The Best of Forge 2019

3 Smart Ideas to Optimize Your Mornings

Forge’s favorite stories of the year on how to start your day

Michelle Woo
Published in
2 min readDec 27, 2019
Illustration: Reza Hasni. Originally appeared in How a Night Owl Can Become an Early Bird.

HHere at Forge, we’re not going to shout the virtues of waking up at 4:30 a.m. or give you the play-by-play of what every Fortune 500 exec does before their first oat-milk latte. You can find that, well, all over the internet.

While hyperproductive morning routines are overrated (yep, we said it), there’s still something quietly empowering about owning that first stretch of your day, before the bullet train of to-dos, deadlines, and Twitter scandals comes zooming through. Check out a few of the best Forge stories about making your mornings better.

5 Things You Should Do Before Lunch by Shaunta Grimes

Through trial and error (and a few too many breakdowns), Shaunta Grimes learned that how she spends her energy in the earliest hours directly affects her overall productivity and mood. Over time, she’s honed a five-item list of morning tasks—some unexpected—that help her set the right tone for the rest of the day.

The Best Sound to Use for Your Alarm in the Morning by Zulie Rane

Turns out that waking up to your favorite song is a great way to ruin that song, something Zulie Rane learned the hard way: She now gets grumpy whenever she hears a Taylor Swift hit. Here’s how to make your wakeup less terrible without subjecting yourself to the same fate.

How a Night Owl Can Become an Early Bird by Madison Malone Kircher

Some of us are night owls, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But what if, for some reason, you want or need to start waking up earlier? Is it possible to do without hating your life? Definitely, writes Madison Malone Kircher, but it does take some effort. As she reports in one of the most popular stories we’ve ever published, understanding the science of chronotypes — the natural rhythms that determine when we’re at our sleepiest — is a helpful place to start.



Michelle Woo
Writer for

Author of Horizontal Parenting: How to Entertain Your Kid While Lying Down (Chronicle Books)