What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

Read 116 answers below or select another question.

Emily White · Co-Founder of Dreamfuel, Whitesmith Entertainment

I try to not be too hard on myself when the morning routine cannot happen for any reason. That said, skipping my routine is rare because these priorities enhance both my life and my business - that’s exactly why they are priorities.

If, for some reason, I don’t get nine hours of sleep, I will nap to make up the difference. If I truly can’t exercise, I’ll take conference calls while walking around the block or with legs up the wall until I hit an hour. It sounds crazy, but prioritizing sleep and exercise makes such a difference across the board that it’s beyond worth it.

Erin Loechner · Author, Parent

Oh, I have a hard time if I don’t get in my morning hours. Even on weekends when I’m not working, I prefer being the first one awake to center myself in quiet. It’s the only time of day when the house is silent and calm, so I treasure it so much!

Erika Serow · President and US CEO, Sweaty Betty

My routine is fluid enough and I travel enough that I’m not thrown off when I miss it. However, getting less than six hours of sleep has an immediate impact on my mood, my acuity, and my eating habits for the day.

Guy Tal · Landscape and Nature Photographer

In my case it may be better to ask the opposite question: what if I tried to follow a more rigid routine? I have tried in the past, and when I do I very quickly find it profoundly limiting, frustrating and unproductive.

I work in bursts, and I can’t do creative work on a schedule. Some days I can write prolifically and other days I can’t put a satisfactory sentence together; some days I am inspired to make photographs and other days I don’t feel like touching my camera; some days when I’m uninspired I use my time for office work and other chores; etc. I rarely know in advance what the best use for my time will be on a given day, and attempting to force it usually becomes an exercise in frustration.

I think that a very common misconception that humans have is that other humans think, feel and function in the same as they do. If a routine works for me, it must work for others; if a certain activity is enjoyable to me, it must be enjoyable to others; if socializing is rewarding to me, it must be rewarding to others, etc. But the truth is, some of us perform best in chaos and feel oppressed when beholden to a routine; some of us are perfectly comfortable with our messy desks and offices; some of us are introverted and prefer to spend our times in solitude, etc.

Mauricio F. Corridan · Photographer

I’m pretty flexible, so if I can’t manage to do something because I lack the time in the morning, I just do it later in the day or in the evening.

Vanessa Garcia · Multidisciplinary Artist

On days when I really need to get a lot of work in, waking up late can mess with my head. Sometimes those days feel like disasters. When everything goes against my plan for the day, I do something like visiting my grandparents. That always puts things in perspective. Seeing people who love you and whom you love when they don’t expect it reminds you of what’s important. It reminds you of how little time we have; sometimes the best thing you can do is to not try to beat time but to slow down and enjoy it.

Erin Motz · Co-Founder of Bad Yogi

I’ve missed three days over the past few months, and it’s totally thrown me off! I do try to catch up with it later in the day; for example, I’ll still carve out time to meditate and write, and that helps clear my head and bring me back down to earth.

Liesl Gibson · Pattern Designer

There are some days when I just don’t sleep well enough and go back to bed for another hour as soon as my daughter leaves for school. I really dislike those days, though. I feel thrown off schedule and unproductive even though I really need the extra sleep.

Steph Davis · Free Soloist, Wingsuit BASE Jumper

My life is dictated primarily by the weather, for better or for worse! I have a hard time working with schedules based on calendars, which is how most of the world works, because calendars rarely align with weather schedules, and the weather is so unpredictable from day to day and even hour to hour in the desert and the mountains.

Lisa Nicole Bell · Writer, Producer, Podcast Host

I will turn my morning routine into my afternoon routine if I need to. I like doing it in the morning, but I have no qualms about doing a mini version in the afternoon. Even if I only set aside fifteen minutes, that time goes a long way toward my mental and emotional well-being.

Sol Orwell · Co-Founder of Examine.com

Evolution isn’t about being the fittest but about being the most adaptable. It sucks if I can’t get into my routine, but I try to shrug it off and just carry on. Life is far too varied and random to be beholden to any set pattern or sequence of actions.

Sarah Doody · UX Designer, Product Strategist

I used to beat myself up if I slept in or missed a workout. But honestly, I don’t let it mess up my flow anymore. If I sleep in, it’s probably because my body really needs it and I haven’t been paying enough attention to go to sleep early or to sleep in a little more. I absolutely hate being rushed in the morning, though, so I try to just be more efficient throughout the day so I can make up time.

Having fewer hours in my day is almost a challenge to see how focused I can get - and how little I can get caught up in social media or in reading articles and things like that.

Gracy Obuchowicz · Yoga Teacher, Retreat Leader

I can streamline my morning routine for a couple of days and still feel okay. However, if I skimp on my self-care for too long, I begin to feel overwhelmed and anxious.

I’ve come to understand that my morning routine is linked to my professional success and satisfaction. I hold a lot of space for others’ growth and that space can quickly become depleted if I don’t make conscious time to stay grounded. When I don’t feel good, I’m not much use to anyone else. Last year when I visited an Ayurvedic clinic in India, the doctor told me that as a teacher, my practices need to be twice as strong as everyone else’s. I’m not sure I am quite there, but I work on cultivating more discipline in a joyful way.

I focus on doing the best I can and prioritizing fun over perfection. I tell my clients all the time that they have to create a morning routine that makes them happy. The whole point is happiness, so my practices can’t feel like drudgery. I look forward to getting up early because I like what is ahead of me. My self-care really feels like self-care, which is why I do it so consistently.

Raffaella Caso · Founder of BabyGreen

If, for any reason, my morning routine fails, I try to recover the rest of the day. But it’s not the same; that’s why I strongly need my routine, especially the minutes I spend writing down my daily docket (with my hot coffee).

Victoria Durnak · Artist, Sculptor

My son is dependent on that nap. Some babies can go without sleep for longer stretches, but my son becomes impatient and unfocused. My exhibition is also dependent on that nap, so when he skips it I get nervous about the show!

Isabel De Los Rios · Certified Nutritionist

The last time I missed my morning routine was last year, upon returning from Hawaii (a six-hour time difference), when I woke up at 9:00am in my four-year-old’s bed. I must have fallen asleep putting him to bed, and with the time change, I slept all the way to 9:00am.

Since I knew I was still going to need at least thirty minutes of my routine that morning, I let the kids watch some cartoons on my iPad while I made my tea and did my Bible reading. Thank goodness it was a Saturday and no one needed to be anywhere. That was the last time I missed my morning routine. It’s sacred territory.

David Kadavy · Author

If something other than work has to be done first thing in the morning, it’s as if my whole day’s creative output is shot. Ultimately, though, I think those situations leave me with more energy for doing “social” work, such as researching podcast guests or nuts-and-bolts production-type work later on in the day.

Ann Friedman · Freelance Journalist

I tend to beat myself up a bit if it’s late afternoon and I have yet to write anything or complete my main task for the day. Mornings are my best hours, so I hate to feel like I’ve wasted them, but I’m not sure that my routine plays a big part in whether I use those hours well or not.

Sonia Rao · Singer-Songwriter

Following a routine is good for me and it allows me to write and practice and play shows, but if I do that for too many weeks in a row, I start to feel like a robot. So every so often I like to completely ignore it and see where the day takes me.

Tiffany Pham · Founder, CEO of Mogul

If I inadvertently stray from my morning routine, I recover throughout the day by staying present and in the moment, and still over-delivering on each task ahead.

Jess Weiner · Social Entrepreneur

I definitely feel more alive when I’ve taken time for me, my body, and my relationship; there is no doubt about that. My mind feels clear and I feel happier and more energized.

But I try not to beat myself up if I’m not as consistent as I want to be. I believe in infinite do-overs in life. If I get up and jump right into work, I try to at least stop for a few minutes in the evening and correct course. I’ll read a book, call my husband, or listen to Oprah and Deepak. They always know how to help me get back on track.

Arianna Huffington · Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post

Being committed to a routine is, of course, what makes it a routine. That said, on some days life intervenes or we get off track. And when this happens, I try not to judge myself or let it negatively influence the rest of my day.

I’m a big proponent of silencing the voice of self-judgement and self-doubt in our heads, which I call the obnoxious roommate. It’s the voice that feeds on putting us down and strengthening our insecurities and doubts. I have spent many years trying to evict my obnoxious roommate and have now managed to relegate her to only occasional guest appearances in my head!

UJ Ramdas · Co-Founder, Intelligent Change

It really affects my day if I don’t do my morning routine at all. The day is a lot more likely to affect my state.

If I fail to follow my morning routine I’ll typically still get in a cold shower and a few pullups before leaving the house if time is tight.

Arvell Craig · Coach, Strategist

I used to stress a lot when I didn’t get my morning run. Getting coffee is pretty important as well. The other items are important, but I don’t notice any energy or mood dip due to them.

Kate Krasileva · Psychology Researcher

When I don’t exercise or eat breakfast, my mental state is definitely affected for the rest of the day. I find it more challenging to focus and stay motivated, so my productivity is certainly off.

I love sticking to my routine and have noticed a considerable improvement in my sleep when I’m disciplined enough to stick to it during weekends, as well as during the week.

Sean Ogle · Entrepreneur, Writer

Each little win in the morning makes me want to achieve another.

Water? Check. Writing? Check. Breakfast? Check. Gym? Check.

It’s only natural to want to keep checking off boxes. If I don’t have an early win, I tend to just float throughout the day - not getting much done and not feeling very productive.

Stew Smith · U.S. Naval Academy Graduate, Former Navy SEAL Lieutenant

I only miss a workout when I’m ill (very ill). I find my productivity at work is considerably less if I skip a workout. It may take me until 10:00am to get productive, versus normally being productive at 8:00am immediately after my workout.

On a normal day I will always eat something after my workout as I’m hungry and need to eat healthy brain food in order to start writing. I write for Military.com and About.com, and have a few books in the making this year, so when I’m not working out, I’m writing about it.

Katelin Jabbari · Googler, Parent

I rarely fail to follow my morning routine when I’m at home, since I know I’ll feel worse throughout the day if I do, but the few times I have (once when I was sick and once when I was just too tired to wake up at 5:30am) it’s basically meant skipping the gym. I still have to pump, get dressed, do something with my hair (even if it’s just a ponytail), and drive to work. I get to my desk around the same time, so it’s just that hour and a half of working out and taking a little bit longer to get ready that I miss.

If I fail to follow it because I’m on vacation or traveling for work, I don’t stress about it too much. I know it’s temporary, so I take the time to catch up on sleep and relax a bit.

Rachel Binx · Data Visualizer, Artist

I hate having to rush to get ready in the mornings. I think the stress of rushing often causes me to forget other things that I need to do. Sometimes it feels like a rushed morning can throw off an entire day.

Taylor Davidson · Entrepreneur, Photographer

Waking up early usually isn’t a challenge, but sometimes things can get in the way of my morning workout. In that case, I try to enjoy my morning shower, find my focus for what I have to work on, and carve out time later in the day to work out.

Craig Ballantyne · Author, Fitness Expert

I never fail. My morning is spiritual to me, and missing my morning routine would be like the Pope missing morning mass. It does not go neglected, period.

It all comes down to planning and preparation. That is how you control your days, own your life, and live perfect days without regret every day.

Chris Guillebeau · Author, Modern-Day Explorer

I think the best way to put it is that some failures are acceptable and others aren’t. If I’ve slept poorly or didn’t hydrate well, it’s a bad omen for the rest of the day. I’ll be distracted and unfocused. On the other hand, if I sleep a bit later than usual, it’s not always a problem. I try to schedule meetings and calls for later in the day in order to keep the morning reserved for the work and writing I do on my own.

David Moore · Designer

If I happen to miss my twenty minutes of silence or don’t plan out my goals for the following day I notice that’s it’s harder to find my groove in my morning. I don’t make a big deal out of it I just focus on trying again tomorrow!

Steve Kamb · Founder of Nerd Fitness

I’ve noticed more and more how important this routine is for me to be my best self and create the best value for my team and community. All it takes is one morning meeting or interview and it can ruin an entire day’s worth of writing - my brain rationalizes and says “I only have sixty minutes instead of my normal three hours, better just do some busy work.”

I know that sometimes things happen and my mornings can get thrown off occasionally, so on those days, I just accept it and do my best to clear the rest of the obligations off my plate so I can get right back on schedule the next day. If I miss two days in a row, it makes the habit of creative writing much harder to pick back up. Like a muscle, it needs to be worked out!

Cara Stawicki · Rower

I’ve been an athlete my whole life, so honestly, if I don’t get in a workout first thing in the morning, I can get pretty cranky. However, our training can get incredibly intense and I’ve learned to rest whenever I can and as much as I can. So during the occasional morning off, I don’t stress about not working out and instead catch up on things at home.

Lisa Congdon · Fine Artist, Illustrator

Routine, and rituals for that matter, are a very important part of being a creative person. I find that when I go off my routine, my sense of balance is skewed. And sometimes that can make me feel really anxious, which, in turn affects my ability to do good work, or in some cases, to get any work done at all.

My morning routine grounds me and keeps me organized, and that frees me up to focus on making new artwork each day.

Rand Fishkin · Founder of Moz

I’m pretty flexible actually. I can go days with lots of interruptions and inconsistency and be okay.

My biggest requirement is my back exercises, and I can do those anywhere with floor space (I have been in a few Manhattan hotels where it was impossible, though).

Gregg Carey · Entrepreneur, Survivor Contestant

My clarity, confidence, and happiness is certainly limited. My steps feel like more work. My clothes fit differently.

The key to really nailing and prioritizing my morning routine was when I was able to see how much more the morning contributed to my overall well-being than the evening. My big breakthrough came when I realized that the first three hours of the day are more important than the last three. I’ve been able to craft my mornings into something that truly excites me. I look forward to waking up. It’s my Christmas morning strategy.

Danielle Buonaiuto · Soprano

​I’m definitely off for the rest of the day, feeling like I’m rushing to catch up. It’s less about what I do but that I wanted to do it, and didn’t get to.

Elizabeth Royal · Street Style, Fashion Photographer

If I don’t do my morning routine I feel like I’m less productive and I often need to stop and try to take a minute to plan out the remainder of the day and pray.

I tote my planner with me most places, so I’ve done my scheduling in doctors offices, on trains, airplanes, in cabs, coffee shops, standing on a corner in the middle of a city, and even on a bench in a museum.

Johnny FD · Entrepreneur, Frequent Traveler

If I catch myself laying around and not getting straight up, I’m tired the rest of the day and less productive. Sometimes I allow myself to do it but only if I first wake up and open the blinds so sun shines through and naturally wakes me up.

We all know that having a good morning routine and actually sticking to it is key to being successful. My goal is to become a millionaire in the next five years, and I know that as long as I continue this routine I’ll get there.

It’s been a pleasure to share my morning routine with all of you. If you enjoyed it, please share it with your friends.

Crystal Paine · Author, Speaker

When I get up really late or have to be out the door really early in the morning, I usually have to abbreviate my morning routine to just a few basic things: Bible, shower, and getting dressed.

On those days, I have a choice: I can choose to beat myself up over the fact that I am not following my usual routine or I can give myself grace. I’m working on doing a better job of giving myself grace - because life happens and it’s okay if we don’t always do everything we’d hoped or planned to do. The best thing I can do on those days is to remind myself to just do what I can do, do the best that I can do, and remember that tomorrow is a new day!

Wesley Verhoeve · Photographer

It impacts the rest of my day pretty significantly. I will get less done, I might be more tired, and feel generally dissatisfied about not having followed the routine. I try to remind myself that I will just have to try again tomorrow, and not get too hung up on missing a day.

Molli Surowiec · SoulCycle Instructor, Former Professional Dancer

When I deviate greatly from my routine, I feel “off” — I don’t feel the same sense of peace and flow, and it impacts my ability to be present and my best self.

When this happens, I make a note of it and do my best to get back on track! Sometimes deviating from the plan, or having moments of “backtracking” and “stumbling” end up being the best reinforcers for developing better habits. We take a setback, learn from it, and then use it to refocus, realign, and reconnect with what makes us feel our best.

Carrie Melissa Jones · Writer, Community Builder

In the last year I’ve really learned to love myself for the first time ever. Ever. Can you believe that? I’ve spent my entire life motivating myself out of guilt and self-punishment. A lot of it comes from my childhood and how I was raised. But now I have left all that. Now I motivate myself out of love, compassion, hope, and the knowledge that I have to take care of myself to do good work. My work involves gathering people, making connections, writing, and thinking through complex problems. If I don’t take time to practice what I preach for others, how could I be good at my job?

Of course, what makes everyone happy and productive is different, and I try to be very sensitive to that. I share my morning routine not to make anyone feel that they’re not doing enough or that they’re not “loving themselves enough”. You can forgive yourself for failing, each and every day, and still live a very good life. Or you can create a life where tiny failures are actually celebrated because you tried.

Whatever you want your life to look like, you can find a support network to cheer you on and find a way to make it happen.

Yuko Shimizu · Japanese Illustrator, Educator

I have to be flexible, otherwise the routine, which is supposed to relax me, will turn into a stressful event in itself.

I travel a lot, so I know I won’t be able to follow the same routine all the time. When I can’t, I do my best to find another way to calm and relax myself in the morning.

Temitopé Owolabi · Photographer, Student

If I fail to commit to my routine I am always able to adjust to a mindset of advancement because I’m constantly thinking of the next thing to do. I do things to keep me motivated.

Andre D. Wagner · Photographer

The routine isn’t as important as waking up early is. As long as I’m up early I’m happy. As I mentioned before, having that quiet time to myself is important. I also hate to feel rushed. When I start my day calm, and in order, I’m setting myself up to have a good one.

Life is always changing, I just like to have my personal time before my day gets going.

Aiste Gazdar · Co-Founder, Director of Wild Food Cafe

I just roll with it! I forgive myself, be nice and loving to myself, and do better the next day.

If I fail to follow my morning routine I do my best to catch up with my me-time and meditation in a yoga class, or go to a sauna or for a walk for some chill time. In extreme situations I’ll go for a coffee or massage.

Sara Rosso · Director of Marketing at Automattic

I have the sense of something being unfinished if I don’t follow my morning routine. Some people may think it’s the ultimate sign of relaxation to check email in your pajamas, but it unnerves me.

I like being prepared and if I get an invite for a coffee or lunch with someone, I’m already ready to walk out the door.

Tammy Strobel · Writer, Photographer

If I don’t follow my morning routine, I feel unfocused. When I’m in that state, I try to be kind to myself.

I’m working on treating myself with kindness and compassion right now. I know that probably sounds silly, but it makes a huge difference in my daily life. If I’m able to offer myself kindness and compassion, my day is always better.

Nathan Kontny · CEO of Highrise, Parent

I get sad when I can’t spend those precious moments with Addison. I’m also anxious if I can’t get a workout in. But when things don’t go to plan, I try and remind myself of that insight from Paul above.

Those moments where the routine fails: is a really great time to notice the world with fresh eyes.

Jessica Zollman · Photographer, Former Community Evangelist

I’m extremely adaptable and have discovered I thrive on uncertainty. If a routine goes on for too long it becomes monotonous and I become unbearably bored.

My morning routine has been in flux ever since I stepped into the world of commercial photography. I understand how the lack of structure would be a nightmare for some, but for me it’s quite literally been a dream come true.

Adebe DeRango-Adem · Graduate Student, Freelance Journalist

Even if things don’t go as planned, mornings should always be a time for us to remember our purpose, and feel thankful for what we have (gratitude is free, and always pays off).

Even if the night before was blasé, I can look forward to a new day ahead, since anything is possible. If a cold or rainy day awaits, I try to remember that, ultimately, I choose to be under the weather, and it’s much easier to let life be life.

Einstein once famously said that you can live your life thinking one of two ways: that nothing is a miracle, or that everything is a miracle. So far, the latter perspective has been working just fine.

Waking up is ultimately a kind of miracle.

Wade Foster · Co-Founder, CEO of Zapier

I don’t worry about it.

I’m not a slave to the routine so I just move on where I left off. The routine is a means to an end and not the end in and of itself. So I focus on those 2-3 things I want to get done and try to do them.

Karina Bania · Artist, Mother

Some days everything falls apart and I get off track. On those days, I try to be easy on myself.

As my studio is in my home, I can usually adjust the day to get some time alone to create. For me, painting is a meditation. If I have time for just a few minutes every day, I feel fulfilled.

Mattan Griffel · CEO of One Month, Forbes’ 30 Under 30

I definitely know which parts of my morning routine to cut out and which to prioritize if I’m short on time.

If I don’t meditate, I find myself getting more irritated throughout the day, and I become kind of an asshole to people. And I’d be very disappointed if I didn’t write – I’m currently on a 372 day writing streak, which is the longest I’ve ever had.

Mike Vardy · Founder of Productivityist

I feel ‘off’ if I miss any aspect of my morning routine. A few days ago I didn’t splash water on my face and I went through the morning feeling out of sync. It usually happens when I’m sick, and so I’ll notice a slowdown in progress anyway. So I guess if I miss it when I’m not sick the same results would occur, only probably not as drastic.

Routines are the ideal way to bookend your day. I think they are the building blocks of effectiveness, efficiency, and efficacy. Without my morning and evening routine, I’d be far less productive than I am, and I’d achieve less in the process.

Jenny Blake · Author, Yoga Fanatic

Gah! Unless it is for something awesome (like leaving for an exciting trip or going to a morning dance party on a boat — which was a blast!), I tend to feel more scattered, stressed, and reactive throughout the day.

I also keep the mindset that it is never too late to fit in my morning routine. If I get interrupted or am unable to do it at 6:00am, there is no reason I can’t take a break in the middle of the day and take a time out for myself. If I meditate and read at 1:00pm, for example, sometimes it is the perfect reset in the midst of a crazy day.

On a great day, I am meditating and reading during breaks at least two or three times throughout the day! Morning, noon and night :)

Belle Beth Cooper · Writer and Co-Founder of Exist

I’m terrible at salvaging a day that didn’t start well, especially if I get up late; anything after about 8:00am is too late for me to feel good about my day.

The best way I’ve found to feel good if my day doesn’t start well is to get a lot done. I’m always on the lookout for good ways to reset my day when it’s not going well.

Elle Luna · Artist, Designer, Writer

One day without my morning routine and I feel like I’m slipping and sliding around my day. It’s hard to stay grounded. Presence and focus is harder and takes more effort. If two days go by, it becomes worse. And three or more becomes very challenging. My energy becomes scattered.

My friend Emily was just telling me the other day about how being scattered is not just psychological but literal, as well. We quite literally disperse our energy in different places when we’re scattered, with some over here, some over there, some at the coffee shop, some lingering behind in that conversation, a bit in our email… and we can feel it. It’s feels frustrating to be scattered. But the great part is that we can get it back. Immediately. It’s a simple as closing your eyes and taking three breaths, focusing on that alone, coming back to yourself, collecting the energy and centering it.

Three deep breaths can change it all! Or a walk where you consciously try to notice what you’re seeing, what you’re hearing. Just this morning I was walking down the sidewalk, my brain spilling in every direction. Stop! What’s happening right now I wondered? Suddenly I felt cold in the tips of my fingers, I heard a bird flapping its wings, I felt this delicious click of my heels on the cement sidewalk, I felt the soft edges of this wacky plant that looks like a family of caterpillars exploding from their pot. Once I had fully arrived again, I sat down, did my morning pages, and then, with much greater energy and focus, attended to my business for the day.

Grace Bonney · Founder of Design*Sponge

When my day starts out with work and not with the pets and a little bit of outdoor or indoor garden/plant time, I’m much more likely to over-work, forget to eat, or forget to drink enough water. I basically turn into a little huddled laptop mouse and that’s no good for anyone.

So I’m pretty good about organizing my travel, work and other meetings around my early morning routine. I have a lot of wonderful team members who depend on me to answer their questions and focus on what they need from me to get their work done, so I don’t want to let them down. I try my best to start the day on the right foot so I can give them, and the people around me, my best.

Amber Rae · Writer, Artist

I forgive myself. If I’m not kind and loving with myself, I can always find ways to be disappointed. By having compassion, I can easily jump back in.

I will say, though, since I absolutely love my routine and look forward to it each morning, it’s rare for me not to follow it. Once I let go of the routine other’s expected of me and instead designed my own, all else fell into place.

Mason Currey · Author of Daily Rituals

If I’m at home, I very rarely fail to follow my routine. But there are plenty of days that I fail to be very productive during those hours.

I might have something that I need to write, and I just can’t seem to make it work – that happens a lot. For me, especially with writing, there’s this constant tension between forcing the work and waiting to be in the right state of mind for the work. Some days, I sit down to write in the morning and it’s just impossible; other days, it’s almost effortless. And I wish I could just take the effortless days and leave the miserable ones, but it seems like it’s the miserable days that enable the effortless ones, if that makes any sense.

But to answer your question – if I do manage a good morning of writing, I feel terrific for the rest of the day. And if I don’t, well, there’s always the next morning.

Ben Brooks · Tech Writer, iOS Project Manager

Usually the worst thing that happens is that my hair is a mess for the entire day. I really am not someone who is easily thrown off by a small hiccup. I’m not sure why that is, but some really crappy stuff can happen and I can mostly brush it off and keep focused. The only exception being computer problems — that’s my achilles heal and will throw off my entire day.

Eli Trier · Illustrator, Writer

It’s not that big a deal if I miss a day here or there, but I certainly feel it if I miss out for too long. The only exception is my coffee – woe betide anyone who tries talking to me before I’ve had a cup of coffee!

Usually, if I’m short on time and have to go out for an appointment or something, I’ll do my rituals later in the day, so I still get the benefit. But it’s not quite as good as doing them first thing.

Shannon Whitehead · Founder of Factory45

On days when even the wrath of God couldn’t get me out of bed, I’ll sleep later (until 10:00ish) and not be thrilled about it.

I try not to let it affect the rest of my day because I know that I can just work later in the evening if I have to. The big factors for me are making sure I’m eating well and moving my body at some point throughout the day.

Veerle Pieters · Graphic, Web Designer

If I’m not able to have my coffee I miss it, for sure. I always need time to wake up in the morning, and coffee helps. I don’t think it influences me a lot though, just a little.

Nichole Powell · Photographer, Writer

A good morning sets the tone for the entire day, and makes me feel centered, purposeful, and calm. By the same rule, stressful or rushed mornings where I don’t get to go through my routine often make me feel unsettled, and that feeling can be tough to shake.

I’ve learned a few tricks to get things back on track, though — a solo coffee run after morning meetings; a walk around the block to reconnect with my surroundings; a quiet minute to breathe deeply between obligations. Some days the best solution is just to hit the restart button with a quick workout or a power nap, and to tackle the day fresh from there.

I’m still working on the best strategy to remedy a rough morning, so if you have any tips I would love to hear them!

Austin Kleon · New York Times Bestselling Author, Artist

I try to forgive myself and move on. (Sun comes up, sun goes down. Always another chance tomorrow.) One thing about a routine is that the days where you break it can be some of the most interesting days… but they wouldn’t be unless you had a routine to break.

Tessa Miller · Tech and Health Editor, The Daily Beast

My morning routine definitely sets the tone for the rest of my day. If I’m rushed and stressed in the morning, that will carry through my work day. If I have structure and time to get organized, it’s usually smooth sailing.

Rae Dunn · Ceramic Artist

I am completely thrown off without my morning routine. I hate being jarred awake and having to rush out the door (such as when catching an early flight, ugh). And I hate not exercising. It all makes for an icky rest of the day.

Willem Vernooij · Writer, Student

I don’t fail my routine that often.

Sometimes it gets hard to do one of the core activities, but I always try to compensate for them in another way. Other than that, it doesn’t really affect my day in such a way that I’m unable to function, but I do feel bad for not having completed my routine.

Andy Hayes · Tea Seller, Creative Web Producer

On days where (for example) I need to be somewhere for a meeting by 9:00am or earlier (which is rare – I fiercely protect my schedule) I find that my energy doesn’t go as far throughout the day.

I also find my creativity isn’t as high and my inner Libra comes out, making me a bit more indecisive. Once you have a solid morning routine that works it’s hard to stray far from it!

Kyle Legg · Web and Graphic Print Designer

If I fail to follow my morning routine, my day may or may not be influenced. Sometimes I may be thrown off and move very slowly, but other times I may be entirely unaffected and able to fly through the day regardless.

Gavin Weeks · Entrepreneur, UX/UI Designer, and Front-end Developer

It doesn’t really affect me to be honest.

Sometimes I miss breakfast (I know!) and sometimes I go in a little later or earlier. I don’t think my routine (at least when I’m in the UK) is the most ideal, so it’s already a little disruptive from the average nine-to-five.

Jordan Bishop · Canadian Entrepreneur

If I break my routine, I generally maintain a feeling of being behind for the rest of the day. My meditation guides me to my priorities for that day, so without that I’m a bit lost.

Paula Borowska · Author, Blogger, UX Designer

It doesn’t bother me if my routine is disturbed; I don’t depend on it.

If I fail to follow my morning routine I just improvise and move on with the day. My routine is just something I got used to doing in the mornings. I’m sure if I moved in with roommates, hell, even back with my parents, my routine would change somewhat. I don’t mind that either. And if it happens sporadically – like when I visit my young cousins – it doesn’t disturb me.

I’m not OCD about my mornings. They’re just mornings.

Monica McCarthy · Actress, Producer, Frequent Traveler

The precise routine doesn’t matter as much as the output.

If I can buckle down and knock out a blog post or write a script or pitch five people, then I feel like I’ve conquered the world! That sense of accomplishment and mini-win offers momentum for the rest of the day’s tasks… even (especially) the mundane ones like, you know; laundry, bank, grocery store, etc.

Amit Sonawane · Reader, Writer, Devout Tea Drinker

The beauty of giving yourself time and space in the morning is that you become unflappable. It’s hard to have a bad start to your day if you don’t set any expectations. I do have a little checklist that I keep for my daily routine, but if I miss something then I just put a note (e.g. didn’t read today) and move on to other things, no big deal.

Kashyapi · Meditation and Zen Teacher

I don’t fail, because I don’t set rigid rules and structures for myself. I have a feel for what I want to do each day, and that shifts, but it always contains the key elements I’ve detailed here.