A truly minimalist morning routine

We all love minimalism and we all love morning routines, so why not smash these two gargantuan fads together and create one great (not so) big minimalist morning routine?

I put this together with my time strapped brethren in mind. I have moved towards this routine over my old morning routine a bit more recently because I’m lazy – but also because I crave as much simplicity as possible in my life, which this routine delivers in spades.

What makes this different from most morning routines?

For starters, this routine won’t have you prancing round for 2 hours doing all sorts of mad stuff. It is short, to the point and efficient.

The whole point of a minimalist morning routine is to be exactly that – minimal.

If you want a much longer one, go over to my older post on morning routines which will give you a huge list of weird and wonderful things to do. I know I said view it at the beginning too but I thought it was so good I’d mention it twice.

Anyway, back to minimalism and morning routines and stuff…

This routine will have you up, ready and out in no time, in fact, it shouldn’t take more than half an hour tops. If you haven’t got 30 minutes to spare of a morning, first of all – get a grip. Second of all – get up earlier. I have an article on that too.

Important factors

Let’s get some important factors out of the way first off. What actually constitutes a good morning routine? And more importantly, what constitutes a good minimalist morning routine?

Luckily, these two questions are easy peasy to answer, I think.

A good morning routine:


  • Wakes you up easily.
  • Gives you sustainable energy.
  • Takes any guesswork out of your morning.
  • Limbers you up.
  • Makes you happy.
  • Ensures you leave your home feeling like a million dollars/pounds/euros/rupees.

A good minimalist morning routine:


  • Does all of that, but quicker.

Now that’s out of the way, shall we get into what is actually in a minimalist morning routine? Oh I think we should.

The foreplay is over…

The Minimalist Morning Routine

Here we go, the main event. Are you prepared for your life to be changed forever? Are you ready? Really? Are you sure? Okay let’s be ‘avin it then.

Rise and shine (and urinate) – 2 minutes

Get yourself up and out of bed. Make sure you get yourself an analogue alarm clock instead of your phone so you’re not tempted to scroll for half an hour before moving out of bed.

You’re probably going to need a wee too, so you know…have a wee.

Hydrate – 1 minute

Once you’ve urinated the night’s sins down the u-bend, it’s time to hydrate with an ice cold glass of that sweet, sweet h2o. Get a pint glass, fill it with water and guzzle it down like it’s the 10th pint of your Saturday night bender.

glass of water for minimalist morning routine

Bonus points if you’d already filled it the night before ready for that quickdraw action in the morning. Seconds saved.

You’ll feel so much more awake and energised after a pint of water, making you less likely to crawl back into bed, make poor nutrition choices or reach for that fifth cup of Joseph.

Stretch it out – 2 minutes

Now it’s time to limber up. Do whatever god damn stretches you want but make sure that dislocations are part of the routine. I simply bend and touch my toes for 10 deep breaths, reach up to the ceiling for another 10 and then do 20 dislocations. Sometimes I’ll throw in some wall slides if I’m feeling extra saucy that day.

Inhale some fumes – 2 minutes

I love essential oils, they’re a really handy tool for so many different things but I like to use them to give myself a little kick up the hoop in the morning.

Put a few drops of peppermint oil (or something with a similar kick) in a bowl along with boiling water. Fill it up to about halfway with the the water.

Stick a towel over your head and cover the bowl too so your face is about 5 or 6 inches over the bowl. The oils will be in the steam, giving you an almost sauna-like experience.

Take 10 deep breaths and when you take that towel off your noggin, you’ll feel completely refreshed and clear. Trust me, this step is such a great asset to a minimalist morning routine and I’d 100% recommend keeping it in for those who have their doubts.

Fresh air – 10 minutes

Get outside for a bit and get some proper air in your lungs now. Your airwaves have been opened up big time by the essential oils and now you can really fill that diaphragm with quality oxygen, nitrogen and whatever else air comprises of.

Getting some fresh air early in the morning sets you up for a great day. Some of us won’t get fresh air all day thanks to hectic work schedules so this is vital for keeping a bit of sanity amongst the madness that is the ratrace.

blue sky

I usually head out into the back garden for a bit in some shorts. It can get cold at times but it feels great once you’re used to it a là Wim Hof. In the warmer months it’ll be a real relaxing treat too.

Bring a little notepad out with you to record any thoughts that come to you during this period, I find that lots of great ideas come through my head when I’m forced to actually take notice of them thanks to a lack of phone.

Shower time – 5 minutes

Wash those stanky pits, balls and whatever else is stanking.

I have a full shower routine if you want the ultimate routine. If not, just scrub your nooks and crannies and be done with it. Whatever you do though, make sure you’re getting a cold shower, or at the very least, a contrast shower.

Smile! But brush first – 3 minutes

Brush those teeth and get ready to attack the day. I stay away from anything with chemicals in as it can be bad for testosterone. Use a paraben free toothpaste like Georganics if you want a white smile without the health implications…

Consult your to-do list – 5 minutes

I left this ’til last because you don’t want to concentrate on work and things you have to do whilst you’re flying through your routine. You want to be as relaxed and clear-headed as possible.

But, since everything is done, it’s time to get your gameface on. Have a look at what your to-do list is looking like for the day and prioritise every task on the list.

to do list

This will show you what you deem as important and what can be left until later in your day as it requires less of your limited attentional energy.

If these later tasks require a lot more attentional energy, move them to tomorrow when you can out much more of your efforts into it.

Burning questions

I know you’re going to be looking at that little obscure list and thinking to yourself, “Sam, are you thick, ignorant or both? Where is X? Where is Y?”. Well listen up folks, I am both thick and ignorant and my prized minimalist morning routine is the dog’s bollocks, so keep your knickers on.

That being said, I shall address a few questions in an attempt to hit you with a preemptive Q&A strike.


If you want a coffee, grab yourself a coffee…

What about working out? Don’t all the cool, successful CEO’s work out in the morning?

If you want to work out, work out…

Should I journal?

If you want to journal, journal…

Can I eat?

If you want to eat, eat…

can I eat

You see where I’m going with this? I have stripped a morning routine down to its bare essentials – the things that really work. If I’m going to have a . coffee, I prefer to have it as I’m working for a nice bit of productivity boosting. If I work out, I tend to do it around lunch time or after work.

I journal at night mostly, not in the morning, but the theme here is, if you’ve got the time then you do you. And if you want to eat then that is fine, I tend to intermittent fast so meals aren’t really a priority here.

How simple was that? Simply the simplest form of simple simplicity I’d say.

Implement this minimalist morning routine into your days and you’ll see a marked difference in your energy, work efficiency, overall wellbeing and so much more.

All within 30 minutes. You can thank me later.