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3 mins

Simplify Your Morning Routine: Benjamin Spall On How To Start Your Day Off Right

In this episode of Simplify, Caitlin gets important advice from author Benjamin Spall about how to develop a morning routine and start your day inspired.
by Natallia Darozhkina | Sep 13 2018

Do you consider yourself a night owl or are you a morning person? Regardless of whether you love mornings or not, we all want to make the best of them. Most of us have little morning rituals that we need to complete to kick off our days. But what’s the best way to start your day off right?

Benjamin Spall and his co-author, Michael Xander, have spent five years studying morning routines of today’s most successful innovators, entrepreneurs, writers, and artists to find out how they developed a morning regimen that sets them up for the day ahead in the best possible way. Based on his research and numerous interviews, Spall describes the best ways to introduce new rituals into your morning routine—and turn them into habits—and gives recommendations on how to craft a morning routine that suits your needs.

“When you keep your routine short and easy to accomplish […] this greatly increases your chances of actually sticking to it.”
Benjamin Spall

Tune into this episode to peek into the morning routines of talented creatives and successful people, and find out what kind of morning is most likely to boost your productivity and happiness.

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Who’s Benjamin Spall?

Benjamin Spall

Benjamin Spall is the co-author author of My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired and the founding editor of He has written for outlets including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Quartz, Business Insider, and more. Originally from the UK, he now lives in the US.

Benjamin Spall’s recommended reads

Off the Clock gives practical advice on how to get more out of your time, from freeing up your busy schedule to achieving more at work in shorter intervals. Using personal anecdotes as well as scientific insights, Vanderkam explores why some of us feel like we have all the time in the world, while others feel as though time is slipping through their fingers.

Comment from Benjamin: “It really helps you think and understand that there are more hours in your day than you really think there are. […] Laura shows how you can take time and really make the most of it. And, I think, many of these books are about how to have more productive time and have more time to work. But Laura’s book is more about how to have this time––that it is definitely work time as well––but more how you can enjoy that time.”

The Power of Habit explains what an important role habits play in our lives, whether they’re good ones, like brushing our teeth and exercising, or bad ones, like smoking. Filled with research-based findings and engaging anecdotes, The Power of Habit not only explains exactly how habits are formed, it provides easy tips for changing habits, both on an individual and an organizational level.

Comment from Benjamin: “…That’s just a fascinating read, it really shows you how to kind of form and break habits – and breaking habits is much harder than forming them. I definitely recommend that.”

Deep Work is all about how the rise of technology has wrecked our ability to concentrate deeply on tasks – and how to overcome this blockade. These book illustrates different strategies that can help you improve the output of your work and get the most out of your free time.

Comment from Benjamin: “…It’s really packed with ideas, and there’s many of them that I put into my own day. One of them, for example, is the ‘shutdown ritual,’ which is at the end of his day […] he goes for his computer, he checks everything is in place, and then he’ll physically shut down his computer. And it’s such an easy trick, but so many people just close up their laptop at the end of the day. But I like to just shut it down completely, and then it really empties my mind as well, and feels like I’ve kind of closed off myself for the day.”

Extra credit reading

Looking for ideas to improve your daily routine and boost your well-being and happiness? Check out this book list made by Ben and Caitlin to get some inspiration!

Daily Rituals is an entertaining and illuminating collection of the daily routines of great minds and artists. Including the work habits of people such as Jane Austen, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Pablo Picasso, it offers insights into the best ways to maximize efficiency and prevent writer’s block, as well as tips on how to get by in the creative world.

Tools of Titans details the stories, strategies and successes of some of the most inspirational achievers, thinkers and doers of modern times. These book will teach you how to strengthen your body and your mind, all while building your creative business.

The Code of the Extraordinary Mind unveils a method for overcoming the madness of everyday life, one that enables anyone to stand out from the pack and become an extraordinary individual. The author lays down ten laws that anyone can easily follow to experience a radical transformation and find meaning and happiness in each day.

What’s Simplify?

Simplify is a podcast for anybody who’s taken a close look at their habits, their happiness, their relationships, or their health and thought “There’s got to be a better way to do this.” We talk to bestselling writers, productivity wizards, sex geniuses, and happiness experts to find it for you.

Simplify is made with love by Blinkist. Click here to try Blinkist free for 14 days with the voucher code: oatmeal

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Talk to us!

We want to hear from you! Reach us at [email protected].

If you want to say hi to Ben and Caitlin in the meantime, you can find them on Twitter: @bsto and @CaitlinSchiller.

Who made this?

Your hosts are Caitlin Schiller and Ben Schuman-Stoler.

Research and production assistance by Nat Darozhkina and Terence Mickey, sound and editing by Ben Jackson and Ody Constantinou.

Thanks to Nico Guiang for our awesome intro and outro music. Listen more on Soundcloud or check him out on Facebook.

Got links?

Benjamin Spall’s website.

Read the transcript here!

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