What is your morning routine?
My morning routine has evolved significantly over the years as I have gone from Navy SEAL operator to entrepreneur to husband and father of three. As one can imagine, the priorities of my morning activities have shifted.
For example, years ago during graduate school and the evolution of my first company, the routine was simple. I would wake up at 5:00am, make the bed, drive twenty minutes to La Jolla (San Diego), and swim one or two miles. At 6:30am, I would get coffee and a light snack at the usual spot and then head to the office, strapping in at 7:00am for a long day of work.
When I got married and the children started flowing, things evolved. Adaptation and prioritization are key—that is, if you want to be happily married! I awake at 6:00am largely because my children dictate my routine. Our three-year-old comes into the room promptly at 6:00am (as if she has a perfect internal alarm clock) and crawls into bed with us, followed shortly after by her one-year-old brother (although he has to be retrieved from his crib).
We cuddle and play with the youngest kids for twenty minutes or so before getting up to start the day. This involves making sure our eleven-year-old is ready for school, answering a few emails, and making my to-do list. This part is critical. A to-do list that isn’t properly prioritized is just a disorganized mess of things that either won’t get done or will get done poorly.
After taking our oldest son to school, it’s execution time.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
The most recent routine has been in place for several years, but it has evolved over time. I sold my last company a year and a half ago, and when I’m not traveling I have a home office. I make it a priority to drop my kids off at school in the morning as often as I can before focusing on work at 8:00am. I can then work relatively uninterrupted throughout the day with an hour-long workout during my lunch break.
Working out at lunchtime is a great way to break up the day and get energized for the afternoon. My workout could involve distance running, swimming, strength training, or a combination. Fitness takes a back seat only to family because it’s critical for maintaining a healthy mind and body, mitigating stress, and staying energized.