Why your Morning Routine is Problematic
Humanity has reached peak productivity — here’s why we need to take it down a notch
Are you one of those people who sets six alarms in 15-minute increments, and still winds up hitting snooze five times? Does it take you a good half-hour, power-shower and strong coffee to feel awake enough? I’m not one of those people. I wish I was one of those people. Instead of snoozing, within ten seconds of opening my eyes in the morning, my brain has already created a bulleted list of everything I need to accomplish that day. And that really pisses me off.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of self-help enthusiasts dream of having a brain this efficient. But for me, it’s a real issue. I’ve become over-efficient, and now even on a lazy Sunday morning, my body does not understand the concept of a conscious lie-in. Every morning I wake up wanting to seize the day and do everything, while at the same time being so exhausted from the day already, that all I want to do is absolutely nothing.
I’m not surprised I and many others are like this. Our culture’s obsession with productivity has us believing that every minute must be utilised to the max. This fascination with being efficient and doing the most is at best outrageous, at worst unsustainable.
We skim articles about how to read more books. We make resolutions every January to eat healthier and get back on track in the gym. We get snarky with the Amazon delivery man when our package doesn’t arrive instantaneously. We download meditation apps, yet struggle to find ten minutes in our busy days to sit down and do nothing. We question influencers about their morning routines and proceed to shame ourselves for not waking up at 5am like they claim. We envy Elon for working 80-hour weeks and wonder why we aren’t billionaires yet ourselves. We listen to audiobooks and podcasts so we can enrich our lives while doing the dishes.
There is a fine line between self-help and self-destruction.
Though setting better habits and making better lifestyle choices is a great goal, for some it can easily become obsessive and lead to negative self-talk. This is why I wake up most days, feeling as though I have already failed. Feeling that I need to do a million and one things to make up for the lost time between 4–9am, when according to X celebrity’s Instagram, they’ve already completed a workout, had their green juice and finished off another chapter of their novel. If my precious days aren’t used to their maximum efficiency, then what the hell am I doing with my life anyways?
I liken this to dieting: yes it’s great to make healthier choices and be conscious of what you eat, but for some people it’s a slippery slope and can eventually lead to restrictive and disordered eating. I may not have an eating disorder but I certainly feel like I have a productivity disorder.
In this age of extreme efficiency that has us counting the number of steps we take and the quality of our sleep cycles, we’re at a point where the return on investment of our entire lives can be tracked and compared and analysed. We’ve swung too far in one direction and need an anti-movement to reel it back in again. Maybe then I can finally enjoy that Sunday morning snooze.