“The purpose of a habit is to remove that action from self-negotiation. You no longer expend energy deciding whether to do it.”Kevin Kelly
Routines. You’re likely in one of two camps:
“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”Mike Murdock
“The human spirit lives on creativity and dies in conformity and routine.”Vilayat Inayat Khan
Despite limiting spontaneity, a consistent routine provides the framework necessary to build resilience, focus willpower on the important things, and make healthy habits automatic.
Today’s post will spark ideas for your own habits.
Whether you’ve already penciled various activities into your daily schedule, steal any of the below biohacking routines and habits for greater productivity, optimal health, and to feel superhuman.
Why Morning & Evening Routines Help You Own the Day
From presidents, to businesspeople, to Olympians, many of the world’s highest performers heavily rely on routine. Some attribute their success to it.
Since this is a pro-routine post, I’ll lay out a few of the benefits:
- Structure. Knowing your agenda let’s you be more present and effective throughout the day.
- Physical health. Improves sleep duration and quality, physical fitness, and nutrition/food choices by having non-negotiables already penciled into your calendar.
- Mental health. Dramatically reduces stress, worry, and rumination. In fact, research suggests that routine helps with anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder.
- Builds proficiencies. Routines create consistency, and regular practice leads to faster mastery.
- Pride and accomplishment. Completing your routines feels good and builds self-confidence in your ability to follow through.
- Builds momentum. Accomplishing these “micro-wins” to start the day increases energy, excitement, and mood.
- Proactive. Rather than waiting for others to fill your schedule with their own needs, rituals add intentionality to your day.
- Productivity. Maintaining your schedule consists of blocking out time for important tasks, deep work, errands, or reflection.
- Neural associations. You can strengthen your resolve by pairing a less alluring habit with something rewarding (for example, I paired writing with coffee).
- Relaxing time. With a time-boxed schedule, you’ll find chunks of time you didn’t realize you had, allowing for more downtime, fun, and relaxation.
- Breaking habits. The more positive habits, routines, and rituals you have, the less ability to continue your bad, older habits.
- Freeing willpower. Automates many of the unimportant/repetitive tasks and frees up mental bandwidth to work in your “zone of genius”.
- Saving money. By eliminating variability and the accompanying guesswork, you’ll spend only what you need and waste less.
Biohacking Routine Ideas For a Productive, Fun, & Perfect Day
Best of all, many top routines take only a few minutes. Some you can passively do while going about your day.
Here are some health and wellness bioharmonizing routines popular amongst high-achievers:
- Planning your day. Your day starts the night before. Plan out your top three accomplishments for the day. If you accomplish nothing else, the three things that would still make it a good day.
- Getting up immediately. The longer you delay, the harder it’ll be to get out of bed. Re-train your brain for maximum sleep efficiency. The moment your head hits the pillow, your neurotransmitters shift toward winding down. Neurowearables like Infopathy, Hapbee, & Apollo make this even easier.
- Rising without an alarm. Once you’ve established a healthy circadian rhythm, you should naturally wake around the same time every morning. Alarms indiscriminately wake you no matter your sleep stage. Getting jolted out of deep, restorative sleep can lead to lethargy, brain fog, and morning sluggishness. Have a backup alarm, but entrain a consistent wake schedule. Take an afternoon nap if needed and possible.
- Making your bed. No matter where you are, cleaning your living quarters is an easy way to start your day on the right note. Making your bed takes little time and gives you the satisfaction of a quick micro-win. Setting you up for an optimal and empowered day.
- Tongue scraping. Over night, the tongue accumulates white cellular debris (called “ama” in Ayurveda). Removing this bacterial film is associated with a greater sense of taste, better breath, reduced tooth decay, fewer cavities, faster weight loss, and improved overall health.
- Eliminating. Not the sexiest of habits, but human waste is full of toxins meant to be cleared from the body daily. Regular, effortless, and clean bowel movements are an overlooked indicator of optimal health.
- Eating the frog. Work on your most daunting or important tasks first. While willpower is high and before distractions can derail you from the day’s top priorities.
- Pomodoro technique. Pomodoro is a productivity technique to get more done without burnout. Chunk the day into 25-45 minute “work” periods followed by 1-5 minutes of rest. Work distraction-free, then indulge during the breaks. Social media, news, phone calls, texts, anything is fair game. After 4 cycles, take a longer break. Get even more done, faster with functional neuroscience music.
- Sun gazing. Natural morning light during the first part of sunrise and the tail end of sunset have systemic full-body improving effects. Sunlight during these hours is high in the healing red light spectrum. Sun gazing also increases energy, mental clarity, mood, and reduces appetite. Consult your physician before deciding to try sun gazing.
- Breathing. Deliberate breathwork is one of few ways humans can override automatic bodily functions. Feel the effects within moments. Use the Wim Hof Method for morning energy, box breathing to crush any stress, the MacKenzie Parasympathetic Technique to boost exercise stamina, or Holotropic breathing to induce a hallucinogenic state.
- Hydrating. Every night during sleep we lose an astonishing amount of water. Just 2% dehydration causes measurable cognitive loss for memory, motor skills, and attention. But hydration isn’t about carrying a gallon jug everywhere. Deep hydration takes water with electrolytes. Add a pinch of high-quality sea salt to your water. Better yet, get highly absorbable water from fresh produce. Aside from these tips, you can learn more on Nick’s Healthy Morning Hydration Drink and unlock the healthy you!
- Cold exposure. As painful as it may seem, a few moments of exposing your skin to cold water can boost mood, clear your head, improve fat burning, extend longevity, and increase energy better than coffee. End your next shower with 1-minute of cold.
- Hydrogen-rich water. Molecular hydrogen is one of the hottest antioxidants, for good reason. Thousands of studies have proven it a safe and effective selective antioxidant. It scavenges free radicals that accelerate your aging and brings the body back into balance. Go here to learn more about the most powerful molecular hydrogen tablets.
- Foam rolling. Though many health enthusiasts sneer at foam rolling, it’s a great way to loosen joints and point the spine in proper alignment. Paul Chek, the father of functional fitness, calls it his “$10 chiropractor“. Rolling helps offset the damage caused by sitting all day.
- Yoga / stretching. A powerful practice doesn’t need to take all day. Spend a few minutes of targeted stretching to relieve stress, improve mobility, reduce injury, build athleticism, and even improve functional strength.
- Earth. Touching the ground with bare skin might seem like an antiquated practice, but it’s never been more needed. Cells performing their responsibilities generate positive ion waste. Through conductive surfaces, the positive ion metabolic waste dissipates into the ground. Resulting in improved mood, less pain, boosted energy, circadian re-alignment, greater quality of life, and reduced stress.
- Airplane mode. Messages, emails, and the barrage of new notifications trigger stress responses. Support deep work by turning off your phone or putting it on airplane mode. Plus, you’ll shield yourself against the most potent source of non-native EMFs.
- Batching tasks. Constantly moving between apps destroys productivity. Studies have found that every context switch costs 10-20 minutes of wasted time to get back into the zone. Solve this issue by scheduling your day to complete tasks in batches rather than frequent swapping.
- Theming days. Giving your days a “theme” helps you accomplish your most pressing tasks most efficiently. Some ideas include separating them into thinking type (ie: creative, logical, social) or task type (ie: client calls, social media, marketing, blogging, etc).
- Adaptogenic super coffee. When I do a full 14-day caffeine reset, I miss the ritual more than the caffeine. My coffee has evolved to include collagen protein, MCT, theanine, adaptogenic mushrooms, and powerful brain-boosting nootropics (get the recipe here).
- Micro-workouts. The core of my fitness program isn’t huge, long, soul-sucking gym workouts anymore. Instead, throughout the work day I take a 1-minute break every hour to do some movement. And I’ve seen it used successfully to build muscle or lose weight.
- Rucking. Another simple and highly accessible form of exercise dubbed “strength training for those that hate the gym, and cardio for those that hate running”. Rucking is the practice of hiking with added weight. It’s low-impact and far more challenging than it sounds.
- Green smoothie. In a blender combine high-quality vegetables, superfoods, spices, herbs, and to a limited extent, fruit. Easy and affordable nutritional insurance. Make it thick and consume with a spoon for better digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Saunaing. Extreme heat triggers beneficial hormetic “eustress”. Traditional saunas go well above 180 degrees, and make the body more resilient by activating what are called heat shock proteins. Near infrared saunas penetrate the skin deeply. They may have many of the same benefits without the hefty price tag (make your own infrared sauna for ~$150) or discomfort of 180+ degree air.
- Cold exposure. Cryotherapy, ideally via ice baths, activates many important longevity pathways, accelerates athletic recovery and performance, feels great, and can transform your body. Just a few minutes works wonders for mood, energy, and metabolic health.
- Red light therapy. When I can’t watch the sunrise or sunset, I do the next best thing. Using modern technology to get the same healing wavelengths of light. This tech comes in the form of red light therapy panels. The #1 most popular company isn’t the best. In this post you’ll learn why I bought a better, more affordable Joovv panel and couldn’t be happier.
- Meditating. Taking a few minutes to slow down, notice thought patterns, connect to purpose, and set intention for the day is among the most important rituals. From hard-charging athletes to Fortune 100 CEOs — some form of meditation is a core habit of high-performance.
- Journaling. A journal isn’t necessarily a diary. Journaling is another practice that can help with planning, retrospection, and gaining mental clarity. I do it daily, and consistently logging three things I’m grateful for has profoundly lifted my mood over the short-term and long-term.
- Reading. An under-rated practice that influential thought leaders attribute their success to. Reading shouldn’t be a chore. Choose a book that you like (or any from my list of the top biohacking books), dig in, learn, and look forward to picking it up every day.
- Self-reflection. At the end of each day, briefly reflect. There are all kinds of different prompts to choose between. From asking yourself what good you did today, to how you improved yourself, what you accomplished, what you learned, what you’ll do differently tomorrow, or list your gratitudes.
- Idea sex. Every morning, James Altucher sits down and comes up with a list of ideas on random topics. When it gets hard or he feels unmotivated, he keeps going. Over time, he’s come up with business ideas, relationship advice, had breakthroughs, and transformed his life — all from this one simple process.
- EFT tapping. A practice designed to help your body and brain pair relaxation and de-stressing with a stimulus that you control — in this case tapping your fingers. When intense, stressful situations arise, physically tapping the same parts of the body soothes the nervous system and helps you perform. My favorite form is Dawson Church’s EcoMeditation.
- Fasting. Before agriculture, humans would sometimes go days without food. The body evolved special mechanisms to become more efficient and effective after periods of caloric scarcity. Today, as science better understands the profound health benefits of fasting, it is making a resurgence. Here are 22 lessons I’ve learned from 600+ fasts (each ranging from 18-hours to 7-days).
- Oil pulling. Early records show that ancient Ayurvedic practitioners recommended mouth wash over 5,000 years ago. Oil pulling is the process of using specific types of oils to improve oral health, support healthy microbiomes, improve digestion, freshen breath, and whiten teeth. Where store-bought mouthwashes contain oral microbiome-damaging alcohol, oil pulling does the opposite. I’ve practiced it regularly for over two years now, and created a guide to modern oil pulling.
- Stacking. Practicing 35+ routines and rituals individually would take the entire day. Instead, savvy biohackers stack them together. Stacking biohacks is the process of combining practices, modalities, and tasks. Saving time, money, willpower, and overwhelm.
Biohacking Routines, Rituals, and Habits to Upgrade Your Life
You might hate or love the rigidity of routine.
When life gets chaotic, and things around you change, you can rely on the certainty and consistency pre-determined routines.
Regular practices help you proactively own the day. Simple actions become “micro-wins” that start your day on a self-empowering positive note. They don’t need to take long.
Some of the best, most powerful routines take less than one minute and generate all-day energy and willpower.Routines build resilience Click To Tweet
Your perfect routine probably won’t look like mine. Nor will it exactly match your favorite health guru or business mogul.
Everything listed above are mere suggestions for you to consider customizing to the intricacies of your own life.
Over to you. What healthy routines, rituals, habits, practices, and processes are your non-negotiables?