“If I’m on a call, the kids will write questions on paper or draw on my whiteboard, which is always entertaining when I’m on video.” – Tina McCorkindale Share this quote on Twitter

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Tina McCorkindale

What is your morning routine?

I wake up between 5:00-5:15am every morning. I immediately grab my phone and read the news/check social media for 15-30 minutes. Even though I work from home, I put on yoga pants, a hoodie, and I brush my hair. While I’m on the West Coast, I work with people on the East Coast, so I often have early-morning calls.

Since I prepare my coffee machine (with ten cups of decaf coffee) the night before, it starts brewing at 5:00am. I pour my coffee in an obscenely large travel mug (twenty-four ounces) and a coffee carafe, so I don’t have to keep refilling after each cup. I let Waffles the dog outside and get to work.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

For at least five years. I’ve been at my current job for four years, but prior to that, I worked for a major logistics company producing analyst reports that had to be delivered by 8:00am Eastern (when I lived on the East Coast).

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I’ve been fairly consistent, except for about six months ago, when I started putting on street clothes when I wake up. Before that, I wore my pajamas so much that my kids would call me “Mama Pajama.” I realized I felt better when I was dressed. Plus, the Amazon drivers wouldn’t have to see me in my jams.

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What time do you go to sleep?

Normally about 10:30-11:00pm, but when I travel it’s closer to midnight or 1:00am. I definitely need to work on getting better sleep, because it’s so important.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

Before I log off for the day, I make a list of what needs to be accomplished the next work day and I clear my workspace. My husband and I also check in about any logistical issues for the next day. I also prep my clothes and the coffee pot.

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

Definitely an alarm, and I do hit the snooze button a couple of days a week (but only for 5-10 minutes).

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

Probably about 10:00-11:00am is when I have my first bite to eat. I try to grab a cup of yogurt and a banana, and sometimes oatmeal. Probably about once a week I eat ramen with an egg for breakfast.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I do work out in the morning when I’m traveling. I either do a Beachbody on Demand workout (I love Shaun T!) on my computer or use the elliptical so I can read a book while I work out. I used to run until last summer, but I’m still recovering from an ankle injury. Otherwise, I work out in the afternoon.

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

I answer them first thing.

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

I have a noise machine because my youngest child still sleeps with me (yes, he’s too old to still do that) and I want to mask the noise I make as much as possible.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

As soon as I wake up.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Greeting my kids when they wake up and sending them on their way to school.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

Decaf coffee, within ten minutes of waking up.

How does your partner fit into your morning routine?

My husband usually leaves the house around 7:00am and bikes thirteen miles to work, even in cold or rainy weather (he’s a super athlete). We don’t cross over routines at all—he usually just stops in and says bye before he leaves.

My three kids are a different story. Between 7:15-7:30am, I’m usually reminding the kids of what is happening that day and what they need to do to get out the door (get your snack, put on your shoes, brush your hair, brush your teeth, etc.). We have an au pair who lives with us and helps get them ready and takes them to school. If I’m on a call, the kids will write questions on paper or draw on my whiteboard, which is always entertaining when I’m on video.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

I try to sleep in on the weekend until about 7:30am. However, during ski season, we’re usually up early and headed to the slopes/cross-country trails.

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

When I’m traveling, which is about 30 percent of the time, I work out in the morning either in my room or in the hotel gym, because I know I won’t be able to fit it in at any other time during the day.

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

When I don’t work out while I’m traveling, I feel bad. But I have to get up much earlier if I have an early meeting, because I’ll have to work out, shower, fix my hair, and put on makeup, which I don’t really have to do as much when I’m at home.


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