2 min read

Stop copying other people's daily routines

Mark Wahlberg wakes up at 2:30, should I?
Stop copying other people's daily routines
Photo by Risen Wang / Unsplash

Last year, actor Mark Wahlberg posted his daily routine on Instagram which involves waking up at 2:30 a.m. and working out before I'd ever want to set my alarm. It's just one extreme in what has become one of the most click-worthy topics in self-help: The morning routine.

There are tons of books, articles, and podcasts created around this topic. And it creates yet another thing many people feel they must do. If famous person X does Y for 30 minutes in the morning, why am I wasting my life not doing it?

Of course I need to take an ice bath for 30 minutes every morning. Why hadn't I thought of that?

The troubling part is that the fixation on morning routines becomes a real trap of mental health. As Gordon Flett, a researcher at York University in Canada says,

"I’m concerned about people seeing the way things are for other people and thinking they really have to do the same thing, and they don’t take into account necessarily some of the constraints and realities that they have to deal with."

If we see success as doing a carefully curated 90-minute morning routine filled with outlandish and expensive tasks just because some celebrity does, we're walking right into a huge trap. It's likely unattainable and not necessary. And the mental weight of doing it day after day creates the opposite effect of the original goal of doing the morning routine in the first place.

Since I know many New Year's Resolutions involve committing to a new/enhanced morning routine (I've been there plenty of times), I encourage you not to fall into the trap of simply copying what somebody famous is doing because they are famous. [Explore this thought more: "Why Copying Successful People Can Backfire"]

Remember this:

  • Not everybody's routine is better than yours.
  • Others have different goals, time commitments, and ambitions.
  • Doing the same routine as somebody successful does not, in turn, make you successful.
  • They are writing their own story, you should write yours.
  • Just because they post it on Instagram doesn't mean they are actually doing it or finding success with it. They are building a brand.
  • Good habits are beneficial but they must be the right habits for you.

I've done quite a bit of morning routine experimenting. Everything from an hour routine to just spending enough time to roll out of bed and run out the door. I've distilled it down pretty simply for myself these days: drink a glass of water right when I wake up, stretch super quick, find a quick moment of quiet, and don't check my phone until I leave.

Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to end burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it with no help of the hacky advice out there.

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