What is your morning routine?
I’m an anomaly for someone who is known as a deejay, because I’m much more of a morning person than a night person. I usually wake up each day around 7:00am. There are days I’m up earlier (usually bright sunny days) and later (if I had to deejay really late the night before). My wife, Rana, usually gets up around the same time and handles the morning baby chores with our son, Myles, who is almost two.
I try to drink hot water and lemon first thing every morning. Totally wakes me up. I’m getting better at not checking email until 9:00am, but I am still guilty of browsing through texts and Twitter way too early.
From there, I head to my living room to pretend like I am being mindful. I’ve been working on my meditation practice, which is not developing as quickly as I would like, but I’m hoping at some point it all connects. My wife and I then pray briefly while I get ready to go for a run.
If it’s cold or crappy out, I go to Orangetheory because it’s about fifty feet from my front door. If it’s nice out, I throw Myles in our running stroller and we explore Brooklyn. At some point during that run, some espresso (me) and some juice (him) is consumed.
Around 9:00am we are home, the nanny is there, and the workday begins.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
About a year. The first year of dad life was not as smooth. I’m up for twenty-four hours a day, depending on the day of the week. Babies have horrible schedules during the first year. It was not as bad as some people’s schedules, but it was not exactly fun.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I learned too late in life that I’m a morning person. I always felt that because I deejay, I must be a night person. I was so wrong. Over the past five years, I’ve really been able to home in on what makes me a productive person.
What time do you go to sleep?
I try to go to bed around 11:00pm or 12:00am. If I can lie down in bed with a book at 10:00pm, I’m the happiest person ever.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I should, but I don’t. Does setting my alarm count?
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
Yes. I use my iPhone. And yes, I’m totally guilty of a snooze every now and again.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
Breakfast usually occurs between 9:00am and 10:00am, after the morning routine above. I’m pretty healthy with my breakfast - scrambled eggs, mixed greens, and avocado. Sometimes some bacon if I am feeling decadent. I may do a smoothie instead, which usually consists of spinach, kale, avocado, protein, blueberries, peanut butter, and almond milk.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
Yes, but it varies. It could be running a few miles outside; it could be HIIT at Orangetheory; or it could be strength training at S10, which is in Soho and is amazing. My wife usually goes to morning yoga, which I envy her for.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
I’m trying! It’s really hard for me, and that’s frustrating. I used Headspace and didn’t have much luck. A few friends have recommended I try something called Calm, so that is next on the list.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I try to wait until after 9:00am, when I am at my desk. Occasionally, depending on what’s going on in my business life, that may move up on the urgency ladder. But in a perfect world, it’s at my desk.
My life is pretty insane and nonstop. I manage my own deejay career, which is a full-time job in itself. I work with various brands in many different capacities, so there are inquiries and projects coming in all day. I also invest and advise in a lot of start-ups, so those take up a big part of my day as well.
I try to respond to emails in order of potential gain, be it money, publicity, or opportunity. I filter out the other stuff for later.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
This is kind of funny, but I collect vintage 1980s Transformers. When our son was born and we needed to focus more urgently on our sleep, my wife found the light from the cable box clock in our bedroom blinding. She grabbed one of my toys (Blaster, if you’re into that sort of thing), and he now covers up the clock in our otherwise fancy and uber-classy bedroom.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
There may or may not be a morning Twitter check in the bathroom in the morning.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Thanking God for our blessings. Hugging and kissing my family. Getting my mind and body taken care of first, so I can crush it when I get to my desk.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
The aforementioned hot water and lemon. Then an espresso. Then, when I get to my desk, usually tons of water, both flat (I really love Core Water) and sparkling (LaCroix). I also drink way too much Diet Coke, sadly.
How does your partner fit into your morning routine?
We do pretty well in the mornings. She is way better with the baby’s morning routine than I am and has it down to a science. But there are times when we both say screw everything, throw a coat on Myles, and go for a nice morning walk instead.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
Yes. Honestly, it’s pretty much the same. I don’t have the option of not working on weekends. I have a seven-day workweek, but I do try to work less on weekends. Plus, I’m usually gone two weekends a month for my various gigs.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
Actually, yes. I’ve found that I crush it even harder when I’m in a great hotel in an inspiring city. I especially love my morning routines in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
I’m in California a lot for meetings, and if I can swing it, I leave a dinner meeting and take a red-eye flight home to NYC so I’m in my house by 7:00am. Then I’m able to keep my same morning routine. Insane, I know.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Rana could tell you more, but I usually bitch and moan about how it’s hampered my productivity for an hour or two. Of course, I could just work that entire time instead of complaining!