“I’ve stuck with this routine on and off since high school (with a few gap years when I would wake up late and miss my morning prayer altogether).” – Melanie Elturk Share this quote on Twitter

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Melanie Elturk

What is your morning routine?

I wake up early around 5:30 or 6:30am (depending on the sunrise) for our morning prayer. (As a Muslim, I have five daily prayers and one of them is before sunrise.) I pray, read a few pages of the Quran, and get on my laptop and do some work, or maybe read a chapter in a book instead. Then I shower, stretch, and start my day.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I’ve stuck with this routine on and off since high school (with a few gap years when I would wake up late and miss my morning prayer altogether).

Back then I would pray communally with my family and read the Quran with my dad. Now that I’m married I do this alone. I tend to experiment with exactly what I do after praying and reading, but I know that the more regimented I am about my morning routine the more effective and productive I am.

What time do you go to sleep?

Between 10:00 and 11:00pm.

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

Yup! And all the time, lol.

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

I usually have breakfast two or three hours after waking up. I have an egg and a bagel, a waffle, or yogurt, and I always have some fruit and juice so I can take my vitamins. I often have green tea and honey as well. When I really need a caffeine boost I drink black tea with mint.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I have a five-minute stretch routine I’ve been doing daily since I was nineteen years old due to chronic pain. When I don’t stretch, I don’t feel right the rest of the day. My stretches are super basic—they’re leg, arm, and core stretches performed on my carpet. I incorporate some pilates and yoga stretches as well.

Do you have a morning meditation routine?

I’d say praying and reading the Quran are forms of meditation.

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

First thing in the morning (after I pray).

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

I had an app that told me how restful my sleep was, but I stopped using it. I didn’t find it added any real value. So, no apps.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Praying. When I miss my morning prayer my entire day is off.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

Usually water, and that’s when I sit down to do some work or read a book.

How does your partner fit into your morning routine?

My husband is a later riser than I am. He wakes up for prayer, but eight times out of ten he goes back to sleep for another hour or two, and then wakes up sloooooowly.

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

Yup! Unless I’ve stayed up super later the night before, I follow this routine on weekends.

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

It’s tough, but I do my best to get up to pray. I may go back to bed, especially when I’m in a hotel. That’s usually when I’m on vacation, which means I’m taking it easy and relaxing anyway.

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

My entire day is off, especially when I miss my morning prayer. I make up the prayer as soon as I can, but I feel I’ve wasted time and wasn’t as productive as I should have been. That usually means the rest of the day isn’t super productive.

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