What is your morning routine?
I typically wake up between 6:00-6:30am (I’m guilty of pressing snooze a few times!). I like to make my to-do list the night before, so I’m focused first thing and don’t get distracted by emails, etc. I walk downstairs, sit at my kitchen barstools, and dive into the first two tasks on my to-do list.
My husband is usually working as well at this time; he’s in charge of coffee—lots of coffee! Once it gets closer to 7:45am, I grab either a banana or eggs, pack up my work bag, and run upstairs to do hair/makeup and get ready for the day. On the way to the office (a three-minute commute), I grab a grande iced coffee and call my best friend who lives in Oklahoma for a quick (really quick) catch-up.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I’ve been doing this routine for about two years. When I’m in town (I travel a lot for work) this is the routine I follow, unless I’m working from home.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I used to try working out first thing, or piling a lot in before work, but I enjoy moving at a slower pace in the morning—being productive but not too crazy. I also used to schedule a ton of calls before 8:30am, but now I try to avoid this so I can get my outgoing tasks accomplished.
What time do you go to sleep?
Pretty late—I’m a night owl. Usually between 11:30pm and 1:00am. I’ve always been a night owl and done pretty well on 5-7 hours of sleep per night. But I try to catch up on sleep over the weekends either by sleeping in or by taking naps.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I try to make my to-do list for the next day, have a good idea of when my first meeting is (and whether I need to make any special arrangements), and know what I’m wearing (as the clothes can certainly hold up the process of getting ready if they aren’t organized!).
On Sunday nights, I try to review my calendar and set out options for the week on one rack. I clear that clothing rack of everything else on it. This way, even if I’m selecting my outfit in the morning, I’m choosing from an “already determined” selection of items. When it comes to missing shirts or socks or wrinkled stuff, they drive me nuts! I love being prepared and having everything I need in one place and ready to be worn!
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
Yes, and yes!
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I eat anywhere from thirty minutes to three hours after waking up—usually a banana or egg whites with hot sauce. I put hot sauce on almost everything! For the past two years, my husband has been making me egg whites for breakfast and I cover them with Siracha! If I get bored of this, I’ll rotate in oatmeal from Starbucks or just grab a banana for the car.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I work out at around 4:30-5:00pm. I go to the gym (I’m a member at Crunch Fitness) for thirty minutes or do an hour-long dance class (hip-hop!). That said, when I randomly get in those morning workouts, they do feel good. I typically only do morning workouts when I’m traveling.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I try to leave it until about 10:00am, so that I can actually get some of my work done instead of always answering other people’s emails. I find that email distract me from getting through any of my to-do list items. When I focus on my priorities first and email second, I have a much better day and leave the office feeling accomplished.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
No, other than avoiding Instagram before bed and first thing in the morning.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
First thing to see if there are any urgent texts or missed calls; usually, there’s not, unless a team member is running late or sick. I’m trying to train team members to not come to me with those types of texts.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Usually pitching (sales time). I like to put music on and just go into pitch land, sending out email after email. I even track how many I send out. I try to not be sucked into my email first thing, although it’s a daily struggle!
For me, business pitches are slightly overwhelming—I’m doing heavy cold emails and having to pitch myself in unique ways, and it’s a lot to think about. I find that I’m best at this first thing in the morning while I’m still feeling fresh. It’s also a task that takes a long time (to do the research, craft your pitch, send the emails), so I love doing this first thing. I find that if I put it off to the afternoon, I never get it done.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Hot coffee is first, water is second, iced coffee is third (and then water again, hopefully!).
How does your partner fit into your morning routine?
He hands me coffee first thing in the morning, as he’s usually up before me these days! His morning routine complements mine; he’s an entrepreneur as well, so he gets it—we are always going and have to consciously say, “Okay, time to turn off!”
In short, my husband helps me with… everything! He helps me get up on time (I’m guilty of snoozing) and cooks breakfast for both of us (we’ll share the eggs). Since we both run our own businesses, we are usually both running around the house trying to get emails done or scheduling different calls—and trying not to run into each other! We usually leave within twenty minutes of one another. Sometimes he’ll run to Starbucks if I’m running late and grab my mobile order for me! He’s everything!
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
On the weekends I’m usually either jumping around to different plans with friends/family, running errands, or catching up on sleep. The one thing that stays the same is the hot coffee first thing.
I also try to get in at least one hike with a friend (that way we can catch up and exercise at the same time). I use the Anna Victoria Body Love app on my phone, which shows workouts you can do from home.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
Sort of. For example, when I travel to New York City, I flip things around and work out in the morning, since I’m likely to make social plans in the afternoon. To make sure I get it in, I have my sister-in-law (who’s great at going to classes) sign me up with her so I can’t cancel—ha! We are pretty good about trying new things, so we do different Pilates classes (we recently tried springboard Pilates), Pure Barre classes, or yoga! Next time I’m in New York, we both want to try Rumble (the boxing classes).
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Ugh! I love being in control of my day; when my day starts to control me, we have a problem!
When I don’t follow my routine and get in control (and ahead) of my day, it feels like my schedule is in charge of me. I almost feel like I’m a puppet on a string, just following my calendar around. I usually end up feeling overwhelmed and unaccomplished at the end of the day. That either causes me to lose my personal time (because I’m doing things I should have done during the workday) or just to feel like a failure.
In my new book, Get It Together, I talk about the importance of self-love and coping with failure. You can’t win them all. I try to remind myself that we’re going to have bad days. It’s okay. The next day is always a fresh start!
Our recommended book this week is The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. 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.