What is your morning routine?
It varies, but I usually wake up around two and a half hours before I need to be at work (at about 5:30am or so).
After getting ready and taking my dog for a walk, most of that time is spent writing. I write about 3,000 words each day, which takes about an hour to an hour and a half.
I may do the writing at home, in my hotel room, on a flight, or on a train. My mornings vary drastically from one day to the next depending on where I need to be, when I need to be there, whether or not I am travelling and, if I am home, whether or not my partner is. Each morning can be different, but I always work to fit the writing in.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
A few months. Not because another one failed, but because my schedule and lifestyle is always changing, so I do too.
When I worked as a consultant, I had some projects where I flew to other cities every week and others where I travelled by train to the suburbs. Each time I get a new schedule, my morning is adjusted accordingly. I try to be adaptable and like to experiment with new habits.
How has your morning routine changed over the years?
I have always gotten up early — first because I had to and ultimately because I wanted to. I swam in high school and we had 5:30am workouts during the week. I later worked the opening shift at a bakery during college, which started at 5:00am.
I have grown to cherish the freshness of the morning hours and getting up early to enjoy them.
What time do you go to sleep?
It varies. I go to bed when I’m tired, which can be as early as 9:30pm or as late as 11:00pm. Suffice it to say, I’m not the life of the party on a Friday night.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I do, but like many “morning people” I wake up fine without one. I find if we get up at the same time every day, our bodies just know.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I don’t really do breakfast until about 8-9:00am — my reason being I like to graze every few hours, so when I start my meals early in the morning, I consume way too much food by the time dinner rolls around.
I may do a protein shake (just powder and water shaken at work), or some fruit.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
If I do, it’s pretty laid back. I walk my dog for 20-30 minutes most mornings; we sometimes go for longer walks/jogs on weekends.
How about morning meditation?
Not formally, though I do practice auto-suggestion as part of my writing. It is a sort of mental clearing and refocusing; it centres me for the rest of the day, which is an important part of a meditation practice.
Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I’ll check my inbox right away most mornings, but rarely respond until later. Nothing good or articulate was ever said in an email sent two minutes after waking up.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning, either for calls/messages or social media and news?
I may check messages and missed calls right away, but usually leave social media and news until later in the morning.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
The writing. I love writing, but it is still a practice — like running or yoga — and every morning, it is a deliberate, conscious choice.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Water. Maybe it is being from Colorado, but I always feel a little dehydrated when I wake up, so I like water first thing. Second, coffee.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I like being flexible and adaptable. I travelled Monday through Thursday for work when I was a consultant, and enjoyed figuring out new routines to fit all the different travel schedules (like 6:00am flights on Monday mornings, 6:30am train rides to the suburbs, or heading into the office).
What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
It doesn’t throw me off too much to have to rearrange things.
We will always make time for our real priorities. If it is the writing, for example, I just fit it in later.