“I’m the only person I know of in my age group who gets up early even when they don’t need to.” – Sam O’Neill Share this quote on Twitter

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Sam O’Neill

What is your morning routine?

My alarm goes off at 7:35am on weekdays – one hour before I leave the house to walk to college. I’m a morning person, however I do allow myself five minutes before showering. In these five minutes I don’t rest, instead opting to lay in bed and gather my thoughts on what my ambitions for the day ahead are. This usually takes a few moments before I put on my glasses, and make my bed.

Next I’ll shower quickly, never spending longer than ten minutes in the bathroom. I enjoy a relatively cold shower, finding the lower temperatures help me wake up. From there I get dressed, spray on some cologne, and put on my shoes.

I eat breakfast every day, even when I’m not hungry. This usually consists of a bowl of cereal and a glass of apple juice – nothing fancy. I brush my teeth immediately after eating, before grabbing my bag and a bottle of water and heading out the door. My college opens at 8:40am, and though I only have lessons this early two days a week I usually like to go in at this time to crack through any work I have assigned; finding myself more productive away from the distractions of home.

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I usually work one day each weekend, but my start time changes. I have exactly the same routine for getting up before work, just allowing myself an extra five minutes for the slightly longer walk. On the one day a week I don’t work I turn off my alarm, and have a very chilled out morning; doing everything in the same order, just taking considerably longer.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I had to get up slightly earlier when I went to school because it was a longer walk, and I used to spend much longer in the shower.

I went through a stage a few months back where I’d get up around 7:00, allowing myself to have a coffee and do a few more things around the house with my morning; but ultimately I wanted to refine my mornings so I exchanged these things for a later start.

What time do you go to sleep?

I aim to be in bed by 10:00pm every evening, and nearly always manage it unless I’m away from home.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

No. I live a fairly active lifestyle, working in my local leisure centre as a lifeguard and recreational assistant – but I don’t really do as much exercise as I should.

Being a student means I’m always busy with college, work, or socialising – but I’m hoping to increase my amount of regular exercise.

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

None of the email I receive is particularly important. I’ll glance at my notifications on my phone when I pick it up just before I leave the house, but I’ll never reply until later unless it is really urgent.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning, either for calls/messages or social media and news?

It used to be the first thing I did when I awoke, but now I focus on actually getting up.

Occasionally I’ll have a quick browse through Twitter and Instagram if I have a spare minute or two before I leave, but anything that actually requires a response from me, be it an email or a text, can wait until I’m more awake.

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


I’m the only person I know of in my age group who gets up early even when they don’t need to. As a result, whenever I’m at someone else’s house I’ll wake early – around my usual time of 7:30am – and lie there browsing on my phone until my friend wakes up, which can be considerably later.

Once I’m out of bed, getting up will take a lot longer than usual and I typically feel less awake. Because of this I often find myself inviting people to stay at mine rather than visiting someone else, as this gives me the best possible chance of following my usual routine.

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

The only time I fail to follow my routine is when I’ve stayed at someone else’s house overnight. When this happens, I’ll feel a little sluggish at first, but it doesn’t have much of an influence over the rest of my day once I’m awake and outdoors.

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