“I’m usually happier when I get in my exercise. When I don’t, the day might have a slower start.” – Cal Newport Share this quote on Twitter

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Cal Newport

What is your morning routine?

I usually wake up somewhere between 6:00 and 7:00am. On most weekday mornings I’ll then run down the street to a nearby park where I do twenty-five pull-ups to get the day started.

By the time I return home, the rest of my family is usually up, so we eat breakfast together while I read the paper. I then hang out with my boys until around 8:30am, which is when my work day typically begins.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

This has more or less been my routine for several years now, with some minor changes along the way.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I’m considering bringing a book and some coffee with me to the park in the morning during the warm seasons, and potentially getting in fifteen minutes of reading in the quiet before heading back home.

What time do you go to sleep?

I try to be in bed by 9:30 with the goal of being asleep by 10:00-10:30pm.

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Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

Not really. I don’t feel particularly rushed in the morning.

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

I don’t use an alarm. My three boys make sure that I cannot sleep too late. I’m yet to find their snooze buttons.

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

I usually eat about an hour or so after waking up. Most weekdays I eat eggs and a slice of toast.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

On most weekdays, I run to a nearby park, do some quick push-ups to warm up, then do twenty-five pull-ups in three quick sets, each focusing on a different type of grip. Then I run back home.

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

My work day starts at 8:30am and I make a point to never look at email before then. Whether or not I start my work day with email depends on my schedule for that day. I build a custom time blocked schedule for every day; I block out all hours of the day, including when I will check email (if at all), depending on my plan for that week.

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

I like white noise when I sleep, so I keep a fan on.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

I don’t check my phone that often in general. I’ll sometimes use it to listen to a podcast or book on tape during my morning workout. Sometimes I won’t bring it at all.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I drink a glass of water on first waking up. After my workout, I proceed to drink many cups of coffee.

How does your partner fit into your morning routine?

We have choreographed our morning routines pretty well. She’s in charge of the kids while I’m out exercising, then I take them over when I return.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

I don’t follow the routine on the weekend. On Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays our mornings are much looser.

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 home, I probably don’t think too much about my mornings.

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

I’m usually happier when I get in my exercise. When I don’t, the day might have a slower start.


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