Feb 6 2007

The Morning Routine

I’ve written about Discovering Work Life Balance in the past, but when I came across Jim Citrin’s article titled Tapping the Power of Your Morning Routine I realized that I left out an important part of the dynamics of work life balance for me.

Some people are early birds; some people are night owls.  I’ve always been an early bird.  In Citrin’s article, he talks some of the common characterists of key CEOs that he admires.  As a morning person, it was fascinating to see what people do when they get up.

I wake up, get out of bed, drag a comb across my head.  Skip that last part about the comb.  I try to get up at 5am on Monday to Thursday, regardless of where I am (every now and them I get hosed on travel and sleep in – if I get less than six hours of sleep I have a rough day.)  The next sequence is very predictable.

  • Brush teeth
  • Make coffee
  • Feed dog (if home)
  • Do email
  • Read “News” folder in Firefox (all the daily news I read)
  • Read all RSS feeds
  • Write blog post(s)

I give myself until 7am for this.  I then run from 7am until “whenever my run is over” (I’m in maintenance mode right now so my workouts last an hour – in the summer when I gear up for my next marathon it will be longer.)  Shower.  Eat breakfast.  “Start the rest of the day” (usually before 9am.)

Occasionally I have to do a phone call before 9am – I optimize around this.  I’ve stopped doing breakfast meetings – I want the first four hours of my day to myself. 

It has taken me a while to figure out this rhythm. While my morning routine might not work for you, I’ve found the notion of a morning routine to be a critical part of my work life balance.  Think about your morning – tomorrow.