“I like to have at least a full hour and a half to myself before I walk out the door. It helps me to get organized for the day.” – Eliza Blank Share this quote on Twitter

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Eliza Blank

What is your morning routine?

My alarm goes off every morning at 6:30am, but I generally stay in bed for the first thirty minutes of my day. I check in on the business—email, calendar, and the sales numbers that came in overnight while I was asleep. It gets me excited for the day ahead.

By 7:00am I’m out of bed for a shower and breakfast. I never leave the house without a good breakfast. I usually don’t have another meal until dinner, so I never skip it. I always do a quick read of theSkimm and then have coffee. I get my coffee at this amazing Brazilian cafe in our neighborhood called O Cafe. They serve organic, sustainable coffee and the most amazing pao de queijo. Lunch is usually just an accumulation of snacks and (more) coffee throughout the day.

Unless I have important meetings, I generally keep it pretty casual. My typical uniform includes Madewell jeans, a T-shirt or sweater, and tied-back hair. I try to keep it simple so I can get out the door quickly.

Once I’m ready to head out, I double back to make the bed and wash any dishes from breakfast. It makes me feel like I’ve already accomplished something important before my day truly begins. And it’s nice to come home to a clean apartment at the end of the day.

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How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

My routine has been the same for the past two and a half years. My routine is really tied to my apartment, and I’ve been in my current apartment in Greenwich Village for about this long. In New York City, your neighborhoods—where you live and where you work—dictate so much about your daily routine. Your neighborhood is where you get your coffee, your groceries, where you exercise, and how you get to work. I used to live in Fort Greene, Brooklyn and my morning routine was a lot different then. The best part of the Village is that I can walk through Washington Square Park on my way to work. Being an NYU graduate, I feel nostalgic walking through the same square I used to in college. I never tire of that Arch!

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

Before starting The Sill I used to sleep much later. I started my career in the agency world here in NYC, and could sleep in pretty late. Most people got to the office around 10:00am. Now that I’m an entrepreneur, I’m working as soon as I wake up in the morning and pretty much until I go to bed at night. It’s demanding, but there’s nothing I would rather do.

Oh, and there’s the necessary accumulation of all my plant babies! When I first moved to New York I had such difficulty finding plants in the city. It’s truly what inspired me to start The Sill. Fast forward ten years and I have more than fifty plants. Taking care of them is one of the best parts of my day. It forces you to really stop and be present. You can’t water your plants and be on your phone at the same time. (And that’s a good thing!)

What time do you go to sleep?

Hopefully by 11:00pm. And quite honestly, when I have the opportunity to go to bed earlier, I take it every time. I have no problem getting into bed at 9:30pm. I’ve never been a night owl. I always get too tired!

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

When I have meetings outside the company I tend to choose my outfit the evening before in case I have to iron anything. On the rare occasion I decide to exercise in the morning before work, I always lay out all my workout gear so I can get out the door quickly.

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

I’m the worst—I hit snooze like three times. I tried to quit the snooze button cold turkey. It probably lasted a couple of weeks. And yes, I do use my phone as an alarm. At one point, my husband and I had matching alarm clocks (I think they were a wedding gift), but eventually we needed to change the batteries and just never did.

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

I always have breakfast before leaving my apartment in the morning. I am a true believer in breakfast. I’ve never understood people who can skip breakfast. I almost always wake up hungry. I generally go for eggs, toast, and at least two full glasses of water. I don’t drink coffee until after I’ve eaten; usually I grab that first cup at O Cafe on my way to work and another once I get to my desk.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

Sadly, no. I leave for work as early as 8:00 or 8:30am, so exercising in the morning would mean going to a 6:00am class, which I’m not cut out for. My husband can jump out of bed at 6:00am and go to a yoga or boxing class first thing, but I just don’t have it in me. I’m motivated on rare occasions in the summer, but I’m normally focused on walking a lot during the week and working out on the weekend.

Do you have a morning meditation routine, and if so what kind of meditation do you practice?

I don’t meditate—that’s another part of my husband’s routine that I don’t subscribe to. I admire him for meditating with such consistency.

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

Yes! I check email first thing in the morning. I try to scan my inbox and respond to anything critical or time sensitive before I get out the door.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

Pretty much first thing, since it is my alarm. I also like to read the news on my phone while I eat breakfast. It’s too hard for me to part with my phone because it’s the most convenient tool in my life right now.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

I would say showering is up there! A lot of people shower in the evening, but I really need to shower in the morning to wake up. I like to have at least a full hour and a half to myself before I walk out the door. It helps me to get organized for the day, and I like having that time to myself before heading out.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

New York City apartments are so dry. I drink at least two full glasses of water in the morning with breakfast. I’m not great at drinking water throughout the day (I love coffee), so I try to drink my water in the morning at least.

How does your partner fit into your morning routine?

My husband generally wakes up earlier than I do to meditate and exercise. I’m usually getting out of bed and showering by the time he gets back. We do a pretty good job of timing it right. Even though our morning routines have changed over the years, we’ve gotten really good at sharing a bathroom. We’ve done it successfully now for nearly ten years!

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

We sleep in and get up together on the weekend, but at this point sleeping in usually means 8:30am. I don’t think either of us could sleep past 9:00am. Weekends are great though because we really spend them doing everything together, whereas we’re always following our individual routines and schedules during the week. Weekend breakfasts are leisurely. I cook, and my husband makes a big pot of coffee. My best Saturday involves staying in my pajamas until 2:00pm.

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

My husband and I spend a lot of time in the Catskills on weekends. It’s so important to us to get out of the city. Weekends upstate require a welcome change in routine. In the summer we spend a lot of time hiking around the Mohonk Preserve in the New Paltz area. And we have a couple of favorite spots for breakfast, including Sweet Sue’s in Phoenicia. Weekend mornings are generally more relaxed and stretched out. It’s a great way to recharge after an intense week in the city.


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