For over a year, I woke up for work around 8:15 a.m., got ready in a hurry, and rushed into the office.
But after hearing friend after friend tout the benefits of an early start, I finally decided to become a morning person — and stop starting my days flustered and unfocused.
Now I get up around 6 a.m. and spend the extra time exercising, preparing for the day, and getting myself in the right mindset for what’s to come.
Read on for a glimpse into my (much more productive) morning routine.
I set my alarm for a bright and early (read: dark and cold) 5:40 a.m., but usually end up snoozing and getting up around 6 a.m. Hitting snooze is supposedly a horrible habit, but it helps me wake up gradually instead of jarring into focus right away.
First thing, I'll usually read and journal -- and scroll through Instagram. I'm currently reading 'Multiply' by Francis Chan, so I crack that open. Making time to do something cathartic like this first thing in the morning always puts me in a positive mindset to face the day. And as a practicing Christian, this time also involves prayer and devotionals.
Around 6:30 a.m. or so, I head out to run. I'm training for a race in November, so making time to get outdoors has become non-negotiable. It was a hard habit to develop at first, but now getting those endorphins in early energizes me for the entire day.
Mid-run, it finally starts to get sunny. I love exercising before work because I not only get to explore new parts of my neighbourhood, but it's amazing to see it when everything's quiet and just waking up.
After a quick post-run shower around 7:30 a.m., it's time to get ready for work, which usually doesn't take me very long. Just brushing my teeth...
For breakfast, I toss yogurt, spinach, frozen strawberries, and an unpictured banana into the blender for a green smoothie. I plan to grab a more substantial bowl of oatmeal (and Nutella) at work. No matter how late I'm running, I never skip breakfast -- I can't function without it.
Next, I throw together a salad for lunch. Today, it's one of my favourite combinations: kale massaged with olive oil and topped with chickpeas and feta, with an apple on the side.
I usually aim to leave for work around 8:15 a.m., but I'm running a few minutes late today -- probably from the extra time I spent taking 1,000 pictures of my lunch -- so I grab my backpack and head out at 8:21 a.m.
I hop on a 4 train into Manhattan, where I spend my commute reading. I always choose a novel for the train so I can get lost in the story and forget how close I'm standing to 20 other strangers. This week, Andy Weir's 'The Martian' served as my distractor.
I get off the train in Union Square and head into work at 9:05 a.m. Now that the sun's up, it looks like it's going to be a beautiful day.
The biggest perk of waking up earlier is getting to work earlier -- without feeling rushed. You'll notice I didn't check my email or Twitter before arriving in the office. By taking my time in the morning and waiting to start work until I'm physically there, I've been able to start each workday much more focused and productive. I'm able to get in the zone before the office gets loud and distracting.
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