February for me is about refining.
I’m starting the process by looking at my morning routine, something that is relatively consistent day after day. It is hands down my most productive time and capitalizing on the stillness and ease of mornings is something I’m paying just a little more attention to.
Most evenings, I set out my coffee supplies & hygienic products to make things fairly easy (and quiet). I’m a Chemex addict & am all about the hand-ground Kickapoo coffee beans, so brewing coffee becomes somewhat like a science experiment.
I’m typically a 5:15-5:30 a.m. alarm setter and snooze once or twice. Once I’m up, I’m fine, but I certainly do not wake up feeling incredibly energetic. When I start thinking about warm coffee, that usually does the trick.
While my Chemex is doing its magic, I take time to use my favorite Beautycounter products (this Radiance Firming Complex is my absolute go-to, coupled with the Countertime Uplifting Day Cream). My skincare routine is getting easier and easier since I have products that I absolutely love!
Those two habits are engrained in how I operate in the mornings (except when I agree to take a 5:45 a.m. sculpt class at Power Life Yoga) and make me feel awesome.
When coffee is ready & I’m done with the bathroom routine, I grab my fuzzy blanket, my coffee cup and take a seat on the couch next to this little devil. She’s only a devil lately because she thinks it’s fun to scratch at the door at 1, 2, or 3 a.m. Every. Single. Night.
I am all about inspiration and take one of two routes in the mornings. 1) Jumping on my Twitter list “Urban Life” to see what sort of unique community development projects or planning is being done around the globe. Or 2) Hopping on my Tumblr feed to see inspiring design images, quotes, outfits or cute animal GIFs.
After 15-20 minutes of my dose of inspiration, I head over to my to-do list that’s associated with things outside of my full-time job. Whether that’s building my yoga class, updating an agenda for a meeting, following through on a task from a board meeting, or paying attention to the POP UP YOGA Facebook page, this is the best time for me to devote 30-60 minutes on hobbies or interests I love. Evernote is my go-to place for list making & setting reminders!
This varies on what sort of day I have with meetings, but I love getting into the office between 7:00-7:30 a.m. It’s harder in the winter for me since it’s so cold and my blanket is so warm, but when I can get in early, it leaves me time to take a lunch class at Power Life or allows me to leave around 3:45 to get to a 4:00 class. The quiet morning in the office keeps me pretty productive.
So what am I focusing on refining?
Did you notice I didn’t mention anything about eating? That’s because I suck at getting meals ready & eating a legit breakfast. I just ate a Cliff Bar because I am too lazy to make eggs and I think I’m out of granola & oatmeal (not that I would make it). Stocking the fridge at work is likely the best thing I can do to make sure I have a solid morning meal. Or having a small basket full of fruits and nuts on my desk.
An Ernest Hemingway quote in this inc.com article says… “The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day… you will never be stuck.” Stopping at a certain point on a project & defining what I will do the next day/time adds clarity, but I rarely do it. I’m working on using my Day Designer even more by putting specific tasks to complete that day instead of an overall list of to-do items.
I’m trying to get things set out in the evenings (clothes to wear, food in my reusable bag, water bottle filled, yoga bag packed) so most of my energy can go to knocking things out that require brain power and strategic thinking.
As I mentioned, my morning routine is fairly consistent. I have learned that a majority of the time, I enjoy exercising mid-day or post-work rather than first thing (although I feel amazing when I get in first thing, especially when my lunch/evening schedule is filled up). I’m working on making it easier for me to get going, but I know it’s an evolving thing.
What morning routines work best for you?
Subscribe for a dose of mindfulness before you head into the week.