This is Cooper, Brave’s CEO and Co-founder. We’ve all heard the stories of business titans who wake up at 4:30 am, run 7 miles, drink a cold-pressed juice and jet off to run their empires. I find these stories pretty hard to relate to. I’m not a business titan, I do not wake up at 4:30 am, and I mostly eat Brave for breakfast (shocker). That said, it's clear that routines are valuable tools for improving our decision making and freeing brain space for creative thinking.
It’s estimated that the modern human is faced with 35,000 decisions each day. From the moment you wake up you’re making decisions on everything from what to eat for breakfast to the type of squat you want to do in the gym. Much like mental or physical fatigue, humans also suffer from decision fatigue. Experiments have shown that we have a finite store of mental energy for high-quality decisions. In other words, our ability to make sound decisions dissipates based on the number of previously made decisions. One study found that an Israeli parole board was more likely to give parole to prisoners in the morning (70% of the time) than they were later in the day (10% of the time). The judges’ decisions weren’t based on ill intent but rather exhaustion from decision fatigue. You may have asked yourself why grocery stores place candy at the checkout line? They know your decision-making apparatus is fatigued and you’re more likely to buy the Snickers bar after you have finished your shopping. Put the Snickers bar at the entrance and you’ll most likely walk right by it on your way to the produce section.
If decision making power is a resource that depletes, it makes sense to minimize the number of decisions that we make, saving our reserves for the decisions that really matter. People who have optimized their mornings use routines to replace small decisions, committing the right choice to habit. Once a routine becomes habit it requires very little in the way of mental energy to execute.
I’m going to share what my morning routine looks like, not because it’s bulletproof but because it works for me and pieces of it might work for you too. This routine is by no means unshakable. Sometimes I snooze the alarm and sometimes I eat a bacon, egg, and cheese instead of Brave because a perfect daily routine is an impossible goal and bagels are delicious.
- Make Brave the night before.
- Set an alarm for 7:30 am.
- Wake up and immediately (no snoozing) drink two glasses of still water with lemon and sea salt (a technique taken from Aubrey Marcus’s book Own the Day: Own Your Life)
- Make the bed.
- Brush my teeth.
- Take a cold shower.
- Get dressed.
- Meditate for 10 minutes using Headspace or Waking up with Sam Harris.
- Make coffee and grab my Brave before heading out the door.
- Listen to “The Daily” podcast on my drive to work.
Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about a morning routine that works for you!