Morning Routine: How I Start My Day
What is now a few years ago, Kelly suggested that each of us share a “Day in the Life” post, documenting a typical day for each of us. It’s something she enjoys reading on health blogs, and I, too, have found them interesting.
I wrote an early draft when I was still working full-time, which I’d still love to share even though it no longer applies. Working for oneself, especially from home, poses a number of challenges. Some fellow entrepreneurs (do you know some people say “solopreneur”? Can we please stop making up words for things that already exist?) and I were swapping some tips one day on how to manage time (my worst trait) and key “rules” that help us get by.
When I first quit my day job, I was met with some uncertainty from friends and even my parents, but in general most people were supportive. It’s probably hard to understand what I really do every day because odds are, you’re only seeing portions of it, whether it’s attending a Happy Hour or one of my 4-6 monthly pieces for PennLive or the weekly Weekend Roundup (the most labor-intensive post each week).
On the other hand, my husband observed that some people seemed to have been waiting for me to get here and fully embraced it. Please know I am grateful for all your support.
Contrary to what one might expect from a “nightlife” writer, I’m a morning person — always have been. I can blame Mom for that. “Miss the morning, miss the day!” she would chirp to sleepy teenagers.
I get up every day between
5:30-6:30 6-7 a.m. (I’ve been trying to “sleep in” a little lately), let out the dog, feed the animals, make coffee, drink my water + ACV, take a multi. I put the dog back to bed (he sleeps in with Andy ’til about 8 a.m.) and shuffle in here to Gmail, Facebook, Twitter and WordPress.
I catch up on email in a particular order, starting with social, the promotions, then updates — where I’ll dive into TheSkimm, which keeps me abreast of national and global news so I don’t miss a thing. (You can sign-up here and should. Free, plus chances to win stuff.) HuffPo’s morning email comes a bit later, and I’ll skim that to see what else is going on, including a snippet of pop culture/celeb gossip so I know who the heck people are talking about.
Sometime between 7:30 and 8 a.m. I make myself breakfast. These days, that’s scrambled eggs, nearly 100% of the time (I’m thisclose to lobbying that egg cartons contain 14 rather than 12 eggs), and it’s when I switch from coffee to water.
Meanwhile, I’m updating my “to do” list, reviewing the day’s schedule, hopefully not writing or editing that day’s post (except WR, which is often finished on Thursday mornings), though that happens, especially towards the end of the week.
Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and
sometimes Fridays I go to the gym between 9:30-10 a.m. for a class. I take kickboxing, HIIT and a version of yoga. After my tougher workouts, I make sure I follow with a protein shake — sometimes a fancy custom-made one from the gym, but more often, a simple powder and water in a shaker bottle back at home.
Some mornings I have time to socialize for a few minutes after class with my gym buddies, but then it’s back to the home office, where my dog is waiting for me with a toy in his mouth.
One of my biggest struggles the first year of self-employment was making too many plans. I discovered early on that “coffee” usually still lasts an hour, so take the free lunch when it’s offered. Furthermore, if what you’re talking about can be discussed over “coffee,” ask for a phone meeting instead. I found that showering, dressing, taking care of the pets, driving to a meeting, meeting longer than expected, driving back (or possibly getting distracted) was a huge time suck for me, and I’d come home with a deadline or dinner closer than I planned — and I’d be completely off schedule.
That said, some projects deserve personal face-time, no doubt, and I’m always happy to do that, especially with new clients or long-standing relationships. This time of year, my schedule is packed with meetings for RunPositive (we put on the Jersey Mike 5K — Mark your calendar for April 18!) and new for 2015 — the first-ever Harrisburg Beer Week (April 24-May 2).
Early in the week is a big writing time for me. I’m writing these posts, editing the work of the contributors, beginning stage 1 of the WR process, swapping emails about promotional opportunities, setting up giveaways, scheduling social media, creating invoices, writing one to three PennLive pieces, editing photos, researching, writing the post for The River and planning events. Tuesday is my dedicated writing day, meaning I almost never shower (kidding … kind of) or schedule any outside meetings.
Wednesdays or Thursdays, I head over to iHeartMedia after the gym (lucky them!), then head back to the home office — or attend lunches, coffees, etc. Often, when GK Visual and I have a planned shoot for What’s on Tap, it’s on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.
By Thursday, writing has calmed for the week (once the Roundup is published that morning anyway), so I’ll try to sneak in a coffee with dad, or I’ll turn to my other assignments — script writing, press releases, whatever’s next, during the afternoon hours.
Friday is a wild card. I’ve contemplated taking off Fridays (seriously!), but I’m going to have to lock myself out of my office or something. Maybe in May. However, what I’m short on here is downtime, and it’s one of my 2015 New Year’s Resolutions to remedy this.
The evenings, you ask? — good question! I like to cook, so if Andy will be home for dinner, I’ll often prepare something. Of course, many nights I’m also having evening meetings over a drink, checking out a new or remodeled bar or restaurant, attending an event or grabbing a glass with a girlfriend.
We also spend plenty of time at home. After dinner, Andy and I will often settle in to the couch with our dog and relax. In fact, that’s a pretty standard Friday night for us, or whenever else we can squeeze it in.
Saturday mornings are now booked, also. I’m the weekly co-host of The Bruce Bond Late Afternoon Show on Saturday Mornings. We’re on-air LIVE from 9 a.m. to noon on 92.1 WTPA — all talk, with featured guests, the week in the news and whatever else Bruce has up his sleeve that week.
I write the week in review (not anymore!), one post chock full of the week’s work so you can find it easily in one place. During football season, I’m dedicated to Steelers games.
What are your days like? Want more like these? Let us know in the comments — or email me!