What is your morning routine?
I wake up around 7:00am every morning, stirred not by an alarm clock but by the rustling of our dog, who is looking to go out, take a walk, and get fed. My wife either stays in bed or gets up to feed our infant son as I get up and take our dog for a run or a walk through the neighborhood or parks near our home. By 8:00am, I’ve either stopped at a coffee shop near our home or I’m making coffee at home, measuring and grinding the beans and heating up the water for our Chemex. As I make coffee and feed our dog, I listen to podcasts, usually news shows from NPR, the BBC, and Monocle.
After the coffee is done and I’ve had a quick bite, and I’ve said hello and spent some time with my son, I’m typically out the door to the gym to lift with my trainer or off to start the workday at my home office or at a local coffee shop. The key for me is that I don’t schedule things in the mornings. No breakfasts, no calls, no meetings.
In between that morning bliss, of course, comes email. I check my phone first thing when I wake up to review my email, checking in on any purchases or questions from customers for Foresight and trying to answer anything that can be immediately addressed. Many of my customers are based in Europe or Australia and I want to catch them during their workdays and respond to questions that they’ve likely asked hours ago while I was asleep. I squeeze in email as I get ready to take out my dog; I get a couple emails done while I’m making coffee; and before I leave for the gym, I work on sending emails about things I thought about during my morning dog walk.
I don’t have sharp rules about focusing on me and what I want to get done first thing in the day. Being quick to respond to questions is so ingrained in how I think about email; to me, it’s not a chore but a major form of communication.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
A few major life changes over the last couple of years have altered my morning routine drastically (see below). In its current form, I’ve stuck with this routine since the birth of my son approximately five months ago.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I’ve always been a morning person, loving to wake up and get started before the rest of my life gets going. I used to get up before 5:00am to go to the gym, to write, to run, or to commute, in each case because I simply loved to get going before everyone else. But I’ve moved a lot over recent years - from Virginia to New Orleans to New York to Pittsburgh - and added a wife, a dog, and an infant son, and thus my days have changed drastically. My mornings aren’t purely mine anymore.
The first change came when we got our dog, and my early mornings shifted from getting out the door to go to the gym to getting out the door to walk my dog.