“The biggest task in the morning is to try to keep my headspace from being invaded by the outside world.” – Austin Kleon Share this quote on Twitter

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Austin Kleon

What is your morning routine?

Austin Kleon’s Morning Routine

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

Ever since my son was born.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

The luxury of working from home and not having a job-job is that we’re able to wake up slow and take our time easing into the day. There’s no frantic rush to get in the car and get somewhere. And since we get up so early, I’m usually at my desk not that much later than when I worked at an agency.

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What time do you go to sleep?

I head up to bed around 9:00pm and then I read for an hour or so.

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

A toddler doesn’t have a snooze button, unfortunately.

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

Right away. We usually eat some eggs or peanut butter toast and a smoothie or, when we’re feeling decadent, breakfast tacos.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

Yeah, we take a three-mile walk around our neighborhood every morning. We almost never miss this, and I consider it the most important part of my day.

I don’t take morning meetings or go to morning meet ups or whatever because it would mean I’d miss a walk.

How about morning meditation?

I try to meditate for ten minutes before I get to work. Some days are better than others.

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

On a good day, I won’t check email until lunch.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

Too soon. My New Year’s resolution is no screens before 10:00am or after 10:00pm.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

The biggest task is to try to keep my headspace from being invaded by the outside world; to be alone with my own thoughts before I can sit down and make something.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

My brother-in-law ruined my life and taught me what good coffee is and how to make it. It’s a ritual: turn on the kettle, grind the beans, rinse the filter, brew in the Chemex, etc.

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

No, which is the number one reason I hate traveling.

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

I try to forgive myself and move on. (Sun comes up, sun goes down. Always another chance tomorrow.) One thing about a routine is that the days where you break it can be some of the most interesting days… but they wouldn’t be unless you had a routine to break.


To celebrate the new year we gave away three copies of Austin’s newest book Show Your Work! 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered to three lucky readers. The winners have been notified.

Photo of Austin by Jason Travis.

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Book Cover of My Morning Routine

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