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Katya Pavlopoulos
Katya Pavlopoulos

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What Does Your Morning Routine Look Like? Here's Mine.

I'm looking to improve my morning routine. I thought I could share my current routine here with my fellow developers, and see if anyone would be willing to share what your morning looks like.

After years of experimentation, I noticed that for optimal results (measured in productivity, peace of mind, sense of happiness throughout the day, sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, etc) I need about 2 hours of unhurried and uninterrupted time before my day officially starts (i.e., before work) to do all of the following:

I drink black coffee or matcha tea.

Not so much for the caffeine anymore, because I've spent the past few months preparing my drinks with less caffeine to help with my anxiety; at this point, it's just a nice, relaxing ritual.

I spend about an hour reading.

This is the most time consuming activity of my morning routine. I noticed that if a day goes by when I don't read, I feel like I did nothing exciting and learned nothing new. So I read in the morning, before the day gets busy.

I spend a good amount of time on grooming and personal hygiene.

Brushing my teeth, getting dressed, etc. Even though we're in a pandemic, and I'm mostly at home, looking put-together does something incredible for my mental state. I'm not entirely sure about the psychology of this, but I am definitely more productive, more cheerful, more ambitious throughout the day if I take the time in the morning to change into something new, wear light makeup, brush my hair, etc.

I say a prayer of thanks.

Counting your blessings is not a cliche, and it's very humbling to realize just how much I have to be thankful for. I came into this world with nothing, yet every day I have been given enough to survive and even thrive. Of course I work hard for what I have, but my intelligence, creativity, etc were not things I developed all by myself in a vacuum. The entire year of 2020 I was reminded that even to have breath in my lungs is not something I can take for granted.

I set my goals for the day.

Between my calendar and my todo list, I already have an idea of what my day will look like, but I also take the time to intentionally choose 1-3 things I really want to pour my heart and soul into. This helps me to have a greater sense of purpose and direction as I go about my day.

I don't have a set order in which I do these things, but I do them all in the first 2 hours of waking up. I try to do nothing else until these things are done.

What about you? What does your morning look like? Is there a part of your routine that you'd recommend?

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