I must stop reading these types of list. It’s a list of the morning routines of a bunch of successful under 35’s in the US, who either run businesses, are writers and presenters or are simply at the top of their games in some way. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/slightly-insane-morning-routines-top-professionals-35-olivia-barrow
I won’t force you to read it all, but here are some of the “highlights”:
- Waking up at 3.30am/4.00am/5.00am
- Eating breakfast (usually avocado on toast it seems)
- Playing with babies and toddlers and being happy about being woken by them at 5.30am
- Arriving at work fresh, informed and already several hours into their working days
What world do these people live in?!
I’m not doing too badly at work. I’ve just started a new role and have done well at my previous roles (or at least well enough to step up each time rather than sideways). My routine, however, looks very different to theirs, which makes me wonder where I’m going wrong.
Wake up and decide how long I can get away with laying in bed for
I set my alarm for 6.58am to give me time to turn my radio on to the local news, grabbing the headlines and then listening to the traffic reports so I know whether I’ve got a hope of getting into the office or not. Or at least I try to; often I make it through the news and sport and then fall back asleep at the very bit that would actually be useful.
My wife and I then play a game of chicken; the last person out of bed needs to make it, so the challenge is leaving it to the very latest moment to maximise time in bed but not so long as to let the other person get up first. It’s a fine line. She usually wins.
Try to get food into little mouths
After three or four circuits of the kid’s bedrooms to get them up we then have the daily fight to get them to eat breakfast. I’ve yet to work out their secret roster, but they somehow know exactly whose turn it is to play up. Generally speaking, one is brilliant (in uniform and almost ready by 7.15am), two are indifferent and one has the role of “little s**t”.
Despite having seven different types of cereal or them able to have toast, crumpets, muffins, pain au chocolat, brioche or pancakes, somehow we never have exactly what that one wants. Then it’s trying to drive the herd back upstairs to brush their teeth and hair, before trying to grab ten minutes to get ready myself. This cannot be at the same time as my wife, as four unsupervised children equals arguments. Guaranteed.
Finally is the chasing and getting them out of the door. “Have you got your homework?”, “Where is your bookbag?”, “No, you can’t take your rocking horse to nursery”, “I told you to pack your PE kit earlier”, “Why didn’t I know that form needed to be signed last night?”, “Brush your hair”, “I said, go and get your homework”. This often continues throughout the entire run to nursery and to the school playground, interspersed with questions from the children on ancient Egypt, why dogs don’t wear nappies and comments on Pokemon Go. Time to focus, meditate and think through work problems? Nope.
Commute. Commute. Commute.
Once the kids are in school it’s time to hop into the car and get into the office. I cross my fingers that traffic isn’t bad, but really there’s not a lot I can do about it. I actually enjoy my drive in, even more so in my new car, as I get the chance to catch up on podcasts. These range from football, to economics, to comedy, to hobbies, to interesting ideas and more; an hour or so to listen and either learn or simply enjoy.
You see, other than a glance at my phone when I wake up, I have no opportunity at all to spend hours working before breakfast (as if I have time to have breakfast myself?! Those kids lunch boxes don’t fill themselves!). Yes, I could start getting up a lot earlier, but I like my sleep! I’m a night owl generally, so rarely sleep before midnight; six and a half hours is as little sleep as I can usually get away with.
Nope, I’ll just have to stop looking at these lists and the stylised, over-perfectionised, probably fake versions of sucessful people’s mornings and get on with living mine. Only eight more years until they are all at secondary school or older, when they can look after themselves in the morning, and I can start my own power-morning routine. Sort of.