One of my favorite websites right now is My Morning Routine, where they ask people questions about, shockingly, their morning routine. I've always loved mornings. They are my favorite part of the day. I've recently gotten into a much better routine, so I thought I'd share it here using the questions from MMR.
What is your morning routine?
I pop up every morning between 6:30 and 7 AM. I've been progressively trying to get up a little bit earlier. I leave my phone (and alarm) a few steps away from my bed so I have to actually get up to turn it off. If I didn't do that I would stay in bed for hours.
I slink out of the bedroom and open up the door to my office to let the cats out. They sleep in there because they are two crazy little monsters who will wreak noisy havoc all night.
My first task of the morning is to get some coffee. To be clear, I'm not one of those people who is like OMG I MUST HAVE COFFEE OR I CANNOT FUNCTION. I function fine without it, but I love drinking a cup in the morning. It's much more about the joy of making and drinking it than the caffeine. Since it's summer, we try to keep a pitcher of cold brew in the fridge at all times for iced coffee. Otherwise I'll fire up the kettle for one of the many hot water coffee devices we have. While I'll drink just about any coffee, it's always better from Blue Bottle.
Once I've got my coffee I do some reading. Email, RSS feeds, Instapaper, magazines, or books. Could be any or all of these. I'm currently reading Marcus Aurelius' Meditations and a book on teaching kids to be better eaters.
After that my schedule varies by day of the week. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I do some work on my iOS game, Outshape. On Tuesday and Thursday, I try to write something to get it up on my blog. I'd really prefer to write every day, but if I want to get Outshape released soon I have to put the time in.
After a little over an hour of writing or working, it's time to get out and run. I'm trying to get myself back into decent shape, so I'm running a mile every day. I'm just trying to get that mile time somewhere I'm satisfied with before I start upping my distance.
After my run I take a quick cool shower, find some breakfast, and feed the cats. At this point my morning is pretty much done and it's time to get up into my office to work.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
In it's current iteration, I've been using this routine for about a month. Most of the elements existed beforehand, but they were compressed into a shorter time. I would just wake up when I felt like it. But that was before I started work at MetaLab. Now I don't have all day to do the work that's just for me.
What time do you go to sleep?
Usually somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30, depending on when Lauren and I eat dinner and what has captivated us on Netflix.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
The aforementioned leaving the phone across the room is a big thing for me. I will shut that alarm off and go back to sleep if I'm not forced to physically get out of bed.
Early on in my routine I would put a little more work into explicitly planning my next morning and day. I've gotten into the groove now and don't do this quite so strictly.
I also like to clean up the kitchen a bit in the evenings when possible. My morning is a lot more pleasant when there isn't a mess I'm confronted with. But sometimes we eat late and we're just too tired to deal with it in the evening.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
Yep I use the standard alarm on my phone. Since I have to get out of bed, it's very rare that I hit the snooze button. I won't say it never happens, but I love mornings too much once I'm up.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
Generally it's a couple of hours. A fun fact about me is I don't have a functioning thyroid gland. So every morning I have to take synthroid. A side effect of that is I'm not particularly hungry until I've taken it, and I'm not hungry until at least an hour after I've taken it.
What I eat for breakfast is one aspect of my morning I'm not particularly thrilled with. It's usually either cereal or oatmeal (old fashioned oats, none of that instant crap). Occasionally I'll have greek yogurt with granola and honey. I'd really like to get more protein but I'm not a huge fan of eggs nor do I like taking a ton of time to make breakfast. I'm thinking about trying out Soylent for my breakfasts.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
Just my morning run! I'd like to find a gym with a good basketball court, but they're surprisingly hard to find. I want a nice court to go shoot in the morning, but most gyms just don't have the space.
Do you have a morning meditation routine, and if so what kind of meditation do you practise?
This is the other big aspect of my morning I'd like to improve. I'd like to spend more time reading the bible and in prayer in the morning. Too often it's the thing that gets pushed aside for all of the other "more productive" stuff.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning, or leave it until later in the day?
I get very little email that needs answering. But I try to wait as long as possible before looking at it. I don't get anything urgent and it can be dealt with later in the day when I have less energy.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
Nothing major. I would say f.lux is the biggest help.
I keep my habits in Omnifocus to make sure I'm knocking them out and reviewing them occasionally.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Almost always a coffee. Could be iced, or from the aeropress, french press, or chemex. We have an espresso machine, but it's been struggling lately. One of my hopes for the next year is to upgrade it, because I love a cappuccino or latte in the morning.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
I follow it, but a little more loosely. I tend to sleep a little longer and I don't run every day on the weekend. As far as reading, writing, and development goes, I tend to just let my mood lead me. I'll work on (or not work on) whatever I feel like in the moment.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
It sort of depends on the environment. Some changes are more friendly to the routine than others. I at least try to get myself up early and do some reading and writing when I can. I really struggle to get exercise when I'm in a different environment.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
It's a little stressful. I feel a bit like I'm not as productive. But I try to just find some time in the day to do the important things; running, reading, and writing.