What is your morning routine?
My morning routine isn’t always routine as my schedule varies, which I’m kind of glad about.
Doing the same thing too often quickly becomes boring for me. Before my business model changed to video production it was based around online education which meant hours and hours in front of a computer screen. Though my job now still involves significant screen time, it was even more brutal back then.
Now, my mornings (and my most important tasks) change based on whether it’s an editing day, a shooting day, a meeting day, or just a random day. You’re not going to find any hard and fast rules here.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
The routine changes and evolves as the kind of work changes and evolves.
This summer I have a bunch of travel coming up so I’m going to have to come up with a new routine to both find a way to be productive and take advantage of the new exciting environments I will be visiting. I didn’t become an entrepreneur so I could spend more time indoors and less time living my life.
My challenge now is to figure out how to merge life and work without completely losing focus and ending up lost and alone (that might be a little dramatic, but hey, it runs through my head).
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I’ve had four different jobs in my twenties and worked in six different offices; so where I’ve been working has always altered what time I go to bed and wake up.
My early twenties were filled with a lot of YouTube and sitting around my apartment. As I’ve embraced writing in my late twenties, I have found myself carving out time for my personal projects which have grown to become more significant.
In this same time I’ve started eating healthier. I always love eating breakfast immediately after waking up, but when I worked for a company that supplied food, well, I decided to stop spending money on breakfast and would just eat at work.
There are so many factors of my morning routine that are constantly in flux; where I’m working, what kind of work I’m doing, whether or not I’m spending the night at my girlfriend’s apartment, all of which contribute to my day, therefore being too reliant or dependent on a consistent routine can be debilitating.
What time do you go to sleep?
I try to turn the computer off at 10:00pm and the lights off at 11:00pm.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in a project I will just go until I run out of steam. I don’t agree with Stephen King (though I do love him) that you should always stop with a little gas left in the tank. If I’m working on something, especially something creative, I try to completely purge before going to sleep because I feel like it won’t be there when I wake up otherwise.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
About a year ago the clock next to my bed started malfunctioning so I threw it out and decided, as a little experiment, not to replace it. I have slept MUCH better since, mainly because the lights from the clock were so damn bright that it was always a little distracting.
Now I keep my phone plugged in at the foot of my bed, far enough away that I can’t reach over and check it, but close enough that the alarm can wake me up (though I only set an alarm when I have an early meeting).
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I usually eat breakfast first thing in the morning, before brushing my teeth.
I love having a couple of Kashi waffles with natural peanut butter and honey or a smoothie, usually back to back. If I’m making a smoothie in the morning its usually one packed with fruit, nuts, some spices, and some spinach or kale. I try not to eat super dense heavy stuff so I don’t feel sluggish, rather stuff that is substantive enough to get me to noon.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
If I have a day full of meetings I’ll either jog, jump rope, or do a big pushup/pull-up set before I leave the house. If I’m editing video all day, however, I’ll try to space it out so I have reason to get up and get moving. In the winter it’s just stuff I can do in my apartment, but in the summer I try to get out and soak up this beautiful city.
I take at least one 30 minute walk a day. Sometimes I’ll walk between all of my meetings which means miles of walking, and I’m okay with that.
How about morning meditation?
I don’t do it. I know I should, I want to. I just haven’t made time for it yet. I’m an always-on-mind-always-racing type of person. I’d love to incorporate some meditation, it just hasn’t happened yet.
Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
First thing in the morning.
I’m trying to grow my business into something substantial so I currently don’t have the luxury of setting rules for when I respond. I’m trying to be as responsive as possible (within means) right now so I can set up meetings faster, get clients faster, learn and fail faster.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning, either for calls/messages or social media and news?
I check it all first thing. Why not? There could be something good to know. Would I rather not? Of course. But like I said I don’t have that luxury yet so I’m going to hustle and do as much as I can in the meanwhile.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
I stretch almost every morning. It just makes my body feel better; nothing super intense, just some basic stretches to get my body opened up.
Most mornings I’ll also use a neti-pot to open up my breathing, and I always feel better after I’ve showered. That said, my most important task in the morning is eating. If I’m hungry, I’m distracted, and the last thing I need is MORE distraction.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
Sometimes it’s hard because I’m trying to do work from an iPad that should be done from a desktop, but hey, life goes on. I left my job because I wanted to get out and be amongst the world. The world is happening all the time. I don’t want to be sitting around complaining I can’t work if there are great things to experience.
Last week I was in Manhattan for a bunch of meetings, all of which except one got cancelled so I had four hours to kill. Instead of rushing home to squeeze in a little bit of work and then rushing back in for my last meeting, I went to the movies. It was great. It distracted me, allowed me to relax, and I found a way to make up that time later on.
Many people struggle when things don’t go their way, and I do too. I love feeling comfortable in a situation, but I’d rather be the guy trying to make the best out of it (unsuccessfully) than the one bitching about it (successfully).
What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Sometimes I’m unproductive. It happens. When that happens I spend 90 percent of my time trying to get back on track. I’m not one of those people who is operating at a high level of efficiency all the time, but I get a lot of shit done.
I’m working at getting better, but I still get frustrated, get mad at myself, sometimes I whine, sometimes I lose steam. But the next day I try to pick myself back up and make the most of it.
I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, nobody does, and if they tell you they do… they’re lying. But I’m still doing things, I’m still accomplishing and learning, and growing. And to me, that is far and away the most important thing.
I’m too blessed to be stressed.