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Merrill Stubbs

What is your morning routine?

I’m up sometime between 6:30 and 7:00am; i.e. whenever Henry, our two-year-old, decides it’s time for the rest of the house to be up. He just yells from his crib until someone comes to rescue him. Clara, our five-year-old, typically hops into our bed once she’s up, and both kids watch an episode of SpongeBob while my husband, Jonathan, and I take turns showering and checking our phones for any urgent work messages and news.

During this time, Henry makes multiple attempts to escape our bedroom; in-between brushing our teeth and getting dressed, one or the other of us has to make sure he isn’t sliding down the banister or putting his fingers in an electric socket or something. We also take turns making sure Clara is fully clothed. Depending on the day, this is either an easy task or an epic battle.

When our babysitter arrives around 7:30am, we send both kids downstairs for breakfast. I head down around 7:45am to chat with the kids while they finish eating, pack up my lunch, and make sure Clara has everything she needs for a rigorous day at pre-K. If I’m going straight to the office, I head for the subway a little before 8:00am, picking up a coffee on the way. On the days I take Clara to school, I usually make coffee at home (I’m on a Chemex kick and drinking it out of this mug makes me happy), and then we’re out the door by 8:15am.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

It’s been pretty consistent for the last two years since Henry was born and Clara started school.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I used to be more ad hoc, letting my morning work schedule determine which days I took Clara to school each week. A few months ago I decided to try a different approach. Now I take Clara to school on the same days each week (Tuesdays and Thursdays), and I don’t schedule any meetings until 10:30 or 11:00am on Mondays and Wednesdays (and Fridays, when possible); on those days, I try hard to be out the door before 8:00am so I can get to the office by 8:30 or 8:45am and have a solid two hours of focused work time.

Mornings tend to be quieter in the office. Because we have an open layout, anyone can come tap me on the shoulder at any moment, so I find that this is my best shot at a chunk of uninterrupted time.

Continue reading · 7 min read

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