Hiya! Welcome back to another round of small business tips, Boss Babes. We have a new topic each week & ask industry leaders to share valuable insight every Tuesday. Today’s topic is a bit different. Instead of sharing business tips, we’re chatting about what to do before you start working for the day. Morning routines are important because they can make or break your day. We asked 17 badass women from all over Tampa Bay & beyond about what the first things they do in the morning are. Many women make sure to get a workout in before the day gets rolling. We also see a pattern of carving out some quiet, peaceful time and even putting a hold on checking social media until a later part in the day. No two morning routines look exactly the same, but you can definitely tell that to have a productive day, it requires some intention before you crack into your daily to do list. Enjoy their words & creating a morning routine that works for you. Stay boss! xx -G
“I never used to be a morning person, but I've realized that getting up a few hours before I actually need to start work makes the world of difference. Instead of just rolling out of bed and starting work, I eat a real breakfast, do some sort of physical activity (usually take a walk or yoga), journal, and time block my day. I start off my day on the right foot, and am much less scattered than I otherwise would be.”
“Absolutely I have a morning routine! Routines and rituals are so important to artists! You can’t wait for inspiration to strike when you’re a working artist, you have to evoke it on your own. My morning routine starts off slow and intentional, which is not something I always had the luxury of being able to do. Once I stopped having to be somewhere in the mornings, I stopped trying to rush the process. I try to wake up by 7 to 8 a.m., and ease into the day. I’m one of those people that’s immediately hungry when I wake up, so I make a really good, filling breakfast, and do a little morning reading with a cup of coffee. I then get ready for my day. Even though I work from home, I find that getting dressed, and doing my hair and make up before sitting down in my studio makes me feel more productive. I usually start off at my desk with quickly answering emails, and then I clean my workspace, and organize my planner/to-do list, prioritizing what needs to be done first to meet deadlines. From there I give myself about 30 minutes to just “play” and warm up my hands with my materials. I used to leave this out if I thought I had too much to do, but I found it makes me so much more creative when I carve out “me” time to make artwork that has no purpose or isn’t for a client. After that I dive in to whatever I have going on that day.”
St. Petersburg, FL
“Our day starts well before the shop opens. We typically start our day at home checking emails, prioritizing the to-do list for the day, and working on invitation design work. Taking this time to be productive in the morning helps take the pressure off the work day ahead. Once the shop opens its go-time… our day quickly gets taken over by walk in appointments, balloon orders & retail customers. We do give ourselves some time to stop into our favorite local bake shop or meet up with a friend for breakfast before heading into Paper Goat Post-- it’s a refreshing way to start the day! Oh, and on Friday’s it’s #FreshFlowerFriday, so we start our day at the local wholesale flower market grabbing fresh stems to sell at the shop!”
“I get my day started with a 7:30 barre class. My husband and I leave home at 7:15 and walk together until parting ways for him to catch his train to work and me to get to my workout. I then return home, shower, eat breakfast and have coffee over a devotional, and aim to be working in my home studio by 9:30 (usually with wet hair!). Of course, not all mornings go according to plan, but this is the routine that sets my day up for success!”
“Maybe one day I'll be like all of those people who start their day with a morning meditation, intention setting, journaling and a yoga session on my dock, but let's be real here. I have a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. My mornings involve begging tiny humans to get out of bed and find their shoes.
Once I get all of that out of the way, I feel as though I've run a marathon and need a nap! But seriously, I would say that two to three times a week, I wake up at 4:30 a.m. in order to get 2 hours of silent, uninterrupted time to work on my current biggest projects. I focus so much better when the rest of the world is sleeping and no one is emailing me/tagging me/texting me. My brain is fresher and the words just come easier.
Once I get home from taking the kids to school, I go for a run and listen to a podcast (usually Online Marketing Made Easy, Goal Digger or The Copywriter Club), then I start with my biggest, toughest project first. If I start the day on admin tasks (checking emails, social, etc.) I find that I never emerge from that black hole, so I try my best to stay off email and social until around noon or 1 p.m.
It's not perfect and it ain't pretty, but it's what works for my business and my life right now!”
“I wake up at 5 a.m. and meditate for 20 minutes, then do an hour work out, then drink my coffee alone as I ponder the work day.... haha. Just kidding. I wish. I wake up when my 1-year-old starts making noise at 7 a.m. or my 4-year-old climbs into bed with me. I eat breakfast with them and enjoy their company until we are all off on our days! I definitely need coffee to start my work-day, and that time shifts day-to-day. I find I get more done in the mornings, so I am trying to arrange my schedule accordingly.”
“I am really trying to have a morning routine but am still working on it. Most days I have a coffee or chia latte, read a chapter from my book of choice, and spend a little time with my dog before getting to work. I think the days I get the best work done are the ones that I have a bit of self-care in the morning before opening my emails and social media.”
“This has been a challenge for me until a few months ago. I was finding myself feeling very flustered, overwhelmed and kind of floundering around. Then one day my business / life coach broke it down very simple for me. She said, "Lisa, you really need a routine habit in your morning. As silly as it may sound, literally write everything out. This will help you stay on track and also feel more accomplished as you start your day." So for me I make sure it get my workout in first thing, because I know if I let it go throughout the day, its likely not to happen.
5:15 a.m. - Wake up / brush teeth / throw on gym clothes.
6:00 a.m. - Work out at Krazy Kardio. It's a 45 min. class with a mix of boxing and weights etc. It's SO fun and I recommend EVERYONE try it!
7:00 a.m. - Walk my pup and I really try to notice things in my neighborhood, people often walk with their face in their phone.
7:30 a.m. - Start coffee, make a smoothie, feed animals, take shower & get ready to head into the studio.
I also make it a priority (but sometimes I slip) to not check social media in the morning, that is a huge time sucker and I will put my phone on ‘do not disturb’ so I can have a calm start to my day. Since I have started being strict about my routine and letting it serve me in a calm way to start my day, I have been able to prioritize and take the tasks that come at me more calmly and rationally.”
St. Petersburg, FL
“I love morning rituals, finding the right ones for me has been such a blessing in me keeping me in my flow. My rituals/routine evolve day to day, depending on the time and tasks I have that morning. My morning routine consists of waking up and saying words of affirmation to myself about myself and about the day ahead. When I get up and going, I splash my face with cold water and brush my teeth. A clean mouth is always nice in the morning, am I right?
Once I am up and at ‘em, I drink a very warm glass of lemon water and take 5 to 10 min. to stretch and/or go through a sun salutation-type yoga flow. This has helped keep my mind from going into ‘GO!’ mode and allows me to connect to my body and the day. After moving around, I settle in and do my daily writing. I’ve created a list that gives me prompts to write about, like ‘Today’s Affirmations’ or ‘What am I grateful for today?’. Writing in the morning keeps me present in the moment and not feeling scattered or worried about anything. It helps keep me grounded and aligned, so that I can go into the rest of the day and morning slowly. After writing comes my favorite part, breakfast!
And last, if I have created the space, I love to sit for tea alone and watch the nature outside of our windows. It’s the most grounding and loving thing to do to get the day started. (Shoutout to my friend/client Ashley Smith for introducing me into this practice!)
Creating these rituals and sticking to them has changed my life and work flow. The morning is time for ME, I own a business, the business doesn’t own me. So I like to take my time in the morning, as compared to jumping into work with a frenzy. It’s made a huge impact on my life and I am happy to have the space to have my daily rituals.”
St. Petersburg, FL
“My morning routine is flexible, but generally starts with waking up at 6, grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting down at my computer to design something. Some days I will post whatever I create on Instagram. Other days I will just file it away into a folder, but I like to get started making something every morning. I also write in a journal each morning and it's a bit of a hybrid journal / to do list. I name what I am grateful for, what is challenging me, and then what I have to tackle that day. All of that being said, the best part of running my business is that some days I stay up late and sleep in til 8. Some days I go out to brunch with a friend. Owning your own business gives you so much freedom and flexibility to work in a way that suits your personality and lifestyle. It's such an incredible gift!”
Twin Cities, MN
“I block off an hour in my calendar every morning for personal time. The first thing I do is a journal called “Morning Pages”. It’s a great way to jot down my thoughts, my intentions for the day and taking in the moment versus just grabbing my phone. I try not to use my phone for at least an hour after I wake up in the morning. I think it’s so interesting that we wake up and often go on our phones immediately. If you give yourself some space, that’s when the ideas come into fruition and you can take that time and be inspired, instead of immersing yourself in someone else’s ideas and looking at other people’s content on social media.
I try to meditate after journalling, then I drink lemon water as I work on my productivity planner and map out my day or my week. I list out the top three things I need to get done for the day.
I also know that I like to take it slow on Monday mornings, so I usually book off until 11AM for personal time. I do the same thing for Friday, I accommodate my personal time after 3PM. Creating balance is so important to me.”
“Being in business for yourself isn't all cupcakes and unicorns! I think as a business owner you have to know when to push yourself, and when to stop and take time for YOU. Having kids means the day starts out with them. With my coffee and breakfast in hand, I take care of them and then focus on me. Once they are ready and out the door, I go straight to a workout. It gets me going for the day and clears my head (and also kills me, but I love it!). I have committed to doing this at least 4 days a week no matter what. Once I'm home, I review my to do list and start pumping away. Some days I'm shooting, some days editing, or others in meetings. But I know starting with a little ME timing in the morning is what I need to get the day going.”
“Over time I've developed rituals that have helped me to feel grounded in the morning. I've found that these small steps for self-care are important so I'm present and energized throughout the day. First, not checking my phone or the news immediately when I wake up; correspondence can wait. I typically do 10 minutes of meditation on the Headspace app, drink several glasses of water and lemon tea, and do a brief stretch routine along with a full breakfast. I find if I skip any of these steps, it registers as anxiety later in the workday. My goal in the morning is to retain a sense of clarity, groundedness, and awareness of what energy is mine, and what is someone else's. Reminders that I am creating my own reality.”
New York, New York
“Over the years my body has become an alarm clock, so I naturally wake up without setting one. But, the first thing I do is check the time. lol. Orange juice is something I can’t live without and it is the first liquid that I drink every day. Skin is our largest organ and so I take pride in how it looks. Clarisonic, Fresh, Lancome Visionnaire, Dermologica and of course, and Black Girl Sunscreen (moisturizing SPF) are all a part of my daily skin regimen. Then comes ‘Knox the Bully’ (that’s my Bulldog by the way). She is high-maintenance and requires at least twenty minutes in the morning. Next up, I physically stimulate my body and then eat breakfast (usually, it’s eggs and fruit). I start my work day by checking my calendar to see how my day is structured but I’ve really been working since I woke up looking on the ‘Gram and checking email with one eye open.”