three Morning Routines

The ideal morning routine helps you start your day feeling accomplished, capable, and ready to tackle everything ahead of you. That’s a wonderful feeling, but you may not have the energy to do a complex routine every single day. A chill, minimalist morning routine has its benefits, too. Rather than trying to come up with the perfect balance, maybe you need more than one routine.

Redditor u/marlene-leonora suggests the solution to this problem is to have three routines, and I think it’s genius. One routine for when you’re low on energy, one for when you’re raring to go, and one for when you feel somewhere in-between. If you only have the energy to accomplish the bare minimum, you’ve still done something, and you won’t feel like a failure. You simply chose the routine that matched your energy for the day.

As a natural night owl, my first thought was for my own morning routines: If I sleep late or wake up groggy, my minimum is to brush my teeth, get dressed, make some toast, and spend a little time goofing off on social media. When I have more time, I go for a walk and listen to a podcast. And my ideal is to go for a run before breakfast, then return home with enough time to relax on the porch for a bit before I have to log in for work.

This works for all kinds of routines, though. Have trouble finding the time or energy for a workout? Divide your workout routine into essentials and extras; on those time-crunched days, only do the important stuff. Need to do a million things every morning at work? Make a checklist of the things that will get your workday off to a good start, even when you don’t have time for the rest.

Bedtime, too: when you’re exhausted, deploy a minimalist evening routine that winds you down and that will make the next morning better in at least one way (for example, washing a few dishes so the sink isn’t full and you’ll have all the utensils you need for breakfast). When you’re able to do more than the minimum, unleash a more ambitious version of your routine that allows time for you to take a bath and read a book — or whatever the ideal night is for you.

Routines build momentum, so after doing your low-energy routine for a few days, you’ll probably find yourself a little more interested in planning ahead to make time for the medium version, and perhaps even looking forward to the days you can do it all.

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