What do I do before 8am? My morning routine…

I know I’m not exactly the first to write about this, but I thought some people might be interested to know what I do when I wake in the morning.

The opening of the eyes

Pretty much the first thing that happens when I open my eyes at 5 or 6am is I pick up my iPhone. Not sure if everyone else lies about what they do or if it’s just me that does this, but there it is!

Actually the iPhone is where I do most of my work on a daily basis. The new 6S+ is So Good that I don’t need an iPad, or a Kindle, or even a laptop most of the time.

I check the home screen and scroll to decide what I want to deal with first. I work for a company that’s headquartered in Bangalore and New Jersey, and my boss is in London, so the day is long started by the time I’m awake.

During the weekend I relish this time because Mrs A loves to sleep and I’ve got 3, even 4 hours before she wakes. During the week it has to happen quickly.

iPhone time

Before I even get a coffee I look to deal with most of what came in overnight. I have a pretty sophisticated email filing system so all the junk is filtered into folders I can’t see by default on my iPhone, so my inbox just contains real things that need dealing with.

I usually start with email, you should know that if I can deal with it on my iPhone, it’ll get done first. Simple emails, Dropbox documents that need reviewing, anything that can be done from an iPhone.

Complex actions like document updates, zip files etc. are filed for later. I’m most likely to deal with those on the flight I’ll be on in a few hours.

Crunching through activities

I methodically work through my phone to remove all the notifications. After email, comes Slack, and then Twitter, which is my main source for news. I’ll read, retweet and see what happened overnight.

I’ll then move onto TripIt, where I check my travel schedule and figure how long before I hit Uber. We don’t own a second car at home, because I’m away a lot, and Uber is less expensive. I Uber everywhere, even if it’s just to the car rental center so I can drive to a customer in the area.

I’ll add to-do items to my Wunderlist so I can deal with high-priority items later on.

No laptop

I almost never have a laptop in the morning. Most often, it’s left in the bag from Friday evening and I don’t open it up until after I’m on the road on Monday.

It does mean that if something needs a laptop, it will be put on the pile to deal with later. I find it’s better not to bring it in the bedroom, and I almost do 30 minutes of work before I even get up for a coffee. The iPhone extra dim hack is one way I make sure I don’t disturb Mrs A.

Coffee, protein and out

I always pack the night before so I’m ready to go, and so I literally grab a shower, black coffee and a protein bar. I find that protein bars help me from eating junk in the airport.

By this point, I’ve marked the things I need to, and I look to see if any of them can be solved with a call. If so, I book a Uber, walk out the front door and pick up the phone.


Weekends run a little different because I have a couple of extra hours. I try to do a small project in that time… a blog, like this one, or some research. Sometimes I’ll chat with friends online.

And then Mrs A will rouse, and we’ll get on with our day.

Hope this little view into my routine is of interest to someone 🙂

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