Andy Lai shot me an e-mail a few days ago with the website My Morning Routine. I thought it was a great idea to write up my own morning routine to share.
What is your morning routine?
I usually wake up to my 4 year old jumping in bed at 6:47a. She has a clock which turns from sleeping to wake-up at 6:45a. It takes her about 2 minutes to get into our room.
She drags me out of bed into her room to get dressed. At some point, our 2 year old wakes up and we both go and get her ready for the day.
The three of us head downstairs for breakfast while my wife gets ready for the day. At this point, the kids do a pretty good job of getting breakfast for themselves. I’m really hall monitor to make sure they don’t go crazy. I’ll start making the coffee, but I usually don’t drink it until later.
At some point, my wife comes down and we trade places. I’ll shower and get ready for the day. At this point, I’ll check for any urgent e-mails (or more likely last minute schedule changes for the day). I dress in everything from a suit and tie to jeans and a t-shirt, so going through my schedule right before I get dressed is critical to making the right impression.
Depending upon where I’m working — home, office, or at a client — I try to take my 4 year old to school. When the weather is nice, we’ll walk together to school and then I’ll hop on the train downtown to the office.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
My 4 year old started school 2 years ago and we’ve been using a variation of this routine since then.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
Anyone with kids knows that they drive so much of your morning activities. It’s really their sleep schedule that dictates mine. I’m sure I’ll go back and read this post in a year and laugh that I woke up at 6:47a.
What time do you go to sleep?
The goal is to be in bed by 10p. I’m usually in bed between 10p and 10:30p and then I read before bed. It isn’t unusual to turnout the light around 10:45p.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
We’re usually in the kitchen about 20 to 30 minutes after waking up. The kids get breakfast first and then I make mine (unless we’re all having the same thing).
I’ve been eating peanut butter and jelly for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried dozens of other things for breakfast but nothing gets me to lunch like a PB&J. It’s not unusual to have a 6a flight, in which case I’ll skip the PB&J and opt for a Trade Joe’s Toaster Pastry (wouldn’t want to call it a pop tart).
Do you answer email first thing in the morning, or leave it until later in the day?
I look at my e-mail pretty soon after I get out of bed but I rarely respond to anything. Unless it’s about the schedule for the day or is truly urgent, I don’t reply until I get into the office. I use an app called Agent that turns off all my notifications at 10p and doesn’t turn them back on until 8a. So my phone won’t beep or buzz in the morning.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
There are a lot of days where I’m not at home for my morning routine. It’s amazing how often I don’t set an alarm and yet I still wake up in a hotel room pretty close to 6:47a.
I have separate travel routines for the road so I don’t try to adapt my regular routine to my travels. Likewise, when I’m on vacation with the entire family, we all adapt to the surroundings.