As a business owner, and as a human, my time is my most valuable asset. I have to be smart and prepared with my time, and it all starts in the morning. I have created a morning routine for a night owl because that’s who I truly am. I don’t have meetings too early, and I rarely promise deliverables by the standard 5pm. I like to work late at night, and there are many times that I’m emailing my clients at 11pm when I’ve finished a project.
Knowing I’m a night owl, I have a pseudo-morning routine. One of my mentors, Amy Landino, has written an entire book on the power of morning routines, and while I love her, I don’t know that I am willing to spend 2ish hours getting my day started. I’d rather be sleeping. #truth
To be super productive, and to prevent myself from working into the wee hours of the night, I have created a morning routine for a night owl because that’s what works for me.
Here’s my morning routine for a night owl, like me:
1. It all starts with the night before.
The last thing I do before I shut down the laptop for the night is to make tomorrow’s to-do list. This is actually 2 tasks: (1) re-organizing my Asana tasks and (2) creating priorities in my bullet journal.
Asana helps me to see the big picture of tasks, especially projects with extended deadlines. Asana also helps me keep track of all of my clients’ projects + the work my VA does. It’s my favorite tool to keep me organized. I give every task in Asana a deadline, but that deadline is easily movable if it doesn’t get done that day. I try to keep my tasks in Asana caught up, so I just move the deadline if I need to.
I use my bullet journal in many ways – each week is different actually. Some weeks, I track my top 3 priorities for the day. Other weeks, I section it off by client. Regardless of how it’s organized, I review my bullet journal and make a plan for the next day.
2. Shower and head to the coworking space.
The very first thing I do is shower. There’s something about taking a shower and putting on clean clothes that makes me really motivated to start my day. And yes, even if I work from home, I shower and put on clean jammies.
I’m a big coworking advocate. I usually settle into my coworking space right around 9am. I have most of my client meetings in the morning and then I do my actual work in the afternoons.
Of course, I live and die by my calendar. If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening. Planning my day based on (1) how long I’m going to be at the coworking space and (2) the appointments on my calendar allows me to create structure, and when you own your own business, you’re responsible for your own structure.
My goal is to leave the coworking space around 4pm.
3. Get a snack.
I know; I know. You’re supposed to start off with a well-balanced breakfast: like a three-egg omelet with potatoes on the side and juice and fruit and other healthy things. But alas, that’s just not me. I like a quick, sugarly jolt in the morning. I usually start my day with Kit Kat and Dr. Pepper. I know it’s not the most nutritious breakfast, but it makes me happy, so I’m gonna do it.
4. Respond to what’s necessary.
Because I already know my priorities for the day, I do a quick email check to make sure nothing is on fire. (I don’t have my work email on my phone, so this is the first time I’m seeing any emails since I logged off the night before. #boundaries) If something urgent has come up, I respond right away.
If it’s not urgent, I add the task to Asana and move forward with my daily priorities.
By now, it’s about 930am. I settled into my desk at the coworking space, had a snack, and put out any fires. Now, I’m ready to move forward with my day.
I have big ambitions about doing all sorts of stuff each morning. I’d love to spend 30 minutes or so on morning pages. I’d love to read The Daily Stoic. I’d love to go on a run before I even left the house. But honestly, I rarely do any of this. And, I’m definitely not going on a run in the morning.
I’m a night owl, so I need a little time to start my morning at my own pace. It works – and that’s all that matters.
In the comments, tell me about your morning routine.
What is your favorite part about your morning?