7 Things You Should Never Do in the Morning

Ali Chnd
9 min readNov 24, 2020


Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova from Pexels

Doyou ever sit down at 6 p.m. and think that you’ve had an incredibly busy day but didn’t really accomplish much?

If you ever feel like your days are just passing by, it’s likely because you’re spending the majority of your time on the wrong things.


And the most dangerous time of the day to waste is your morning.

As Richard Whately once said:

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.”

rning doing the wrong things, you’ll likely lack energy, motivation, and willpower to do the right things throughout the rest of your day.

By eliminating the following habits, however, you’ll make space for the important decisions, tasks, and people in your life.

Planning Your Day

If you fail to plan, you’ll also fail to execute. But if you spend the first minutes of your day planning your schedule, you’ll waste enormous amounts of precious energy on that repetitive task.

“Write a to-do list to stay organized” is common productivity advice, but what most people overlook is that you’re too late if you set up your to-do list in the morning.

Yes, being organized is the key to a fulfilled life, but you shouldn’t get organized first thing in the morning.

Your plans should be ready when you get up.

Otherwise, you’ll spend mental energy on prioritizing your tasks and lack that mental power when it comes to doing all these things.

Waking up to a concrete plan for the day will help you be clearer about what you want to achieve and how to get it, but it will also allow you to focus more easily.

What to do instead:

If you want to make the most out of each day, set your priorities before going to bed.

When you wake up, your daily schedule and plan should be ready and waiting for you to tick off your to-dos.

Don’t allow yourself to feel overwhelmed in the early hours of your day. Instead, be well-prepared and set your priorities in the evening.

There’s no better feeling than going to bed knowing that you’re well prepared to tackle the next day.

And when planning your daily schedule and tasks, make sure to keep it to a minimum: Your schedule shouldn’t contain more than a few important tasks per day.

I organize my daily schedule with a simple tool called Todoist and make sure to have no more than 3–5 prioritized tasks per day.

Whenever I tried to get more big tasks done in a day, I ended up feeling overwhelmed and overstressed. This number obviously depends on the tasks you want to get done and can vary depending on your projects but on average, a maximum of 3–5 priorities is a good start.


Quite often, we don’t even realize that negative conversations and thoughts can influence us for hours.

For most people, it even feels natural to complain about the weather, politics, or their job as part of their morning routine.

But if you start your day by complaining about your job, partner, family, or whatsoever, you’ll take that negative mood with you for at least a few hours, sometimes even for the entire day.

By complaining, you focus on obstacles and problems, which makes it harder to recognize opportunities. It’s nothing more than a surefire way to start your day on the wrong foot.

What to do instead:

Your words and thoughts don’t only affect your motivation but your entire state of mind.

If you start your day by complaining, you’ll find more and more things to complain about throughout the day. Not because there is so much to complain about, but because you focus on it.

If you, however, focus on the bright side of life, you’ll come across even more things that will cheer you up and boost your happiness.

That’s why you need to train your mind to focus on the good first thing in the morning.

Instead of looking for things to complain about, focus on the things you’re grateful for.

I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for years and it’s by far the most effective tool I ever used to raise my energy and shift from tired, unmotivated, and lazy to being grateful and happy every single morning.

All you need to do is preparing a small notebook and writing down what you’re grateful for as part of your morning routine.

I usually come up with at least 15–20 items on that list, but you can start with three items and work your way up.

At first, a gratitude journal might feel uncommon, but you’ll get used to it quickly and reap the benefits within just a few days.

If you struggle to come up with items for your list, start with the more obvious but often overlooked things such as:

I’m grateful for being healthy.

I’m grateful for my home.

I’m grateful for my family.

I’m grateful for having enough to eat and drink.

I’m grateful for having access to education.

I’m grateful for living in a safe country.

Getting Straight to Work

Mornings are the perfect time to take care of your health and to get inspired.

Most people find it hard to incorporate positive habits into their busy schedules if they don’t do it first thing in the morning.

But the majority get up just early enough so they make it to work on time because they’re too lazy to get up earlier.

However, the truth is that most of the time, sleeping for a few more minutes will only leave you even lazier, make you slow, and cut your productivity.

What to do instead:

Instead of getting up and rushing to work, take some time to do things that will benefit your physical and mental health.

It’s easier to take time and care about yourself in the morning before you face distractions.

Stop relying on caffeine to feel more awake. Instead, get up 30 minutes earlier and do something good for your body, soul, and mind.

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Making Too Many Decisions

The surest way to waste your energy in the morning is by making too many decisions right after getting up.

This includes:

  • deciding what to wear
  • what to eat for breakfast
  • when to leave to catch the bus or be on time for an appointment
  • which projects or tasks to work on
  • when to work out
  • and so much more

While these decisions might not sound particularly challenging, they add up and cost us an enormous amount of mental energy.

What to do instead:

Your #1 priority in the morning should be to reduce mental clutter and give your brain some room to breathe.

By making hard or too many decisions first thing in the morning, you’re wasting your mental energy. This leads to a lack of willpower during the rest of the day.

Instead, make all these small decisions before going to bed: Prepare your outfit for the next day, decide on your breakfast, create your schedule, and set your priorities.

There’s no better feeling than waking up and knowing that you’re ready to have a great, successful day.

Additionally, being well prepared will allow you to take care of your body and mind in the morning.

Hitting the Snooze Button

You expected this one to be on the list, right?

While hitting the snooze button might feel as if you’re doing yourself a favor, the truth is the contrary.

If you snooze, you agree to have less time for the important things. Additionally, you accept a defeat as your first action of the day.

Snoozing is a massive creator of stress and kills your motivation every single time.

Additionally, it also affects the quality of your sleep and most of the time, snoozing lets you feel even more tired instead of energized.

What to do instead:

Do yourself a favor and get up without snoozing.

I know that’s not always easy, but here’s how I defeated my snooze button:

I either place my phone in the living room so that I have to get up to stop the alarm.

Or I use a dawn simulator alarm clock and also place it across the bedroom so that I need to get up once the alarm goes on.

Either way, I need to get up and move. And once you made it out of bed, you mostly won’t sleep in anymore.

There are even apps that won’t stop ringing until you get to the bathroom and take a picture of the sink or scan a particular product at your home. Sometimes, the key to greatness lies in tricking yourself.

Distracting Yourself Through Social Media

If scrolling through social networks is part of your morning routine, you’re essentially killing your focus muscle.

However, this also applies to checking the news or your emails.

Wanting to be up to date with world news is okay, but you really don’t need to do it first thing in the morning.

If you’re being bombarded with news, updates, and negativity first thing in the morning, you’ll take that negative energy with you for the entire day.

Mindlessly surfing the internet can cost you more time and energy than you might realize.

What to do instead:

If you really need to check your phone, make sure to at least scroll through positive feeds.

You can, for instance, follow motivational pages on Instagram or Pinterest and tune your mind for positivity instead of misery when using your phone in the morning.

I use a separate Pinterest account as my vision board and scroll through the feed whenever I feel uninspired in the morning. This helps me to visually remind myself of why I’m doing what I’m doing and why I want to give my best every single day.

The better alternative, however, is feeding your mind with great ideas by reading books, listening to podcasts, or watching uplifting videos.

Loading Your Body with Sugar

In his book 12 Rules for Life, Jordan Peterson describes how his clients experienced a drop in anxiety when they switched from breakfasts with high amounts of carbohydrates and sugar to fat and protein-rich meals.

Simple carbohydrates and sugars are digested too quickly, lead to a sudden spike in blood sugar, followed by a quick dip.

And the problem is that most people are used to carb and sugar-loaded breakfasts such as cereals, pastry, or sandwiches.

The sad truth is that most typical breakfast meals negatively affect our mental and physical well-being.

In the long run, this might not only lead to a drop in productivity and a lack of energy but also to weight gain and severe health issues.

What to do instead:

The easiest way to control your breakfasts and make them work for you instead of against is preparing them in advance.

Meal prepping is one of the most rewarding habits I ever built: It saves you time, money, and an incredible amount of mental energy, not to talk about the health benefits of preparing meals that are good for your body.

Final Thoughts

What you do first thing in the morning should leave you feeling more energized and help you be more productive instead of lazy.

A good life is the result of good habits and your mornings have a particularly strong effect on the quality of your life.

As Daniel Handler once said:

“How you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”

If you’re serious about taking your life to the next level and becoming your best self, start by eliminating these seven sins from your mornings and watch your health, productivity, and happiness rise.