What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg wakes up at 8am and first checks his phone and Facebook (go figure); Richard Branson rises at 5am and first gets in a workout, saying “I have learned that if I rise early I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life”; Bill Gates hits the treadmill first thing; Bezos does the same and reads his morning paper.
Reading about how all these successful people frame their mornings, I thought I’d scribble down my own routine. I mean – I’m not a billionaire (lol), but I like to believe I am quite intentional with what I do to start the day… as often as I can be.
1. 5.45 – 06.00 wake
I wake up around 06.00 to get ready for and head to the gym. Although before getting out of bed – I first check my phone and social media more specifically for notifications overnight. I very much used to be an evening/post-work gymer, but I decided to switch things up because I started to find this year that my evenings would often not go to plan, and late nights would mean that I missed a planned session. Essentially, by going to the gym in the morning I took back control of my own time. Aside from that, what I love about an early morning gym session is that it gets me truly set for the day. Plus – once it’s out of the way, it’s out of the way, and the “I need to go to the gym today” feeling doesn’t hang over my head all day. Also – it means that once work’s done I only have to worry about one major thing… and that’s eating.
Around 06.45 – 07.45: Workout
Before I leave my house I also chug down a glass of water – this is just because I genuinely find it hard to drink sufficient water throughout the day, so at least by doing this I’m getting 250ml out of the way before 7am. I then either walk 20 minutes to the gym or take public transport, these days it’s more the latter as it’s so dark in the mornings and hence quieter than during the summer. At the moment I am doing a 16 week weight training programme (I’m currently on week 7), it’s a glute focused guide but targets the entire body with upper body, cardio & ab workouts. Once winter hit and it got cold outside I started finding it hard to get motivated to get up in the morning and work out, but I found that starting a new challenge (i.e. this guide), popped some motivation back into me again. The gym is definitely great headspace for me, it’s also a good feeling when you set goals and are able to achieve them – be it a new personal best re: your strength, a faster run, or a slice lower fat percentage. Input almost uniformly equals output when it comes to health & fitness.
Work starts: 08:20 – 08:30
After the gym, I get ready for work at my office (5 minute walk from my gym) as they have some pretty nice changing rooms / showers (much better than the PureGym alternative…) Once I finish getting ready and hit the desk, some time around 08:20/08:30 depending on the day, I log-in and glance over Bloomberg and my e-mails for (i) any major overnight news; (ii) any very important e-mails and (iii) in the case of my job, any new deals on the screens (that we might have missed, more specifically, or that may just be interesting to our clients). I could bore you with my job – but in a nutshell I work in Investment Banking and help clients raise money through issuing debt to various investors. Provided all is well once I’ve checked off the three points above (it usually is), I then head to the canteen to grab some breakfast. On Mondays I eat an egg white omelette with onions and bacon, for rest of the week I have toast, chicken sausages and poached eggs. My favourite thing about my work is… breakfast and lunchtime. 🙂 I like to eat, if you haven’t realised.
After breakfast, I either (i) clear out my e-mail inbox, and then write my to-do list for the deal; (ii) clear out my e-mail inbox, and start off on my to-do list that I wrote the prior day or (iii) jump headfirst into work… maybe even whilst I’m eating breakfast. (i) – (iii) pretty much escalate in terms of how busy I am – I just try to be as productive and efficient as possible because I don’t like to spend all evening in the office. As much as I am happy to stay when duty calls – I am not here for super late nights in the office (in my line of work, a late “ish” night becomes anything post 20:00, but a genuinely late night I’d call 22:00+, on a standard day I leave the office between 19:00 and 20:00). The reason being is that as big as a factor in my life work is – there are also many other things I have on my mind – be it this blog, Skylish & Skylish Fit, side hustles… I need time in the evening to ever even picture developing myself and my passions in ways away from work, hence why I always try to be sensible with my time in the office.
Boom – there you go. A pretty structured morning routine. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m quite a structured gal. I write to do lists, I set timelines, goals & resolutions and I make plans… that I don’t always follow. As structured as the above sounds – I sleep in at the weekends, laze around, turn up and give my body the rest and fun it deserves… it’s all about balance. I’m writing this disclaimer as I was talking to someone recently about the above and they responded “my only resolution/goal is the drink more wine” – but the two can co-exist. 😉 If you know me you know I love to have a good time, but I also like to try my best to be my best and for me that’s through structure and occasional goal-setting. You just have to do what works for you.