Discussion Thread

Morning Routines

  • 1.  Morning Routines

    Posted 10-09-2019 10:05 AM
    I have been feeling overwhelmed at work lately and it has greatly affected my morning routine, making me more tired and stressed during the day. 

    I think morning routines are important to maintain order in our lives as engineers. Here is what morning routine looks like (ideally!) 

    • 4:45 am - Wake up and get a cup of coffee
    • 5-5:30 am - Spend some time reading (right now I use this time to read the bible)
    • 5:30-5:45 am - Look over my daily tasks and spend some time prioritizing what I need to do. 
    • 5:45 -6:15 am - Do some work for organizations I am involved such as ASCE, SEI, or EWB (Alternatively I use this time to just breathe and have some quiet time)
    • 6:15 - 7:00 am - Get ready, get the baby ready, and gather everything to go to work. 

    While this is not always how it looks like, I make an effort of spending my mornings this way to help me be in control of my day and start the day the way I choose to rather than rolling off the bed and getting to work. 

    How does your morning routine look like?

    Luis Duque EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Broomfield CO

  • 2.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-10-2019 08:37 AM
    5:15 Wake Up
    5:30 Head out to the gym
    7:10 Return back home and get ready for work
    8:10 Leave for Work

    Ricky Bhola EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Civil Associate

  • 3.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-10-2019 09:51 AM
    I agree that it can be difficult to maintain routine every morning.  Here is my typical routine:

    5:55 am - Wake up
    ​6:00-6:15 am - pray morning prayer
    6:15-6:30 am - do push ups, sit ups, and some stretching
    6:30-7 am - eat breakfast and make lunch and read a little of the newspaper/crossword
    7-7:15 am - finish getting ready
    7:15 am - leave for work

    What most often sadly does not happen is my short work out.  I am frequently too tired to actually want to move that much in the morning, but I always feel better and more ready to start my day when I do.

    Nancy Streu EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
    Muscatine Power & Water
    Muscatine IA

  • 4.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-10-2019 10:48 AM
    Morning routine? ha ha ha!

    Can you tell I'm not a morning person? My morning typically begins with me hitting the snooze button for 30 minutes. At some point, one of my 4 children typically crawls into bed with me. Or one of the dogs. I typically end up telling my kindergartner that I'm going to get dressed first. She hasn't figured out that I never actually race her - it's just my method for motivating her to get dressed willingly. 

    My routine varies from day to day because I typically work from home twice a week. On the mornings when I work from home, I spend less time fussing over my appearance - i.e. I throw on yoga pants. I typically help my husband get the kids out the door, and then I am able to enjoy the quiet while I sit down to get started on my work. Sometimes I will take a few minutes to cook myself some breakfast. On office days, I'm getting dressed and gathering what I need while my wonderful husband cooks me a breakfast sandwich to eat in the car. I drop my daughter at school, and my commute takes about an hour. 

    Luis - I noticed you mentioned getting a baby ready in the morning. Are you a new father? I am just wondering if that could be contributing to your feelings of being overwhelmed. For one, I know spending even just a few minutes reading my Bible every day can make a big difference in helping me cope with stress, so I hope you are able to keep that up. Second, if you are a new father, it can take time to adjust to new routines. Give yourself some grace as you figure out what works best for you and baby. I try to let go of trying to keep on my set routine so that I can enjoy the special little moments with my children. Those moments are almost never scheduled - and, let's be honest, are typically interrupting my schedule. But I find that letting myself enjoy my children is better than sticking with any routine or schedule.

    Kelly Farabee P.E., M.ASCE
    Guyton GA

  • 5.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-15-2019 10:37 AM

    Not so new father, he is about 18 months. Surprisingly he is such a great sleeper (about 12 hours every day) but he is awake he is a little speedster running around and playing all day long. I agree that spending time with him is valuable and I try to be home by 5:30 at the latest to have family dinner and walk before bedtime. This simple routine helps me wind down from a hectic day. 

    I personally struggle with getting myself out of routine because it makes me feel overwhelmed and out of control. That is my personality and something I have worked hard over the years. I know I cannot control everything and that I can't be perfect. I just need to give myself some space to think, pray, and breath.

    Luis Duque EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Broomfield CO

  • 6.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-16-2019 09:59 AM

    Your son sounds precious! They grow up so fast! Sometimes it seems like they can grow so much in just a day. I only wish I could bottle up some of my children's energy. It's amazing how they can go, go, go!

    When it comes to schedules, I must be your opposite! I have always had a difficult time sticking to a set schedule; however I do like a certain measure of routine. For example, I typically follow a routine for getting ready in the morning - getting dressed, taking supplements, packing my bag, etc. I will say that when my routine gets interrupted too much, it can make me feel "off." I think we all desire to be in control to some extent. My faith is what helps me keep that desire in check. Ultimately, I believe God is in control, and I trust his wisdom. Some days it's easier than others for me to let go. But I just keep trying, and I pray a lot. 

    Thanks for starting this conversation about morning routines. It has made me think about my own habits and whether there are ways I can improve my morning/daily/evening routines to help me better deal with stress and be more productive. I find self reflection is an important tool for keeping myself in check. Otherwise, it is so easy to pick up some bad habits and never think twice about them!

    Kelly Farabee P.E., M.ASCE
    Savannah GA

  • 7.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-10-2019 04:58 PM
    I agree that morning routines are a must, they establish your mindset and create intentions for the day.  Below is my general routine:

    • 4:00 am wake up
    • 4:10-4:15 daily affirmations
    • 4:15-4:30 reading (generally non-fiction books on self development)
    • 4:30-6:00 daily work out (I rotate so it could be weightlifting or running)
    • 6:00-7:30 get the family and myself ready for school and work and out the door
    • 8:00 arrive at work and develop a priority list, if I had not completed one prior to leaving work the day before
    One thing I would say is regardless if you are an engineer or not I believe a morning routine is important.  I say this because even on the weekend I try and stick to the routine and it greatly aids in my productivity.

    Robert Keller P.E., M.ASCE
    Project Manager
    City of Salem
    Salem OR

  • 8.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-13-2019 10:11 AM
    Over the years I have found that the most important time is at the end of work where I would finish out the day with my diary entry (everyone should keep a diary) and plan for the next day with meetings, phone numbers , appointments, etc. This allowed me to go home and wake up on the next morning with a clear mind knowing my day was planned out, except for the daily surprises.

    James Worrell
    Mostly Retired
    PE, RLS (retired)
    Raleigh NC

  • 9.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-11-2019 07:51 AM
    I have wished I would stick to a morning routine, unfortunately I quit every now and then.
    Fortunately, I still maintain a daily routine, which includes exercises, reading, self-development.
    I would go running or walking to achieve 10k steps every day, and I enjoy reading essays and biographies for 1 hour per day. I also build listening podcasts like Today in Focus (The Guardian) and Fresh Air (NPR) into my routine, which are both weekday podcasts.
    These replies posted by fellow members are really helpful.

    Jiqiu Wang R.Eng, M.ASCE
    Senior Quantity Surveyor

  • 10.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-14-2019 11:12 AM
    4:45 am - Wake up and take a shower
    5 -5:30 am - Get ready and help prepare breakfast
    5:30-6 am - Eat Breakfast with wife
    6-6:45 am - Drive to work
    6:45 - 7:15 am - Go thru my "Microsoft To-Do" app and prioritize my work for the day
    7:15 - 7:45 am - Work on my NaNoWriMo preparation material. 
    7:45 am - Prepare a Chai Tea and begin the workday!

    Times could be a little off depending on how I prepared my To-DO list the previous day or week. I do feel that getting to work early has helped stay more proactive in the first part of the day. Also, being organized with tasks helps a lot in all the small decisions that we have to make throughout the day. 

    This video from Thomas Frank helped me create a system that works for me: https://www.skillshare.com/classes/Productivity-Masterclass-Create-a-Custom-System-that-Works/442860604/projects?category=business

    And this is my project for that course where I show some tips for Microsoft To-Do: https://www.skillshare.com/projects/Productivity-as-a-Lifestyle/172958?via=project-like-notification 

    Julian Valencia A.M.ASCE
    Project Engineer
    Richmond TX

  • 11.  RE: Morning Routines

    Posted 10-15-2019 10:38 AM

    I have followed Thomas Frank for quite some time now and really enjoy his content. A great resource for productivity and personal organization.

    Luis Duque EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Broomfield CO