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Boosting Productivity: The One-Billion-Dollar Morning Routine

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

As a student, sometimes we all wonder how we can boost our own productivity, especially during the winter months when staying in your warm bed seems so appealing. The first hours we experience in the morning set the tone for our day and can impact our attitudes, motivation and relationships. It’s easy to question why many people are eager to wake up and take on the world, when in our tired state the only thing we try to take on is our alarm clocks. Due to the pressures of being a university student where there are never enough hours in the day, I was interested in researching habits that would help boost my productivity when I stumbled across the ‘1 Billion Dollar morning routine’.

This routine claims to possess the habits of some of the world’s most successful people. Created by Jim Kwik, a renowned brain coach who has worked with CEO’s, athletes and executives, it includes a structure of fourteen steps that has helped promote success with the likes of accomplished tycoons including the late Steve Jobs and Shark Tanks Kevin O’Leary.

Although this list appeared very intense and time consuming, I tried out the whole routine for three days to investigate whether I could really make a positive difference to my life and feel improvement in structure and self-care.

The routine

  1. Wake up early
  2. Recall your dreams
  3. Make your bed
  4. Drink a Glass of Water
  5. Take Vitamins
  6. Meditation
  7. Exercise
  8. Take a Cold Shower
  9. Make Tea
  10. Write in Your Journal
  11. Create a To Do, To Feel and To Be List.
  12. Read
  13. Make A Smoothie
  14. Start Your Day

Daunting, right? Fourteen steps before your day even begins.

Not to be dramatic, but the thought of waking up before 11:00am on days where I don’t have immediate plans makes me want to cry. This is a huge juxtaposition to the early 5:00am – 7:00am mornings that this routine promotes, and I now have a newfound respect for my secondary school self who would wake up at these times with no problem. Although the initial act of waking up was torturous, I appreciated the extra time I had to complete my actions, reducing stress as I was not forced to rush throughout my morning. I used this time to try and complete the second step which was recalling my dreams, despite proving unsuccessful as I could not remember the content of any of my dreams. Cleary, I was off to a great start! This step, if done correctly, is intended to allow time to process subconscious thoughts and allots the opportunity to be mindful.

I then made my bed, which prevented me from crawling back into the warm, comforting sheets. A simple action like this can promote success as completing a task straight after waking up can help create positive momentum for the rest of the day. Hydration is always important, so I appreciated the next step which was a reminder to drink water so I could nourish my body that I rely on every day.

Studies show that meditation helps improve psychological balance, brings clarity and allows time to check in with your body’s internal needs. This was an eye-opening experience as I was able to clear my mind from the pressures that had felt heavy on my shoulders. Pairing this with the next step of exercise helped me feel prepared to take on the day. I decided to complete half an hour of skipping each day which I would normally have done later on, however exercising in the morning can help keep stress levels down throughout the day.

The worst step to complete within the whole routine was the cold shower. In these winter months, the cold shower was unbearable, and I was too shocked to fully reap the benefits. Cold showers have the effect of activating neurons and promotes good circulation. It was quite helpful in keeping myself awake when tiredness hit. Therefore, the cup of tea that I made next was welcomed with open arms to warm myself back up. Your morning beverage can be a great way to stimulate the senses whilst not exhausting the adrenal glands from caffeine. This was a change from my usual coffee, but I enjoyed trying something new.

Writing in a journal provides a creative opportunity to check in with yourself so you can understand your own feelings. After seeing lots of aesthetic bullet journals on Pinterest, I was excited to be able to recreate this myself and the actual action was extremely therapeutic. I created space in the journal for my ‘to do lists’, writing out the different work, house chores and self-care tasks that I wished to complete for the day. I was able to complete more than usual because I could remember exactly what needed to be done.

Kwik uses the analogy to be a thermostat not a thermometer. A thermometer reacts and changes to its environment, whereas a thermostat is set in advance. This allows you to be in control of your own life.

The last couple of steps included reading, which was beneficial to me as I have a lot of required reading for my course. Studies have shown that reading after exercise is optimal because your brain is more stimulated. With breakfast being the most important meal of the day, drinking my smoothie provided an opportunity to get nutrients from the fruits, vegetables and protein in one meal.

Finally, I was allowed to start my day! There is no doubt that after all these steps I did feel accomplished.

Would I say that all this had a massive impact on the rest of my day?

 Certain parts of the routine did seem pointless to me, for example the cold shower and recalling my dreams. I didn’t feel the effect of these actions in the rest of my day; however, I did appreciate the way the routine was able to add structure and focus to my life. By creating the to do lists, I could see exactly what I needed to complete that day and felt accomplished when ticking off each task.

 I would certainly recommend adopting many of these habits and fitting them into the routine that you enjoy, to keep your mornings encouraging whilst still being manageable.


Faderon, Z. (2021, February 22). The 1 Billion Dollar Morning Routine. Retrieved from Freebie MNL: https://freebiemnl.com/life/life-hacks/the-1-billion-dollar-morning-routine/

Jem (2021). trying the 1 billion dollar morning routine! [Motion Picture].

Jones, M. (2021). The One Billion Dollar Morning Routine. PsiNapse.

Jung, Y.  (2021). i tried the “1 billion dollar morning routine” for 3 days [Motion Picture].

McLain, C. (2019). The Importance of a Morning Routine. Medium.

Roisin Teeling

Nottingham '23

I am currently a second year English student at the University of Nottingham. My main interests include reading, music and fashion, and I am excited to be a part of the HerCampus team :)
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