What is your morning routine?
My morning routine for the past few months has been to wake-up at 5:20am, have a big glass of water, and head out the door for a walk down to the river.
There’s a park bench there that I fit on if I sit on it diagonally, so I can take some time for some stretches and a bit of breathing while the sun is coming up from across the way. A couple of sun salutes and thirty push-ups on a park bench, then the walk home.
Breakfast is just as big a part of the routine (see below). The routine is a result of a bit of travel earlier this year, where I tried out a bit of yoga and found that the stretching and concentrated breathing really set me up for the day. The breakfast is from reading a few nutrition books, adopting a vegetarian diet this year, and finding out what foods packed the most punch (with avocados leading the way).
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I’ve stuck with my current routine for about three months. Summer has just arrived in Perth so walking down to the river has been replaced with riding down to the beach.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
My current routine started when I started working for myself and had the flexibility of my own time, but to be honest I’m up, exercised, fed and watered by 7:00am so it’s something I could have been doing while working in an office.
Over the years my morning routine has gone from high school student (wake up as late as possible, arrive ten minutes late everyday, saving approx. two weeks of school time over the year), to college & university (waking up at the crack of dawn to catch a bus thirty odd kilometres for an 8:00am start), to work (early starts).
Over the years there’s been a bit of early morning wake-ups, running and gym, depending on how tight the pants have felt or if summer is imminent and you don’t want to look like a pork chop at the beach.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I use an alarm in the morning. If I’ve had a good nights sleep or got to bed fairly handy for eight hours, I’m well rested and don’t argue with the alarm. If I’ve pushed it the night before and stayed up past 10:00pm (party animal), I’ll feel tired in the morning.
It works in a cycle, if I’m up early and productive and have exercised, there’s no problem in passing out that night when I need to, then it’s no problem waking up. So really the exercise and busy day fuels the sleep, which fuels the exercise and busy day.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I try and eat breakfast within the hour of waking up. I go with the theory that it’s to break the fast of sleeping. Eat as much as you can in the mornings and fill the tank up while you’re empty, then go hard all day and use up your fuel.
I’ll eat a small dinner if I’m hungry. For breakfast, for the past three months I’ve had: spinach, sauerkraut, two eggs, avocado & beans. I can’t really get on with my day if I don’t eat that.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I don’t have a workout routine as such. Prior to travelling this year my housemate was an amateur body builder who often competed. He’d be up at 4:00am for one of two workouts for the day, and then demolish a kilogram of fish for dinner.
After seeing the commitment required for the extremes, “working out” as such doesn’t appeal to me any more. In the morning I’m a-okay with going for a walk, a few pushups, and a bit of yoga. I think my fast metabolism allows me to not be too bothered about exercise.
How about morning meditation?
In terms of meditation, on my travels this year I was interested so I stopped in to visit a few gurus along the way in India. Me personally, I found it a bit silly. Staring at a spot on the wall for an hour or so. A friend then recommended an app on the iPhone called Headspace, which I can honestly say is fantastic.
I don’t really meditate in the traditional sense in the morning, but when the river is calm and the sun’s coming up, taking a bit of time out to be quiet and breathe properly might count for something.
Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
As part of my routine to be a bit more productive during the day, I was on the fence about checking email and social media first thing in the morning. There’s the school of ‘get your most important task done first’ or ‘get your niggling tasks out the way first’.
I give myself half an hour in the morning to do the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & email rounds before using the Self Control app for mac, which blocks whichever websites you choose for a pre-determined amount of time.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Sadly with my phone being my alarm clock, it gets checked first thing in the morning. I’m trying to scale back on connectivity and phone usage so I can see an alarm clock replacing the iPhone.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
My most important tasks in the morning are going for a walk (or a ride from now on) and breakfast. I want to make sure that after eight hours asleep I get a good shot of fresh air and that for the rest of the morning I’m not thinking about food.
What is your first drink in the morning?
My first drink in the morning is a big glass of water.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
When I’m not at home or staying at a friend’s place, I phone ahead to check that the avocados and spinach are in ample supply! Heading out early for a walk and a bit of a stretch isn’t too hard to travel with. I try to be back at home base to start every Monday morning.