An Easeful Morning Routine for Entrepreneurs
Honestly, one of the reasons being my own boss seemed so appealing to me is so that I had more time in my morning to tend to myself instead of commuting or rushing around like the mad woman I was when I was working my 9am-5pm.
Morning has become a precious time for me.
As I get older, I realize how much longer my day feels when I mindfully ease into things. I also can’t believe how much more productive I am when I wake up earlier and actually make time for self-care before anything else. I’ve started bringing this kind of routine into my weekends and it’s been a wonderful surprise. I used to treat weekends as free-for-alls where anything goes, but with a little more intention and mindfulness, they’ve felt like long, blissful breaks instead of zipping by in the blink of an eye.
I find mornings to be the very best time to do the things that I can easily slip into the habit of telling myself that I don’t have time for. Things like yoga, meditation, reading books, and even working out.
So, what does my typical morning look like? Well, for starters, the time from waking to working for me is about 2 hours. Generally, I wake up between 6:30 am and 7 am and I’ll sit down at my desk to start getting into work mode around 8:30 am - 9 am.
It’s important for me to tell you that this is not what every day looks like for me. I stick to this routine pretty often (maybe 80% of the days if I were to put a number on it), but of course, I am human and some days, well, I don’t want to peel myself out of bed as eagerly. Especially when it’s -15 degrees, rainy, dreary, or I went to bed too late the night before (speaking of which, I typically am in bed and asleep between 10 pm and 11 pm). You need to figure out what works best for you and pay attention to what your mind and body need each morning. Maybe there are children relying on you, or animals wanting breakfast. Figure out how much time you can dedicate to a morning routine because it’s totally understandable that 2 hours may not be your reality.
Here’s what a typical morning looks like around Function headquarters:
Wake up earlier than you’d like:
I am a slow waker. I’m not very good at hearing my alarm and jumping out of bed to greet the day. But a few things have helped, including going to sleep at a reasonable time and getting my full 8 hours+ of sleep as often as possible. Generally though, waking up early makes me feel so much more energetic and productive throughout the rest of the day.
Figure out the best time for you to be going to sleep and waking up to tend to yourself without feeling exhausted.
Take a moment (or 5) to stay in bed:
When you are finally awake, take a few minutes to just lay there consciously. Enjoy it and let your body soak up all the deliciousness that is snuggling in bed. There’s no rush. Close your eyes and take some deep, refreshing breaths. I try and do this each morning to center myself and become present. I also use this time to do a quick little run through of what’s coming next in my day. I'll also do a quick scan of my body to check in with how I'm physically feeling and then move on to a quick scan of my mind and emotions to see how my mood is. My alarm clock says "Today is going ot be a great day!" to remind me that I can choose the direction I want things to go just by shifting my perspective/attitude.
Snuggles with Bruce, my chihuahua pup, are also inevitable during this stage in the game. He’s soooo snuggly and drowsy in the mornings, so it’s the best time to give him some loving.
Do your Hygiene necessities + drink some water
Next up are the hygiene things that happen each morning, of course. Bathroom, cleaning, brushing, washing...etc. I also take this time to get myself a full glass of water, and if I’m feeling really ambitious I’ll boil some water and add lemon to get my body up and running.
Take care of your fur babies (or human babies if applicable)
After I’ve washed up, I’ll check in with my pooch. Some mornings he’s not having any of this waking up business. Other mornings he’s waiting for me for food and potty time. Usually getting him all set up with his day takes me about 5 minutes. Then he’s back to snoozin’.
Yoga/meditation/Journal time (bonus if it’s outside!)
I LOVE doing a yoga practice and any meditating or journaling in the mornings. It’s such a grounding way for me to start my day and I’ve found I actually fit it in with more awareness and presence than when I do it mid-day or in the evening. The mornings are a great time to fit in some stillness, reflection and maybe even some movement.
Some mornings, depending on the weather, I’ll actually start this part outside on my back porch with tea or some lemon water. I absolutely love going outside first thing (sometimes wrapped in a blanket) and just taking some time to breathe in fresh air. I may use this time to just sit and check-in, perhaps meditate using something like Headspace, or I’ll bring out a journal or my iPad to do some writing or doodling.
After some quiet time and space, I may hop on my yoga mat for 10-30+ minutes depending on what I feel I need that day. I switch between doing a guided video (most likely Yoga with Adriene) or putting on a yoga playlist and ad-libbing it. Some days are more rigorous, while others are slow and restorative. And other days, I may skip it entirely. I really do try to pay attention to what my body and energy levels are telling me. With practice, you'll start to differentiate between a little laziness vs. needing actual rest and stillness for longer than usual. You do you!
This one gets a star because it is important for us stay-at-home-entrepreneurs. How easy would it be for me to stay in my PJs following yoga and just forget I need to feel human for the rest of the day? So easy. But… I’ve made it a solid habit to actually get dressed and at least try and do something half decent to my hair and face. Most days, I will admit, this means yoga pants, a top knot, and MAYBE some mascara if I’m feeling like I might hop on Instagram stories... But there are other days when I feel like doing my hair, putting on jeans, or doing my makeup will help me feel more inspired and motivated.
Read a book (Sometimes in place of journaling or yoga)
If my morning permits some extra time, I love to do some reading in the mornings. I do read often at night before bed, but I like easing into my day with consumption that isn’t work-related right away. If it’s been a morning where I’ve taken time to catch some extra Zzzzs then I might skip over this, but I try and fit this in whenever I can. Maybe you’re the kind of person who loves journaling. This would be a great time to do some of that too.
Make coffee + light breakfast
Next up, coffee time. I wish I was one of those entrepreneurs who was all "I quit coffee!" But… I’m not. I really really enjoy my 1 cup of coffee a day (if that… some days I will opt for tea instead, I swear). I’ve weighed the factors, and for now, at this time in my life, I’ve decided that the joy my coffee brings me is worthwhile. I also make it with my own homemade hazelnut/almond milk, honey, protein and coconut oil. It makes me feel like maybe it's more nutritious or something.
I have to say, I’m not a big breakfast person unless it’s on the weekend at 10 am and it’s bacon, eggs, and home fries. But I am trying. And so some mornings I’ll make myself a yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothie-type meal. Some mornings I’ll simply grab some fruit and go.
Take a look at the day's plans
After I have my coffee made, I’ll sit down and the first thing I do is take a look at what’s on the planner for the day. This is usually planned ahead of time, because I’m a bit of an organization nerd, but I’ll take a quick peek at my top 3 to-dos and plan out some time blocks in my day to get things done.
Emails + social media
Now I’m about ready for full-on work-mode. I’ll open my emails and probably scroll some social media and check in with what’s happening in my community. I’ll be honest, I have a bad habit of checking my phone when I’m getting out of bed. I’ll do a quick scan and see what’s happening. It’s something I’m trying to hold off on until I’m past all the other things I like to do with my morning time. Progress… not perfection!
So, there you have it. This is what my morning routine looks like and it works wonders for me now, but I’m sure that it will shift and change as I go through the years of entrepreneurship. If you can do your best to carve out even 15 minutes for yourself in the morning to tend to something that’s just for you, then that's so much better than nothing at all. Self-care is so important, especially for us entrepreneurs. Not only did we likely leave our full-time employment status so that we had more time to do the things we want to do, but we also tend to have the capacity to over-work ourselves. It’s great to be doing something that you love so much you never want to take a break from it, but it’s also so important to ease into your day and be more mindful with your mornings so that you don’t end up burnt out and carrying anxious vibes into your week.
Have a morning routine of your own? Share it in the comments - I’d love to hear it.
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