What is your morning routine?
On weekdays I wake up at 7:00am, since I need to get my daughter to school by 8:00am. Thankfully, we live about fifteen blocks away, so most mornings we leave by 7:45am and walk. When the weather is bad, I get an Uber and hope it shows up in less than ten minutes.
First thing I do is stretch and take child’s pose to make sure my creaky limbs work correctly. I’ve always had a bad lower back from scoliosis, and I’ve found that when I regularly stretch and exercise it doesn’t bother me.
After stretching, I snuggle with my daughter for a few minutes because I think hugs are an essential part of starting one’s day. My husband usually stops me in the kitchen while I’m making our daughter her breakfast and gives me a hug. It’s a nice moment before our crazy day begins and we get swept up in our daily dramas. At some point during that time I check the weather, but I try not to check my emails or texts until after I’ve dropped my daughter off at school. I don’t want to stress myself out with work information or news; I prefer to just focus on our time together.
I then drink a glass of filtered water with organic lemon squeezed in it. That’s all I have until I get to Juice Press and drink a Soul Garden on the walk to my daughter’s school.
After chatting with my girl and holding her hand (the walk to school is the best time to really hear what’s going on in her head), I drop her off and head to the gym. After working out, I walk home and window shop since all the stores are, thankfully, still closed. If they were open I’d be bankrupt by now.
I head home and eat breakfast - usually almond milk heated up with chia seeds, hemp seeds, cinnamon, blueberries, and Manuka honey. It’s delicious and is a great substitute for oatmeal. Then I make a pot of green tea that lasts me most of the morning. Everything we eat is organic, non-GMO, grass-fed or pasture-raised. I also don’t eat dairy and try to limit my carbohydrates. I’m a pain in the ass about it and drive my husband nuts, but we feel better eating this way.
I check my emails and texts and catch up on the news while I eat breakfast. I also pay all my bills and do any finance-related stuff. This morning routine is nice and quiet because my office in Los Angeles doesn’t open until noon in New York, so I have this time to answer emails and catch up on any scripts I need to read or TV series I need to watch.
After that, I shower and get dressed so that by noon I’m either out the door (meeting with writers, directors, or actors for projects) or on Skype (meeting with people who are outside of New York).
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I started my company four years ago, so that’s when this routine started. Before that I was running programming at AMC, and then at Cineflix Studios, and I had to be at my offices for both by 10:00am.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I returned to my chiropractor recently because my back wasn’t great. I probably overdid Barry’s Bootcamp this summer and used weights that were too heavy. I have this great chiropractor down the street from me, but he doesn’t take insurance and my insurance won’t reimburse me. I tried to go to a doctor in my network, but my back just wouldn’t get better. I’m now back at the really good chiropractor because it’s true that “you get what you pay for.”
What time do you go to sleep?
I try to go to bed by 10:00pm each night. I feel like crap if I go to bed any later. Realistically, I go to sleep more often by 10:30pm because I get sucked into returning emails for work or reading about something on Facebook or re-writing these answers for you.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I do use an alarm, but my internal clock always wakes me up about 15-30 minutes before it goes off. I just rest in bed and bemoan the fact that kids have to be at school too bloody early. I’ve thought about starting a petition at our school to start at 9:00am instead of 8:00am because studies show kids need more sleep. If there’s anyone who wants to help me with that, please reach out!
Do you have a morning workout routine?
After dropping my daughter off at school, I go to either Equinox or Soul Cycle. I try to work out four or five days a week because when I don’t put in a good sweat I start to have saggy bits here and there and feel like poop. Since I started working out more than three days a week and taking supplements (vitamin C, probiotics, turmeric, etc.), I don’t get sick. I used to get colds and the flu, but no more. I even stopped getting the flu shot a few years ago because I just never get sick anymore.
How about morning meditation?
I should meditate. My husband suggests this frequently since I’m always wound a bit too tight and nagging him about silly things. I don’t have the patience for it. I tried yoga and got bored. I prefer cardio workouts and lifting weights. That’s when I meditate.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I leave it until I return from dropping off my daughter at school and working out, since my Los Angeles office doesn’t open until noon in New York.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
I only check it when I wake up for the weather. I can’t bear to read news about our president or emails about work until much later in the day.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Having some quality time with my daughter.
How does your partner fit into your morning routine?
I usually bark out orders and micromanage my husband in the morning. That’s why we start with the hug. It’s all downhill from there.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
I sleep in on the weekends, and instead of working out we all play tennis together as a family. Yes, it’s a wee bit of a workout, but we do it to be together and have fun. Weekend mornings are also when I make pancakes for our daughter and read the newspapers (The New York Times, The Financial Times, and The Wall Street Journal).
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 travel for work, which is usually to Los Angeles, I try to keep a similar routine because I stay on New York time. I wake up at 4:00am or 5:00am and do what I do at home, minus walking my daughter to school. I’ve been staying at the same hotel for over a decade, so it’s easy to keep a similar routine when everything is the same. I have my juice place and my gym. Let’s just say I’m a creature of habit.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Those are usually the days when my husband asks me a few times, “Are you mad at me?”
Our recommended book this week is My Morning Routine by Benjamin Spall, Michael Xander. We only recommend three things a week that we believe will be of interest to our readers. Please take a moment to check it out.