Whether you're a morning person or not, facts show if you want to have a productive day, what you do to start it off truly matters. We've certainly seen article after article dispel the secrets for those in the professional world about how to start your morning, but how specifically do successful designers and creative professionals—our peers—prefer to use their earliest hours?
This exploration, for one, is about finding the best ways to be productive, which without question begins with an intentionally planned morning, but the other curiosity falls into maintaining a proper work-life balance. With many of us work 9-to-5 jobs that easily bleed into the later hours depending on our workloads, mornings are an especially valuable yet overlooked time to enjoy life and take the time to do things we all simply enjoy doing.
To get some perspective, we asked 12 different designers and leaders how they start off their mornings right:
I am an early bird and get up between 4 and 4:30 am.
What are the regular activities you get up to in the morning?
I wake up and the first thing I do is drink a giant glass of water. I stretch for about 15 minutes while trying to resist to grab my phone and look at Instagram and Twitter. Around 5 am, I make myself a coffee and sit down at my computer to do either deep thinking/writing work or to find items to post on my blog. Around 6am is when I start the morning tornado also known as waking up the kids and getting everyone fed and ready to leave for school. At 8:15 am I arrive at the office and enjoy 45 minutes of alone time before the office starts buzzing.
Why are these rituals important for you?
The quiet alone time in the morning grounds me for the day. I notice when I get up late and rush out the door.
Any advice you have for people trying to have meaningful mornings that help them get into their element for the coming day?
To me, it's all about not rushing and time to think and stretch. And, most importantly, not instantly jumping on my phone or computer. Which, I admit, I sometimes fail to do."
I'm an early riser. I usually get up at 5 am every morning.
What advice would you give to people trying to have a productive, meaningful morning?
After reading Jocelyn Glei's Unsubscribe, I start every morning with 'mission work' before doing any client work or checking email or social media. Mission work means work that advances your purpose in the world. If you do that first thing in the morning, even if you get nothing else done for the rest of the day, you're good.
(I also wrote up some thoughts about the rest of my calendar approach here).
Sina: I wake up around 8:30. I've never been a morning person, so for me it always feels rushed; like there's never enough time.
Joseph: Similar to Sina, I wake up a tad later but I make sure I'm in the studio by 9:30 in the morning. I love sleep and prioritize it as a necessity for a productive work day. In the morning I prefer quiet while my brain wakes up.
What are the regular activities you get up to in the morning and why are they important to you?
Sina: I find that the most meaningful part of my morning is in transit, on the way into the office. This time alone gives me....