“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.” – UJ Ramdas Share this quote on Twitter

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UJ Ramdas

What is your morning routine?

I typically wake up at 7:00am, taking a moment to really breathe in the world and stretch. Next, I pick up my Five Minute Journal and get primed for the day, after which I’ll walk to the bathroom, freshen up, and follow this up with some basic stretches and meditate for about twenty minutes, ending with a visualization.

I proceed to take a cold shower, take my supplements (magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin K2), do some pullups, and make breakfast.

I’ll then take a walk to the office and start the day with some journaling. Typically, this is freestyle journaling in Evernote. Next, I open up my Productivity Planner (which I fill out the night before) and get started with the day!

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

My morning routine has had many iterations, but I’ve had a morning routine for over five years now.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I’m experimenting with a bit more exercise in the morning these days for getting more consistent meditations. Sometimes, I’ll do some kettlebell swings or sun salutations.

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I haven’t really gotten this down yet, so it’s a piece of my routine that’s in flux.

What time do you go to sleep?

Anywhere between 10:30pm and midnight.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

Yes, I fill out my Productivity Planner the night before to streamline the next day. Typically this involves looking at my calendar and task list together. I also reflect on my day using my Five Minute Journal to get a sense of how the day went and what I would like to do differently in the future.

I like reading before bed and also spray magnesium (transdermal) on my body before going to bed to accelerate physical recovery. This article gives a good explanation of this.

I also keep my clothes close to the shower so I don’t have to decide what to wear in the morning.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

Yes, I use an alarm on most days. And yes, I do hit snooze sometimes! My morning routine really starts the night before. The key is to always keep learning and evolving your routine to better suit your needs.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

I have breakfast about an hour or so after waking up. My usual breakfast is two eggs, kimchi, an avocado, and some steamed veggies.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I don’t have a strong morning exercise routine, but I’m experimenting at present so ask me again in a few months!

Do you have a morning meditation routine, and if so what kind of meditation do you practice?

I practice a few rounds of pranayama and mostly focus on breath awareness. Breath awareness is really the foundation of my meditative practice.

Pranayama is basically controlled breathing exercises. It is essentially a yogic practice and the idea is that the length and quality of your breathing is directly related to your mental/emotional state. By regulating the breathing directly, you basically learn to influence your mental state.

Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

I usually check email at around 10:00am in the morning.

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

Airplane mode is the best ‘app’ for productivity! Evernote is a great tool I use to catalog everything. I also use Pocket and its Chrome extension to file away reading for later.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

I keep airplane mode on until I make breakfast, then turn it back on again for another hour or so after breakfast.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

It depends. It could be anything from reviewing marketing materials to reviewing contracts for a new project.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

Water with lemon, first thing in the morning. After breakfast I have Bulletproof Coffee.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

One day of the week (usually Saturdays) I’m a bit more flexible and take the day as it comes. Sometimes I do the routine, sometimes I don’t.

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

The key here is to set up the space for the next morning. Keeping a cushion on the floor for meditation, setting up my toothbrush/floss in the bathroom, placing my clothes by the shower, and putting my Five Minute Journal and other books by my bedside are all critical parts of the puzzle.

Once the prep work is done, the next morning moves like clockwork because it’s difficult to move around without seeing all the things you set up the previous night to move the day forward.

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

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.

Anything else you would like to add?

I think for most people, getting started with a tiny step forward in their morning routine is really important.

Most of all, I believe that small things done every day are going to have a huge impact on your life. Ask yourself good questions. Journal. Make introspection a daily habit. These things can be life-changing.

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