My current morning routine

I’ve written a lot about morning routines over the years. For many people, mornings are a good time for doing anything that is personally important but that life has a way of crowding out: exercise, creative or spiritual pursuits, etc.

Morning routines are fun to write about, but I soon realized that for those of us with kids and jobs, any given morning routine is going to be a snapshot in time, not an immutable law of the universe. Schedules change. If middle school starts at a different time than elementary school, that will likely change your morning once you have a middle schooler, changing again once high school becomes part of the equation. You could change jobs, or your partner could, or you could start working from home or stop working from home, or change which days you work from home, and so forth. Your partner might start traveling for work. You might start traveling for work. You might also move homes! This will change things too.

So I prefer to think of a morning routine as more of a morning “checklist” — the things I aim to do daily, but may not do at the exact same time. In any case, my current morning “checklist” is a variation on last year’s, but it’s how I’m starting my work days. Usually that happens somewhere around 8:30/8:45 a.m. I go into my office. If the morning is chilly I might turn on my gas fireplace (very easy with the remote control). I read a few pages of Shakespeare (usually about one act) as part of my project to read all the works of Shakespeare over the course of the year. I also write at least 100 words in my 2022 writing file.

I did the 100 words thing every day last year too, which built the habit, but I wound up with a lot of garbage. So this year I decided I wanted a bit more structure. Anyone who was on the December 2021 BOBW Patreon meet-up might have heard me thinking aloud about writing about a single day over the course of the year. As I thought about it, I thought that might be an interesting challenge. Since that particular day (December 14th) was a reasonably active day, I decided to loosely base my daily writing on my memories of that day, with a few extra things thrown in. So you could call it “Based on a true story” — it’s a bit more faithful to reality, at least currently, than “Inspired by real events.” There will be 365 short musings/vignettes on the main character’s life over the course of an ordinary if busy Tuesday.

I’ve just gotten to lunch 50-some days in and I haven’t yet come up dry. I’ve had to think sometimes, but that’s the point.

As for the Shakespeare, some days are better than others. I just waded through Titus Andronicus, and I can see why this bloodbath is not performed frequently. On the other hand, Shakespeare’s audiences didn’t have the ability to stream John Wick and the like. I guess you’ve got to get your violence and revenge how you can take them. (Also some historians think Shakespeare didn’t write Titus Andronicus, but I gather that’s what “some historians” think about every Shakespeare play that isn’t that good. I assume like any working creative he occasionally just had to crank something out!)

But even if Titus wasn’t up there with Hamlet or Midsummer Night’s Dream, it’s been good to see those more famous works in the context of all his work. I can see what devices and structures he used all the time. It’s felt like a worthy project and I’m not sick of Shakespeare yet so that’s promising. Morning by morning I read a little more and create a little more. It’s a nice way to start the day.

What’s your morning routine looking like right now?

Photo: My favorite picture from a morning run, even though that is not part of my morning routine right now.

9 thoughts on “My current morning routine

  1. My routines varies based on what city I’m in and where my son is headed (he’s split over two preschools). But my checklist includes several cups of tea, War and Peace, and some sort of outdoor exercise time.

    On days I’m in work city, I wake up around 7 (after my housemate queried why I set my alarm for 6 if I never got up until 7, which I think was her way of telling me my alarm was annoying), make a cup of tea, read my War & Peace chapter, and check email / check in with my husband. Then I get ready and walk into the office – I take a longer route through a Botanic garden so it’s a 30 minute walk.

    When I’m at home and husband/kiddo are in the office/city preschool, I wake up at 6, a 4 year old jumps into bed with me for a snuggle and a few stories, and then I help get him dressed. He and my husband head down for breakfast, I do my War & Peace, do the wordle, and drink my tea. Normally my son comes for one more cuddle and my husband tops up my tea. From there, I get dressed, go for a walk or bike ride, if I don’t have an errand during the day to centre a walk around and then come home to work.

    When I’m home and in local nursery, I take kiddo to nursery which is a delight when it’s not a daily task. He’ll go on the back of my bike or he’ll scoot and I’ll walk. It’s 3 miles round trip and if I’m on my bike, I’ll add on another 2-3 miles.

  2. I need to get a better morning routine. My oldest is 15 and can drive himself to school this year, which is nice since he gets there at 6:00 for a before school activity. I wake up at 5:20 to sorta say goodbye and make sure he is good, but I don’t want to actually be up at that hour. So I lay in bed and do wordle, scroll Twitter, read blogs, doze etc. I get my 7th grader up around 6:20 so he can get to school for his activity by 7. Then from about 6:45-7:45 I get ready get my younger kids ready and rush out the door. So I am up for about 2.5 hours but really don’t do much before work.

  3. I’m kind of in the weeds of parenting right now w/ a 1 and 4yo so my morning routine is not very involved, especially since I am working from home. I don’t need to set an alarm because the baby will surely wake us up before we need to be up for the day. We are all up by 6:20 at the latest, but usually around 6 or a little earlier. I nurse the baby, wake up the 4yo, get him dressed, give him breakfast and start a show which he watches while eating breakfast. In between all of that, I eat oatmeal and brush my teeth/put in contacts. Ideally my husband likes to be out the door by 6:55. He’s doing drop off and pick up 3-4 days/week since he’s going into the office that many days. After they leave, I usually finish my cup of coffee, log onto work and respond to emails and then I try to fit a workout in. This will all completely change in 2 weeks when I will be back in the office Tues-Thur. I am trying to be positive but I am not looking forward to it! I will get less sleep and have a harder time fitting in workouts. But my goal is to try to workout one of those mornings, which means getting up at 5. Bleh.

  4. my morning routine lately has been getting up at 5am, read blog while I sip mate, then meditate for 15-20 min, following by snuggle with girls as they get up around 6am, prepare their breakfast, then go to run/walk/exercise for 45-60 min. I love to start the day solo and slow.

  5. My husband and I have gotten up at 4am since our oldest (now 10) was born. I drink coffee and read 4-5am then workout around 5/5:30-6. Make a hot breakfast and prepare lunches 6-6:45 then the girls are up and we all get ready 6:45-7:30. On non-workout days I read and drink coffee 4-6 (and sometimes tackle “online chores” during that time).
    There are times where I really dislike it but I can’t fit in these things I really value any other time without giving up something that I also value. It only works because my husband also does it so we both go to bed after putting the kids down at 8/8:30. If he wasn’t doing this I’d probably have given it up years ago.

  6. Having 2 young kids, my weekday routine looks like this:
    6:30am – wake up, tell 4th grader to wake up. This usually also wakes up toddler and PBS kids is turned on.
    6:45ish- 7ish- I’m showered and dressed, nagging of 4th grader who is usually still not really out of bed
    7-7:30- TV is now off, toddler is dressed, some additional nagging of 4th grader, coffee is made and consumed, kids eat breakfast, maybe I will eat something too if there is enough time & I’m so inclined
    7:30- If I’m doing 4th grader drop off, we leave for school. If spouse is doing 4th grader drop off, I hang out more with toddler, have some breakfast, and get her ready for day care, which includes making her lunch & snack, taking her temperature and logging same on an app required by her day care.
    8- toddler drop off
    8:15- arrival at my office and getting settled in, usually with another cup of coffee
    Ta da! Not all that exciting as it is primarily just getting myself and kids ready for school. I have tried, oh I have tried, to get up earlier to have some time to exercise or read or whatever, and it never works. Never. 6:30 is when I can get up, and no earlier!

  7. I go down to the basement and exercise for a full hour 4-5 days per week as soon as I get up. If I don’t do it then, it does not get done.

  8. I use a morning checklist & a bucket of time to get it done—5-7am: read, write, yoga, plan the day. Doesn’t happen everyday & sometimes one part gets greedy & crowds the others out, but I like it when I follow my routine.

    1. I get up at 5am or earlier and have a lemon & vinegar warm water. Head out for warm up circuit for 20 mins or so as soon as it is dawn which here now in Australia is 5.22am. When I return home I stretch, have a coffee and set in to do my devotion , diary and plan the day in my planner.

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