“I wake up at 5:00am and am out running steps within fifteen minutes. I also do a core and pull-up workout and a little meditation.” – Niall Doherty Share this quote on Twitter

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Niall Doherty

What is your morning routine?

It changes depending where I am in the world, but right now I’m in a pretty good flow in Hong Kong.

I wake up at 5:00am and am out running steps within fifteen minutes. I also do a core and pull-up workout and a little meditation, before returning home at about 6:30am. Then I eat breakfast while reading, write a thousand words, and try to knock off a key task for the day.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

About four weeks, since I got settled here.

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How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

It changes frequently. I was living in Bangkok for several months before I came to Hong Kong, and there it was a bit all over the place. I also travel quite slowly overland so in the week it took me to travel between those two cities, I didn’t really have a routine.

What time do you go to sleep?

Here in Hong Kong I try get to sleep by 10:00pm, but it depends.

I train in Krav Maga twice a week and classes run late, so on those nights I only sleep 5-6 hours. I always take a siesta though so I average closer to eight hours of sleep a day.

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

I use the countdown timer on my iPhone, as I like to work out how many hours I’m sleeping. I rarely hit the snooze button.

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

I actually have two breakfasts here in Hong Kong. I’m trying to cut back on food expenses in this pricey city so my meals aren’t ideal, but decent for the price.

First breakfast is a couple of hefty banana and peanut butter sandwiches, less than two hours after waking, right after my workout. Then I’ll have scrambled eggs, mixed veg, and sardines for my second breakfast at about 10:00am.

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

I try knock a few things off my to-do list before checking email or Facebook. At least that’s the ideal. Otherwise I end up falling down the rabbit hole. I’ve been pretty good disciplined about it these last few weeks.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Workout, meditate, eat a good breakfast, free write a thousand words, and try knock off my key task for the day.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

All I really drink is water.

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

If I know I’ll be staying some place for more than a week then I’ll usually try install some kind of routine so I can keep things tipping along pretty steady. Otherwise I just try to let go and see what happens.

I definitely like having a routine but I think it’s important to shake things up regularly as well.

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

I try not to be too hard on myself, so if I fail to follow my routine I don’t beat myself up about it, as that usually makes it worse.

Instead I try figure out what went wrong. Did I give myself too much to do? Do I need more sleep? Am I just not enjoying the routine any more? Every now and then, if I think I need it, I’ll let myself off the hook and just go enjoy a relaxing day with no pressure to do anything in particular.

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