Longtime readers know that I am somewhat obsessed with morning routines. To the extent that anyone who doesn’t read this blog regularly might have ever heard my name, it would be in conjunction with a short ebook I wrote several years ago called What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. Click-bait title, but the bait worked. It hit #3 for non-fiction on Amazon’s bestseller charts. The audio version I recorded of it hit #1 for audiobooks on iTunes. This was kind of exciting, especially since the audio book in the #2 spot at the time was Fifty Shades of Grey.*
Anyway, in this week’s episode of Best of Both Worlds, Sarah and I discuss morning routines. The short version:
Sarah has a great morning routine.
I do not.
Sarah sets her alarm for 4:50 a.m., so she can be downstairs by 5 a.m. She spends 45 minutes doing various projects: thinking, strategizing, planning, blogging, podcast note review, meditation, etc. Then she exercises from roughly 5:45 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. After that it’s a shower and family time (including family breakfast) until she leaves for work at 7:45 a.m. In other words, in roughly 3 morning hours, she has invested time in all her major non-main-job priorities.
My mornings are all over the map. Of late, I’ve been setting an alarm just to make sure I don’t sleep past the point when the big kids need to get up to make the school bus on time. But my alarm has no relevance to the time I actually get up. I tend to get up when the 2-year-old gets up, which is like a game of baby roulette. Will it be 7 a.m.? (yay!) Will it be 4 a.m.? (not-so-yay!)
The good news is that he is now old enough to be reliably distracted by television. So this morning, for instance, I got up a few minutes before 6. We sat on the couch, me with my coffee, and iPhone, and a book, he with his drink and snack and a medley of Daniel Tiger, Peppa Pig, Dora the Explorer, and Go Diego Go. During this time I answered emails, read a few pages in the book I was reading, and listened to Best of Both Worlds.**
(He’s generally chill during this time. Though at one point this morning he knocked my coffee over, just to watch it spill. I was not happy).
Not all mornings look like this. If my husband is home, he can deal with the kid. I might sleep, or go for a run. Shower. That sort of thing. I generally try to get the screens off by the time the big kids get up. Someone’s usually up by 7:30, and I get that child breakfast, and then go find any stragglers and make them breakfast around 7:45 a.m. G officially starts work at 8. I help nudge children along with getting ready for school, and I might get 15 minutes of work time in before I round everyone up to get shoes on at 8:29. We are outside by 8:34. The bus comes at 8:38. I go inside, pour myself another cup of coffee (or reheat a previous one) and am at my desk by 8:40.
I suppose my mornings might look different in a few years. The truth is, I’m not a real “lark” like Sarah. I kind of like to stay up late and read, so if the kids don’t have to be up early, I may not get up that early myself. Also, since I work for myself, I often do have the ability to run during the day, and write, and those other things that people might turn into morning routines. On days when I need to travel all day and speak, I often do get up incredibly early to run, so I can fit it in. If you have a “normal” job, mornings really are a great time for stuff like that. If you don’t, then there’s no inherent reason to wake up at 5 a.m. just to do so. It’s about making sure that the things you want to have fit in life fit in life.
How do you spend your mornings these days?
*I find the idea of people listening to Fifty Shades of Grey in the car on the way to work really, really funny.
** Why do I listen to it, given that I recorded it? Since we tend to record in batches, it may have been a while since that episode, and if I plan to blog about it I might need a refresher. But also, I’m aiming to get better, and listening to the podcast allows me to evaluate things like if I’m babbling, or laughing at strange times, or succumbing to any weird vocal tics.