“Tiring my body is the magic that allows me to sleep and wake earlier. Spending some time preparing coffee or tea also sets my mind to work.” – Rodrigo Franco Share this quote on Twitter

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Rodrigo Franco

What is your morning routine?

I usually get out of the bed between 9:00 and 9:30am, but I start waking up around 8:30 using Jawbone UP’s smart alarm — it detects when I’m in light sleep and vibrates. I stay in bed for a bit longer before getting out of it. No snooze button.

Next step is the bathroom: I wash my face using cold thermal spring water, brush my teeth, floss, weigh myself on my Withings WiFi Smart Body Analyzer, and do some Aikido wrist stretches.

Afterwards I drink a glass of water, put on my exercise clothes, and then it’s off to the gym for one hour of brisk walking. While I’m there, I listen to podcasts or some crazily epic music to get motivated.

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Back from the gym, I drink another glass of water, take my vitamins (A, C and D) and some Omeprazole, before hitting the shower.

With the workout done, I sit at my desk to get ready for the work day ahead. I do this by writing down the most important tasks for the day ahead in my Hobonichi Planner, using a Lamy Safari fountain pen. As a journaling exercise I jot down a list of things that will make my day remarkable.

Next task is brewing some coffee. This is one of my favorite activities, but unfortunately it’s something I haven’t been doing a lot — stomachache is moving me to the tea route. When I do make coffee, I use fresh roasted beans and the Aeropress or a Hario One Cup Cafeor. Otherwise, It’s green tea time for me.

While my beverage of choice brews, I do my first round on Lift, making sure I checked all the habits I made progress in the previous day. After that, I check email and RSS feeds. Around 10:30am it’s time to wake up my wife. I’ll spend some time with her and get started on real work right after. Morning completed.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

I’ve been doing variations of this for a long time, but this particular routine has been in my life for about four months.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

In the past I used to go to sleep at 2-3:00am and wake up around 11:30am, but that wouldn’t leave a lot of time for anything but work. I was never an early riser and have been fighting hard to change that.

What time do you go to sleep?

Usually between 11:30pm and midnight, sometimes earlier.

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

Since I was so used to waking up late, I never got in the habit of having proper breakfast. I would just get up and have lunch. I’m still not hungry when I get up, but if coffee or tea counts as breakfast, it would be about an hour and a half after my rising time.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I walk in a brisk pace for about an hour on the treadmill while listening to something good.

How about morning meditation?

I meditate before getting ready to sleep as a ‘mind defragmentation’ exercise. Besides that, I try to be mindful while in the gym, so maybe that counts as morning meditation.

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

I force myself to do it only after I planned my day. Sometimes it’s hard to do it, but it works most of the time.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

As soon as I wake up, to check my sleep data from the Jawbone app.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Exercising and getting ready for the day. Tiring my body is the magic that allows me to sleep and wake earlier. Spending some time preparing coffee or tea also sets my mind to work. Since I work remotely, this is crucial to make me have a productive work time.

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

I traveled a lot in the last few years, but that’s not happening so much anymore. When I do, I tend to wake early and have breakfast, especially when in different timezones.

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

I get a bit grumpy and feel slower. I try to recreate at least part of my morning routine as soon as I can.

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