“While my computer boots up, I flip my desk calendar to the new date, an important part of my routine to get me into the present day.” – Justin Lisenby Share this quote on Twitter

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Justin Lisenby

What is your morning routine?

I work a typical 8:00-5:00 job, but luckily my schedule allows me some freedom.

I prefer to begin my workday around 6:00am. That being said, I wake up at 5:00am each workday, heading straight to the bathroom to splash my face with cool water. After splashing, I’m on to a short 5-10 minute session of morning yoga compromising of a few sun salutation sequences to stretch me out and get my blood flowing.

After stretching, it’s contacts in, teeth brushed, face moisturized, and vitamins taken. After this, I’ll head into the closet to get dressed before kissing the wife goodbye and heading out to the kitchen.

In the kitchen I fire up the Keurig for my morning coffee. This goes into a travel mug for my drive to work. While that’s brewing, I’ll pack my cold foods into my lunchbox, which I will have already prepared the previous night. I grab my coffee and keys, and I’m out the door.

I’ll spend my ~20 minute drive to work listening to the morning talk radio show and getting my mind ready for the day ahead. I go over my mental checklist of daily tasks and make sure I’m mentally prepared for the day; usually eating my breakfast on the drive over.

I arrive at work about 6:00am. Once in my office, powering up the computer is first on my list. While it boots up, I flip my desk calendar to the new date, an important part of my routine to get me into the present day. I’ll login and check my emails for anything that is immediately actionable that morning.

After a quick email check, it’s day planning time. I look at my overall to-do list on desk and prioritize what needs to be done that day. Then I’ll go through my notebook to ensure that anything I noted the previous day is captured on my list. After checking the previous day, I begin a new page for that day in my notebook.

The top of the page lists my meetings for that day, next is the to-do list with the specific tasks I am to focus on that day. The rest of the page will be filled with notes from meetings or working throughout the day.

After twenty minutes or so of day planning, my structured routine ends and the craziness of the day begins.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

I’ve been at my current job (and kept to this routine) for about 7 months.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

Before taking my current job, I was a student and also the Editor-in-Chief for a technology blog, so my routine was quite a bit different then.

Each day was different with classes, homework, and blogging. Now that I’m on a set routine, I’m happier, healthier, and have more energy than ever before.

What time do you go to sleep?

I tend to go to bed early since I’m up early. I need 7-8 hours of sleep per night, so I’m in bed and asleep between 9 and 9:30pm to help me meet my sleep goals.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

I wake up with my iPhone alarm Monday through Friday.

Since my body is so well adjusted to my schedule, I don’t even need an alarm on the weekends to still wake up between 5:30 and 6:30am. Even during the week, I often find myself waking up 4:45 or 4:50am, just beating the alarm by a few minutes.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

I usually have about thirty minutes between waking up and having breakfast. Typically? I will have either a smoothie, egg sandwich, or piece of fruit with a protein bar. Sometimes, if I feel the need for some early morning inspiration, I’ll hit the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru for a chicken biscuit.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I always have some water after waking up, but my first full drink is always coffee. It’s usually from my Keurig, but some days I’ll take the detour to Starbucks for a latte.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

Yes and no. I do a short 5-10 minute yoga session in the mornings, but my full workout comes after work.

Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

Email is the primary form of communication in my office, so I am constantly connected with my computer/iPhone.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

The most important thing in the morning is managing my to-do list and planning my day. I don’t function effectively without a plan and schedule, so getting centered on this each morning is the most important task for me.


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