Ever since I stopped working in an office and started working from home, I’ve had some version of a morning routine. I’ve never shared anything formally about my morning routine so I figured that I’m way overdue. My current iteration started last fall when I began working virtually as an executive assistant. Since my work day has a firm start and end time, it’s highly conducive to a morning routine so let’s take a look!
No matter where I happen to be in this wide world, my work day starts at 9am Eastern, so when I’m on Central time, I wake at 6am and when I’m on Eastern time, I’ll push it till 7am. When we were in Europe I worked 3pm to 11pm local time, which you can read my thoughts about here. On the weekends, I still do the same routine, but it’s typically done in a more drawn out time frame.
My favorite part of my morning routine is what I do first: I read in bed for 30 minutes. I set a timer and read that much of whatever book I’m working on. Making reading a daily priority has helped me to read 18 books already this year and 31 total last year (most of those were read in the second half of 2016, after I started making reading a daily priority–imagine that!). I enjoy reading and having this dedicated daily time ensures that it actually happens. On the weekends it’s not uncommon for me to read for at least an hour each day.
After reading time, I usually take my shower. Eventually showering may move to night time, with the summer setting in, but for the last seven months I’ve been lucky enough to have temperate (or cold) weather so my showers have been in the morning. I prefer a morning shower when the season allows because it helps me to wake up fully, feel refreshed and clean, and be ready to tackle my day.
Journaling is my next step. I used to call this “writing,” but I realized that I was actually journaling so now I call it “journaling.” I’ve been journaling at least 1,000 words every day for nearly four years (July 15, 2017 will make four years). Journaling has been a mainstay of my life, and I’ve benefited immeasurably from the self-exploration. I’ve stuck to at least 1,000 words per day because this facilitates digging deeper and exploring more. I’ve toyed with decreasing the word count, but in the end have not because 1,000 words is a great length for finding at least one meaningful nugget per day. Also: I have a pretty bad ass record of my life for the past four years, which is priceless in and of itself.
As an accompaniment to my journaling, I have a check list that I work through just prior to tackling the day’s writing. Part of it is a check in and the other part is a list of ideas and ideals I remind myself of daily. They’re not so much affirmations but reminders of the way I want to live and show up in this world. I’m going to do a separate blog post on that list soon. I’m excited to finally be sharing it–I’ve been doing a daily version of this check list for nearly four years now, as well.
Furthermore, I usually have my first cup of coffee when I’m journaling, though I’ve been known to have it as early as during reading time. It really just depends on if we’re living alone or if we’re staying at other people’s houses. When we’re staying with other people, I try not to leave our bedroom until the reading and writing are done. Distractions abound in the mornings and if not kept in check, I’d never get my morning routine done. So I’ve learned to put my morning’s tasks first and that ensures that I stay on track.
So that’s it–that’s how my mornings currently unfold. All told, this routine plus the minor tasks of each morning take me just about two hours. For me, this is a much more rewarding way to wake up than just sleeping in until the last possible second. I like to ease into my morning. Reading, showering, coffee, and writing help to do that. By the time I sit down to work, I’m alert, feeling good, and ready to tackle my day! Yay!
Do you have a morning routine that works for you? I’d love to hear about it!