"The Romantic Myth of the Morning Routine" (Creator's Block, Ep. 52)

Liz Murphy

Director of Web & Interactive Content, Speaker, Host of 'Content Lab' Podcast

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"The Romantic Myth of the Morning Routine" (Creator's Block, Ep. 52) Blog Feature

Published on December 12th, 2017

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Last week, I shared an article with Jessie-Lee and Marcella about morning routines. But it wasn't the usual enlightened, aspirational fare.

Instead of bossing me around with a neverending to do list of how to be the most successful person of all time, it was real and it resonated with the fact that I am the farthest thing from being a morning person.

(I was practically shouting "Amen!" with my hands up in the air, like I was in church, as I read it.)

Apparently, I wasn't alone in my positive reaction to Jon Westenberg's anti-morning routine rant. It also struck a similar nerve with Jessie-Lee and Marcella -- but why?

We're sure many of you have come across all of those countless think pieces that claim to have hacked the code around the ideal morning routine so you can be your most elevated and successful self.

You know, the ones that tell you:

"Here are 23 steps to improving your life first thing in the morning:

Drink butter in your coffee! Meditate! Ride a camel! Go for a run! Wait, don't go for a run -- walk! Write in a journal! Only write a single sentence, though! Nevermind, you need to write three pages! And go to crossfit! Work on a passion project! Ignore your email! Just kidding -- you can check your email, but don't respond to them! Or do! Never touch social media! Work on your most important work project! Make a to do list! Make a to don't list! Eat all your macros!

And if you don't do every single one of these things before you take a sip of your first fair trade, locally-sourced latte of the morning, there is no possible way you can be creative, let alone claim you are one."

These kill us.

They perpetuate the unrealistic and totally false expectation that creatives must be entrepreneurs, with a documented side hustle and with an exit strategy to quit working for the man.

We’re going to talk about that side hustle stuff another time, but this whole myth around how creatives, marketers, effective leaders, and entrepreneurs should be living their lives begins with all of these (often conflicting) directives about how we should all be starting our days with the most perfect, hyper-productive morning routine of all time.

But where is the line between how these articles can be helpful and where they are just asking way, way too much of each and every one of us?


Listen to the Episode

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What We Talked About

  • What are our least favorite examples of these articles?
  • What's so wrong with trying to make the most of our mornings?
  • Why are people who aren't morning people being demonized? 
  • Why are these articles so intriguing? Is there an actual problem that still needs to be solved?
  • What are our own morning routines? 
  • What morning habits have we tried -- did they worked?
  • What do we want to improve for ourselves, personally?
  • How do we find the balance between self-improvement and embracing who we are, without holding ourselves to unrealistic standards?

Resources We Discussed

We Want to Hear from You!

First, subscribe to Creator's Block on Apple Podcasts. Second, have a question or an idea for a future episode of the podcast? Let us know! 

Or, you can leave us a comment below! Until next week...

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