Morning routine: A good start is half the victory

In Afrikaans we have a saying: "Goed begonne is half gewonne." This loosely translates into: "A good start is half the victory." How we start the day is important. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. If a day starts in the right way, it is easier to continue in the same way than to try and turn it around later. Sadly the opposite is also true. For many people this is also a time of day that is easily protected from outside interference, which makes it a good time to work on things that are important to us. Here is how I organize the start of my days.


I am a 'morning person', so waking early has never been a problem for me. Even so, when I wake up, I need coffee. So that is where I head when I wake up.


After the coffee is made and down the hatch, I write morning pages. This takes 30-40 minutes. Recently I have followed morning pages with 15 minutes of mantra meditation. I find that the morning pages clear the decks for deep meditation.


Next I write for Next Small Step. I try and fit in 15 minutes. That is not enough to write a post. What I aim for is progress – the next small step, if you will :-) So I try and get a draft of a post down. On other mornings I manage a rewrite or final edit and publication of a draft post written previously.


After that I do another 15 minute stint on my novel. I wrote a short novel for Nanowrimo last year that I am editing now. That should be done in the next few weeks. After that I hope to start on a another idea for a novel.

7am and onwards

Once I have done all these things, the time is close to 7am which means breakfast and the school run. I start my day job at around 8am. These days I tend to slip exercise in over lunch time – a short run and 5 sets of push-ups, sit-ups and squats.

That’s the routine that I have been following for the last 2 years or so. I have been tempted a few times to wake up earlier to leave time for reading or getting exercize done earlier, but I really do need the sleep. So getting up much earlier tends to backfire.

All of this goes out the window when I travel for work, which is about 3 months per year. Then flights, jet lag and day job pressures make things a lot more interesting. Or during school holidays, which feels like another 3 months of the year!

I am a firm believer in doing the most important things as early as possible in the day. But there are a lot of important things that I only get to later in the day. My morning routine tends to focus on the delicate and important tasks that easily get crowded out of the rest of the work day.

Nanowrimo is National Novel Writing Month:
Read more about morning pages here.

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