Morning Routine

January 14, 2017

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I’ve been on a daily routine kick for the last couple of years. In the last six months, I’ve kicked it into high gear. With the beginning of 2017, I’ve made some tweaks to my morning routine and evening routine. I’ve formalized them and have a “Daily Routine” task list as well as time blocked on my calendar for these routines.

The morning routine centers me and allows me to focus on what’s important without expending a lot of mental energy. It’s a stress free way to begin each day that is now mostly on autopilot.

Morning Routine: Monday - Friday

5:15 - 5:45 - Wake Up.

I use the Sleep Cycle app on my iPhone which, as the name suggests, measures where you are in your sleep cycle based on noise and movement. It then awakens you at the opportune moment within the window of time that you have set. The default window length is 30 minutes. So, each day, I set my Sleep Cycle alarm for 5:45 and it goes off at the best time in my sleep cycle between 5:15 and 5:45 and makes waking up less jolting.


After waking up, the first thing I do is head to the shower. That has proven to be the best thing to make me alert in the morning. I’ve tried working out first and I’m left frustrated with my poor performance. I’ve tried making coffee first and generally I’ll either spill or forget something. So shower it always is.

Coffee & Breakfast

Next up is coffee. This process begins by 6:15 at the absolute latest. Most days it’s much earlier. First cup of coffee is usually whatever bean from Fresh Roasted Coffee, LLC I have on hand at the moment brewed with an AeroPress (Amazon [amazonlink asins=‘B0047BIWSK’ template=‘PriceLink’ store=‘monofmeq-20’ marketplace=‘US’ linkid=‘43e24399-da8b-11e6-aa67-314c27541167’]). I manually grind the beans to a fine grind and usually log about 5 minutes of exercise on my Apple Watch in the process. (More on coffee and my brewing techniques in a later post.)

With a fresh cup of coffee in hand, it’s time to cook breakfast! Always the same thing - two eggs fried over easy or over hard depending on how I’m feeling that morning. These are seasoned with salt and pepper while cooking and topped with some hot sauce. (Recently its been either habanero or datil pepper sauce.)


Post-egg consumption, I sit down and take a look at personal email on the iPad. Most of this I move through these fairly quickly. Articles that I want to read later are saved into Pocket, I unsubscribe from emails I no longer wish to receive, and create tasks for anything that needs attention. The exception to this process is The Skimm, which I read to quickly catch up on the biggest news items of the day. (Generally, I don’t pay a lot of attention to the news but this keeps me up to date on many of the topics that might come up in conversation that day.)

What’s Important?

Depending on the time available I will spend it reading articles saved to pocket, checking any interactions on social media, reading my current book, or working on a side hustle or hobby project.

7:15 - More Coffee

By 7:15 it’s time to brew some more coffee! This time in the Chemex because it’s easier to fill up my travel mug.

7:30 - Commute

Out the door at 7:30 and on my way to work. On the car radio is which ever current podcast episode I’m on.

7:45 - Arrive at Work

Open the office and make sure that server backups completed successfully and monitor everything else on our network to make sure that there are no problems that happened overnight.

After that I’ll check email and calendar and make any necessary changes to the planning of the day.

8:15 - Devotions

Generally we start our day with staff devotions in the office when everyone arrives.

There’s my weekday morning routine. It gives me a grounded center to a day where I may not know what else will go on. I’m continually tweaking the morning routine with my change in priorities. This is what currently signals the beginning of my day.

In the next post, I walk through my evening routine. Read it here!

Your Turn!

Thanks for taking the time to read through my daily routine. Like I said above, I’m always looking for ways to tweak it to fit with my priorities.

What does your morning routine include? Is there anything that throws off your whole day when you miss it.

Written by Jonathan Kohlmeier a technologist living in Cedar Rapids, IA, often found with a pipe between his teeth.

© 2021, Jon Kohlmeier