What is your morning routine?
I typically wake up at 5:30am and, depending on where I am, start working out in my home gym in Washington, D.C. or in the gym in my condo complex in Connecticut by 5:45am.
After my workout I practice about fifteen minutes of mindfulness/meditation/yoga before I hit the shower. I grab a coffee and a light breakfast to start my day in the office, typically around 7:30am.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I’m a pretty disciplined person in general, so I’ve stuck to this regimen for years. I travel often and work for a global company, so I have to modify this to accommodate for time zone adjustments and flight schedules.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I’m very consistent with the routine, but I have increased my emphasis on meditation over the last two years as a result of taking a class. That effort has helped to improve my concentration and focus.
What time do you go to sleep?
On average, 11:30pm.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I review my calendar and figure out what I’m going to wear the next day so I’m ready to roll the moment I wake up.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning?
I don’t need an alarm unless I have to wake up before 4:00am, or I’ve traveled through time zones.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I have breakfast between 7:30 and 8:00am, when I get to the office. It’s typically something light, a pastry or something… and, of course, a cup of coffee.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
In the gym I focus on core work and strength building. I’m not a treadmill-inside-the-gym kind of guy, so I find other ways to get the cardio in. I track my steps maniacally, and I play singles tennis on the weekends.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
My routine is really just about doing it daily—having my mind in the moment without distractions or wandering. In our home in D.C. I have a peaceful view of the trees and river, and that helps calm my thoughts.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I do take a look at email first thing in the morning because of the pace and responsiveness required at Xerox. I respond to anything time sensitive right away.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
I’m all about the music to get my head right. When I work out I use a Spotify or YouTube playlist and have it mapped to my car so I can get in the right spirit during the commute.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
I check my phone upon waking.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
I would characterize myself as a morning person, so I’m my sharpest and prefer to make my most important decisions and have my most critical meetings in the morning.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Water is my first drink in the gym, and coffee immediately follows.
How does your partner fit into your morning routine?
My wife is usually resting peacefully, so there are no issues with sharing the space!
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
On weekends I might sleep in until 7:00am, and then I play tennis or do a longer workout.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
My schedule is dynamic, so I have to be prepared to adapt. I keep a suitcase packed with thin gym shoes and socks and workout stuff so I can weave that into my schedule when I travel. I’m pretty disciplined about sticking to it.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
While I’m regimented, I’m not inflexible. I forgive myself when the routine doesn’t happen. When I don’t work out, it’s usually because my body is telling me that I need a pass. When I travel, I often have breakfast and dinner meetings or am dealing with time zone changes, so I adapt and don’t really let the lapse impact the rest of my day.
Anything else you would like to add?
I read The Skimm first thing in the morning as a way to catch up on things. It takes all of about thirty seconds to read, so it’s perfect.
Our recommended book this week is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. 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.