What is your morning routine?
I’m usually up by around 7:00am on weekdays which gives me enough time to have breakfast, coffee, and to get ready for the day ahead.
If I’ve got to go into the office, there isn’t much time for me to dawdle, so I make sure to prepare everything I can the night before. I lay out what I’m wearing, which is usually interchanging the same shirts and trousers in different colours to save time, and I set up breakfast and my coffee machine so it’s ready to go at the push of a button.
I don’t put the TV on, although I might listen to some podcasts as I’m getting ready (Tim Ferriss’ is my favourite at the moment). Having a set routine where I do the same things at the same time every day is crucial to saving time and mental energy. I don’t want to use any of it up before I get to work!
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I’m always experimenting with my morning routine - I keep an eye out for things I can do faster, or better. In the future, I would like to go into the office less, or change jobs so that I have more flexible hours or I can work from home every couple of days.
I’ve learned the hard way that I’m not an early morning person - I’d much rather stay up late than get up early. It took a long time to admit it, but now I know that my body wakes up more naturally around 9 or 10:00am, and I can work late into the night without a problem. I usually get a second wind in the evening, but I have to make myself go to bed so that I can wake at 7:00am and match with office hours. It’s definitely not ideal.
Discovering things like this about yourself is important, and being able to experiment and change your routine can make a huge difference towards having a successful day.
What time do you go to sleep?
I’m usually in bed by 10:00pm.
I like to read for about half an hour, then I set my alarm for the next day and fall asleep straight away. Some hacks I’ve discovered to fall asleep more quickly - use an eye mask, put a shallow pillow under your calves/ankles to align your legs and spine, and buy a comfortable mattress that suits your body and sleeping type. A good night’s sleep is priceless.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I always prepare everything I need the night before - I lay out my outfit, set the coffee machine to go off at the exact time I get up, and I put my lunch in a box so that it’s ready to grab on my way out.
I don’t want to waste precious minutes that I could have spent in bed!
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I usually have breakfast straight away - a coffee with a protein shake, made with soy milk and a banana in it.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I did the 7-Minute Workout every day for a year. That’s 365 days in a row, even when I was travelling. It added a bit of time to my routine, but I found it was worth it as it got my blood pumping and boosted my mood.
A good long stretch or a couple of sun salutations help as well to energise my muscles and get me ready to face the day.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
I’m a big fan of an app called Sleep Cycle which tracks my sleep and wakes me up with a pleasant alarm in the morning. The worst thing is having to get up to an annoying ringing sound!
The app wakes me up when I naturally stir within a twenty minute window around 7:00am, so there’s no need to hit snooze. At night, if I’m finding it particularly hard to sleep, I use an app called Pzizz, which provides a meditative voice and relaxing music that matches some sort of brain wave pattern that calms your mind and makes you feel sleepy.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
My most important tasks are usually my biggest tasks. They usually involve client work, so require the most effort and concentration. That’s why it’s best to do them in the morning when I have the most energy.
If I can take care of something in less than five minutes, I’ll do it there and then to get it ticked off, otherwise I’ll work on the important to do’s for the whole morning.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
I follow the same morning routine and have the same breakfast on weekends, except I wake up later and take my time a bit more.
I love to catch up on articles in my Pocket app, or read a book as I’m having my coffee… sometimes when I’m still in bed! It’s bliss.
On weekends I also manage to catch classes at the gym - a spin class on Saturdays, and a yoga class on Sundays. I go to the gym after work on other days, but on weekends I can take my time. It’s important for me to have at least one intense workout session to boost my energy up, and one ‘intense’ relaxation session to recover.