What is your morning routine?
I don’t really have one. I used to, when I was living in LA four years ago, and it involved checking email, working out, eating breakfast, and then settling in for work.
These days, though, if I set up a habit, it generally needs to be changed within months, if not days, so it’s generally not worth getting too dogmatic over it (lest I frustrate myself at my inability to consistently do something, regardless of where I wake up).
Today, I stick with personal suggestions. I tell myself, “Colin, it would be great if you’d fit in some kind of stretching and body weight resistance exercise today,” to which I reply, “Yeah, I think I’ll hop out of bed and do that,” or “It’s really cold today, I think I’ll do that later.”
Generally I can trust myself to hit the items on my list, but the time of day has ceased to be predictable for me.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I’ve been doing things this way for almost four years now. Which makes me feel old.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I add things, I remove things. What stays pretty standard is that I do a little exercise every day at home, and then, if I have a gym nearby, I try and do that, as well (though later).
I tend to eat breakfast and check my email and social media accounts to see if there’s anything I need to handle right away. Otherwise, I’ll slowly edge my way into ‘work,’ which means answering emails, writing, and working my way through any to-do items I might have in my inbox.
What time do you go to sleep?
It really depends on where I’m living, and the day you ask me.
In Argentina, people don’t eat dinner until 10-11:00pm, so I stayed up later. In Columbia, Missouri, everything closes at 1:30am, so I tend to call it a night much earlier. In a vacuum, though, I usually hit the hay around midnight or 1:00am.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I haven’t used an alarm clock consistently since I left LA.
The only time I use one is when I have an early appointment of some kind. But now I’m so out of practice that I wake up every twenty minutes all night long, checking my phone to see if it’s almost time for the alarm to go off, or at least close to it. I generally get up before it makes any noise.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
Something light, unless breakfast is a social event (in which case I get one of everything).
Oatmeal. Maybe peanut butter on toast.
I eat after working out, if I choose to do that immediately. Otherwise, I do it after checking the net for any fires that need putting out.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
Yeah. It’s mostly stretching and body weight resistance stuff. Essentially a light workout that takes about twelve minutes and gets me alert and my blood pumping, without tiring me out.
How about morning meditation?
Usually not. I think I would fall back asleep. I take twenty minutes a day to sit and do nothing, but it’s more of an afternoon thing for me.
Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
First thing. I like to know what’s going on in the world, and email doesn’t stress me out like it seems to stress out some people.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning, either for calls/messages or social media and news?
I keep my phone by my bed, so usually before I’m even up I’ve checked to see what’s happened in the past 6-7 hours.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Sorting out my tasks for the day!
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Water. Maybe some tea.
If I’m working on a project and regret having to sleep instead of working all the way through, some kind of energy drink does the trick. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, though I love the smell. I’d probably be hooked on it if I started.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
Not really. Not without being the weird travel guy.
I am more than willing to toss anything I usually do in order to enjoy my surroundings and the people in it. That’s why I try not to stress about having habits — if I did, it would be like trying to force wherever I happened to be into some kind of box that suited my needs. That’s not how I like to do things.