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5 Things I Do Every Morning for a Productive Day

When you work for yourself, establishing routines can be hard — but they become even more crucial without a deadline of getting into an office. Here’s what my mornings look like since I left Corporate America to help set me up for a productive day.

I pride myself in being really disciplined (maybe too much so?). I’ve worked hard to create habits that serve me well, like not being addicted to caffeine (anymore, ahem!) and having a consistent workout schedule. By no means are my habits perfect, and my routine changes all the time, but the key is that I’m always attempting to make good habits. I’ll adapt where necessary and give myself some grace when it just doesn’t happen one day. And it’s worth noting that when I first published this post, I wasn’t a new mom! Becoming a mom has drastically changed my productivity and schedule in the last year, but it’s SO worth it.

As with all habits whether it’s eating healthy, working out or staying focused at work, creating routines that stick all starts with a plan and consistency. It’s also important to recognize when a plan you’re trying to implement just won’t work and pivot!

I get asked what my morning routine looks like pretty frequently since I often post early coffee shots on IG. Since I left Corporate America I have a completely different schedule than I did a few years ago. For about 9 months I worked 80+ hour weeks, and then I had to adapt my schedule to life post-Corporate America, working for myself. And now, I’m adjusting to everything all over again now that Thomas has changed our lives in the best way and my work-mom life is very different. Like I said, things change all the time.

5 Things I Do Every Morning for a Productive Day

I do have a pretty consistent morning schedule, though. And I have five habits that are part of my day, every day.

1. Read the news
2. Move my body
3. Eat breakfast
4. Don’t reply to emails on my phone
5. Block social media 

These things helped me navigate the craziness that was 2020, and helped reduce my anxiety. And now they help me stay on top of my responsibilities!

5 Things I Do Every Morning for a Productive Day

My Morning Routine

Here’s what my mornings look like most days:

6-6:30 My alarm goes off and I grab my phone

I try to grab my phone right away since that helps me wake up to engage my brain and helps me wake up. I know lots of morning routine or productivity experts say not to start your day by looking at your phone, but it helps prevent me from hitting snooze! However, I don’t get on social media or Voxer (which I use for Beautycounter work) – I only triage emails — deleting, starring or forwarding to an employee. Answering emails on my phone typically takes too long so I save those for when I’m in front of my computer.

I also read the news in the morning but I try to stay away from Instagram as it can become a stress inducer if my DMs are full. I often delete Instagram in the evening so I don’t get it on it too late in the evening or too early in the morning.

morning journal

5 Things I Do Every Morning for a Productive Day

6:30 Get out of bed and have a little quiet time

After laying in bed waking up for about 10 minutes, I get up, get coffee, read more news, read a short devotional. Tommy has been bringing me coffee in bed recently which I love. Or, if I wake up before him, I’ll take him coffee in bed. It’s nice to spend just a few minutes together before we both get into work mode and get Thomas up. Sometimes I’ll head downstairs to work for 30 minutes or so.

7:00 Get Thomas up

If Thomas isn’t up yet, I get him out of his crib, never past seven to keep his sleep schedule on track. Sometimes he wakes up early but he stays in there until 7 and just plays in the dark. It’s kind of hilarious to watch him on the monitor. I nurse him in our bedroom around 7:15 and we all have family/coffee time together in bed. This is one of my favorite times of the day!

7:30 Eat a preworkout snack

I make a piece of toast with peanut butter (Costco has the best PB of all time) for my pre-workout snack and eat that while I pump if necessary. Sometimes I also work on my laptop while I pump. Then I put on my workout clothes.

preworkout snack

5 Things I Do Every Morning for a Productive Day

8:15 Workout

My workout varies each day, but either I workout at home doing a 30 min Peloton bootcamp, head out the door for a run or I drive to the gym for heavier strength training. I also do a five minute core class and a five minute stretching class after my main workout (using the Peloton app). While I stretch, I upload my workout to Strava. If I’m doing a shorter workout (30 minutes or less or taking a rest day), I’ll go on a walk first to warm-up my body and sometimes I’ll answer Voxers while I walk.

30 min Peloton bootcamp | 5 Things I Do Every Morning for a Productive Day

9:00 Eat breakfast while I start work

After my workout, I snag a quick breakfast, almost always a Daily Harvest smoothie these days – it’s quick and helps cool me down. I nurse Thomas at 9:15 and put him down for a nap at 9:30.

For breakfast if I’m not having a smoothie,  I like Ezekiel English muffins or sprouted bread, an egg or two, fruit, and some avocado. I’ll watch the news while I eat breakfast and triage emails again. Noticing a pattern? I know some people hate the news but I love it. I like knowing what’s going on with national current events, politics, and things around the world. Tommy and I are both news junkies!

Usually I’ll grab my laptop while I eat breakfast to start to work through my Star Box in my two work inboxes. (The Star Box is something I learned in this Digital Clutter course, which is worth EVERY penny).

9:30 – 10:00 Get Ready

I like to eat breakfast first to kickstart recovery and to give myself time to cool down before I shower (especially if I ran outside in the summer!). I always do my hair & makeup, even though I work from home. Since I just feel better when I do. I also get dressed in real clothes every day – I save athleisure for the weekends since I’ve learned I don’t really love athleisure in the warmer months. And getting dressed in “real” clothes helps me be more productive. While I get ready I’ll listen and reply to Voxers from my Beautycounter team.

Getting ready in the morning

10:00 Head into my home office to work

I NEVER work from the couch or in the kitchen for more than 20 minutes. To really focus, I head into my home office so my brain knows that it’s time to really focus. And, when I get there, I know exactly what I need to work on first. Before I end work every day, I list out everything I need to accomplish the next day and throughout the week using TeuxDeux (again, another Digital Clutter lesson!). So when I sit down at this point in the morning, I already know my top priorities. And that helps me stay focused. At this point, I often put my phone on Do Not Disturb or at least put it in another room so I’m not tempted to look at it. If I need to get notified of a call, I’ll put it in another room and just let my watch alert me.

working in home office

5 Things I Do Every Morning for a Productive Day

That’s it!

My mornings are certainly different now that I don’t head into an office with a Corporate America job and it’s took some getting used to the flexibility after 13+ years of heading out the door for work (sometimes as early as 6:30 AM when I worked at Goldman Sachs), but I LOVE the routine I have right now. If you’re feeling a little scattered while working from home, juggling kids and are craving a schedule, a simple step is to outline your ideal morning.

Write in detail how you’d like to start your day. (If you’re not a morning person, read this post about how to wake up early.) You may not be able to implement all of it overnight but you could start to take steps towards it. I did that when I was struggling to figure out how to workout, get ready, nurse and still enjoy time with my family in the mornings! It helped me land on my routine now and THAT sets me up for productivity.

 

Here are a few products that I enjoy in the morning

 

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Christina Orso
    at

    you’re my hero! i’m getting that devotions book!

  • Reply
    Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed
    at

    My mornings are quite the opposite. I basically get dressed and roll out! Half the time I’m headed to the gym leaving at 5:45 am. I have to have my bag & lunch packed the night before. Otherwise I’m just trying to get into work as early as possible (so I can leave as early as possible) so I’m usually out the door somewhere between 6:30 and 7:30.

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      I used to be able to roll right out of bed and get out the door! Now I need a solid 30 minutes before I can function. Which makes getting to 5:30 am crossfit impossible. 😉

      Love hearing others that pack everything the night before! I’m the same way!

  • Reply
    Mina
    at

    Total morning person here too. I run most mornings. I have a question about the app. I’m usually up way before my alarm but just curious. What if the app doesn’t think it’s a good time for you to be woken p but you need to be up at that time?

    Mina

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      Hey Mina! You can set a window that you want it to wake you up in, e.g. anytime between 5:30 and 6:00. You can do it with a 30 minute window or a 15 minute window (and a few other options too), so the alarm will definitely go off – just a bigger window gives you a better chance at waking up at an “ideal” time. Does that make sense?

      • Reply
        Mina
        at

        Yep, thanks!

  • Reply
    Kris
    at

    Great post! You probably already follow this site, but just in case: http://mymorningroutine.com/

  • Reply
    Lauren
    at

    I’ve been looking for an app like that. I would love to know which one specifically you use and when I looked there are a lot of choices.

  • Reply
    Sarah @ BucketListTummy
    at

    Love these habits! I could never skip breakfast…I wake up starving! I also like the quite time in the morning with my coffee to reset and read before I start my day!

  • Reply
    Jenna
    at

    I wish I could workout in the morning, but my work schedule doesn’t allow for it, so I push for the end of the day! I can never skip my morning cup of coffee 🙂

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      I’m so glad my work schedule allows for morning workouts. I’m so worn out by the end of the day and I bet you are sometimes too – so major kudos for still making it happen!

  • Reply
    Shannon
    at

    I followed Jen’s link from peanut butter runner to get to your blog. Wow! I do the EXACT same thing every morning and it’s amazing. It’s so great how simple habits can create such a beautiful day.

  • Reply
    Akaleistar
    at

    I’m not a morning person, but I started a morning routine last year and it does help 🙂

    • Reply
      Teri [a foodie stays fit]
      at

      It does help! Having something to look forward to really helps me get up and lately it’s been the gorgeous sunrises!

  • Reply
    Amber
    at

    I’m obsessed with morning routines and have been trying to get myself in a good one for awhile, but haven’t really had much luck. I feel like before I know it my morning is GONE and I’m rushing trying to get to work on time (and I’m still always 5 mins late!)

    What time do you leave for work in the morning?? You fit so much in!!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    at

    I love a slow morning for sure. Before being a coffee person (a few yrs ago), my mornings weren’t quite as slow, but I did often walk or run, which feels so energizing and helps me start my day happy. Watching the sunrise and hearing/seeing the world wake up helps too. 🙂 I’m not great about always making the bed, but I always appreciate it when I do.

  • Reply
    Laura
    at

    fun post!! i love hearing about others routines and getting ideas for my own!??

  • Reply
    Kath
    at

    We are the same with our phones “waking us up” and just triaging – and STARRING – emails. Responding later!

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