What is your morning routine?
My morning routine starts with my evening routine. I try and settle into bed at around 10:30pm so I’m asleep by 11. This makes it easy to wake up around 7:00am fresh.
I usually pull my phone off my night stand and start triaging emails from the night before so that when I actually go to work I can jump right in.
After getting out of bed I’ll grab a bite to eat and then shower and settle into the day’s activities. I usually have 2-3 things I definitely want to get done that day so I try and start with those.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I’ve been at this for about a year.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Not too much. A lot of people have a pretty rigid routine where they block out time for certain tasks or do a pomodoro thing. I’ve tried a lot of those and none have worked. What works for me is getting a good night’s sleep and making sure to get those 2-3 things done each day.
What time do you go to sleep?
I try and be in bed around 10:30pm with lights out around 11.
I definitely slow down if I don’t get a full night’s sleep. I generally try to steer clear of morning meetings because it allows me to sleep later if need be.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I try to finish the day’s activities by 7:00pm (usually finishing with work or the gym) so I can have dinner with my wife.
We’ll then watch a TV show, take the dog on a walk, and catch up on the day. From there we’ll head to bed. It’s a relaxing time.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I have an alarm on my phone. I usually wake up before it though. If I didn’t get to bed early enough I might hear the alarm and snooze, but that’s pretty rare.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
A bowl of cereal and a banana.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
No. I tend to work out after work (racquetball and occasionally lifting weights), except on the weekends when I’ll play racquetball in the morning.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I triage first thing in the morning, but usually don’t do an email sprint until lunch.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Check what’s happening with my team on Slack.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Water, and when I get thirsty. :-)
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
On the weekends it’s similar, though I’ll go to sleep later and instead of going to work first thing I’ll head to the gym to play racquetball.
After racquetball I’ll mostly just lounge around. I’ll walk the dog, maybe hang out with some friends and play some board games.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
It can be more challenging for sure. I try not to travel too much because of this.
For whatever reason when I’m in the comfort of my typical environment things are a little easier to get done. When I’m traveling things like food, Wi-Fi, transportation, etc are all different. Those subtle changes throw me off.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
I don’t worry about it.
I’m not a slave to the routine so I just move on where I left off. The routine is a means to an end and not the end in and of itself. So I focus on those 2-3 things I want to get done and try to do them.
Our recommended book this week is The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. We only recommend three things a week that we believe will be of interest to our readers. Please take a moment to check it out.