I explain in my post, Why I’m Finally Forming A Morning Routine, that I’m putting forth the effort to carefully craft a wise and helpful morning routine for myself. This post isn’t to explain why I’ve decided this is needed or to convince you of anything. This one is to simply keep updated on what my morning routine actually is.
I’ll keep it updated as I journey through this effort and figure out what works best and why. I may have spin-off posts to explain changes or resources or things I learn, but this one will always be focused on what I’m doing that’s working for me right now, with maybe a splash of “why” and “why not” thrown in here and there. So, let’s dig in:
The Current Process:
- Wake at 5 a.m. – I’m a night owl, big time, but somehow, through trial, I’ve found 5 a.m. is a “pop right up” time for me as opposed to anytime between 7 to 9 which I wake super groggy in. It must be a circadian rhythm thing, cause 5 a.m. is prime for me if I’m going to wake up in the morning at all.
- Coffee is brewing (as set from the night before) and I get food. – Quick and easy blood sugar is a must-have asap when I wake up or I won’t make it for long at all. Coffee is enjoyable and the caffeine kicking in helps with staying awake. This is the area I need the most work in right now because I need to find a food source that I don’t have to labor over in the morning.
- I sit at the kitchen booth with breakfast, a notebook and pen, and my laptop by 5:30 a.m. – It’s usually before this when I sit down, but this is the latest I want. I open the notebook and set it to the side for scribbling random thoughts that begin popping up so that I don’t get distracted. Anything in it will be put in the right place later or tossed out. Then, I start eating and open my laptop.
- I begin writing on whichever blog’s day it is and whatever my writing prompt I decided the night before. – This is where the pleasure is for me. A set apart time for writing and creating content. I hope to sit down knowing what I’m writing about and who for and why. Then, I just go for it. I have a bit of a writing process I’ll share soon, but it’s simple. So this takes as long as it needs to takes me, but I’m trying to get much faster at this production time.
- Around 7:30 a.m. I usually eat more and refill on coffee or brew tea. – I’m telling ya, I need lots of physical sustenance. I’m a big guy and drinking something warm is therapeutic.
- I begin reading the Bible, praying, jotting down thoughts about life and God, (and sometimes talking to my wife who is by now doing something similar usually). – This is purposefully not a highly structured time for me. I want to read and consider whatever book of scripture or passage I’m working through or is on my mind. I want to just meditate and contemplate on whatever idea, wondering, question is on my mind at the time. I want to get thoughts sorted out and talk to God about who he is, who I am, and what we’re dealing with. I want to talk to my wife if we want to talk. If I put requirements on the time, it wouldn’t be motivated by enjoyment, and being motivated by enjoyment is the biggest thing here I think.
- By 8:30 a.m., I am getting dressed and prepared for the day. – This creates a nice transition from the last time, and makes me get up and move around to get my blood flowing, hygiene acceptable, appearance presentable, and ready for the day ahead. Even though I often work from home, it’s important to be dressed for a day. I mentally feel very different when I am dressed nice for work.
- After getting dressed and ready for the day, I move into my office and make sure it’s clean and organized. I also want to take any notes and tasks scribbled into my notebook in the morning and putting them in the apps they belong in. – This assures me that everything gets dealt with or remembered and findable for later. Mainly everything either goes to Evernote as information to be sorted and searchable or it goes to Asana as an item pertaining to a larger project or Any.do for a one-time, non-project-related, daily task. This gives me peace that everything that goes in the notebook does get processed later so I can always relax and refocus when I scribble something down in it while working (which is important cause I’ll continue the scribble something in the notebook practice through the day if need be).
- When the above is finished, I turn my attention to my work journal and fill it out. – This is still being ironed out and made into what I want it to be. Currently I’m trying out The Mastery Journal, but we’ll see how this goes. It has a good mix of what I want, and not a lot of what I don’t want. Yet, I’m not sure it’s “me” still. I have an idea I’ll end up making my own work-journal process eventually, but I should start with and learn from others. Basically what this does is (1) evaluates my morning routine, (2) helps me set priority for the day’s work, and (3) it takes me through at least four structured times of focus and relaxation as I begin and carry out my work day projects. These times get used through the day to help focus and then evaluated at the end of the work day how I did and what I’m feeling about my work. It also helps me to be thankful, which is a vital practice.
- By 9 a.m. I want to be starting my work I’ve decided to start with and my morning routine is counted as complete and done. The day’s work and relational activities have begun!
So there we have it!
I know for many, they consider their “morning routine” to be a really short process for first waking up, but for me, this entire four hour time frame is a necessary and essential practice for my thinking, my spirituality, my relationships, my goals, and my work.
Also, to be clear, all the work I do benefits from my writing skills and not just the skills being further developed themselves, but also the actual writing and content I produce in the morning. So, in a way, I’m actually beginning my work by doing this enjoyable practice of personal development each morning. See what I did there? Working even though I’m not! Ha!
Anyway, as stated, this will probably change with time. If so, I’ll update it and state the updates right here!
I’ll also be sharing my evening routine (which works in conjunction with this morning routine) soon!
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!