It’s been just over a half a year since I left my job at Google to focus on What The Fab full time (you can read about that decision here), and these last six months have gone by so fast! When I used to work at an office, I had no morning routine. Like, none. I was interviewed for a podcast a couple years ago and one of the questions they sent ahead of the interview was, “What does your morning routine consist of?” I actually asked them if we could skip that question, because my morning routine was non-existent. It was just get ready, and try not to show up to the office so late that it raised eyebrows.
Now that I work from home and for myself, having a morning routine has become so important for me, and it helps me start my day off right. I think a lot of people think that since I work from home, that means I sleep in late (anyone who knows me knows I am not a morning person!) and I work from my bed in my pajamas. But that’s not how it goes down at all! So today I’m sharing my actual morning routine.
7:30am – My *hidden* alarm goes off. As I mentioned, I’m not a morning person. It’s hard for me to wake up and I’m always very groggy during the first 20 minutes or so. And I am a perpetual snooze button hitter, which can sometimes lead to me straight up falling back asleep and waking up an hour later than I intended. ?
I’ve tried a lot of things in an attempt to make myself get up on time. I’ve tried an alarm clock that emits light over the course of a half hour before your alarm, I’ve tried apps that will wake you up when you are in your lightest REM period, and I’ve tried using a Jawbone for a vibrating alarm. Nothing worked.
When I started working for myself, I really wanted to find a way to get my ass out of bed on time. Because everyone feels like time is money, but time REALLY feels like money when you work for yourself. So I came up with an idea. Every night before we go to sleep, I set my alarm on my phone, and I give my phone to Omied. He then hides it somewhere in our bedroom.
In the morning, my alarm goes off, and I have no idea where it is. I have to wake up, get out of bed, and follow the sound to find it. The act of having to physically get out of bed and focus on finding my phone wakes me up enough so that I don’t fall back asleep. Hooray!
(BTW Omied TOTALLY makes fun of me sometimes when he’s ready to leave for the office and I’m searching for my phone in the dark. He’ll say in a fake groggy voice, “Ooohhh where’s my phone??” ?)
7:35am – Get ready. My getting ready routine in the AM is so simple now that I don’t work at an office. I wear zero makeup unless it’s a photo shoot day or I have an event (for the record, yes, I’m wearing makeup in these pics. It was a shoot day for multiple campaigns!), so I just brush my teeth and splash cold water on my face. I used to wash my face with a cleanser in the mornings, but my skin has been really dry lately, and I heard one of my fav bloggers Chriselle Lim (whose skin is amazing, btw) say in a podcast interview that she just uses cold water on her face in the mornings because she doesn’t want to strip her skin of any natural oils. I’ve started doing this too and it’s brilliant. I thought my skin might break out but it hasn’t, and it is definitely more hydrated.
The last thing I do when getting ready in the bathroom is put in my contacts. I’ve been loving a new contact lens company that is shaking up the contacts industry, called Aveo. Their contacts are daily contacts, which are frankly the most sanitary as I’ve learned that reusable lenses can cause eye infections.
For those of us concerned with sustainability, at first it might sound like disposable contacts use more product packaging. But in actuality, reusable lenses require nightly solutions, and those solution bottles equate to about 2.5 years of disposable contacts. I also appreciate that Aveo makes their own contacts and control their sustainability efforts, using 20 times less water.
Aveo’s Hello Daily Contacts are much more affordable than alternatives like Acuvue or 1-800-Contacts, and it’s so nice to have a subscription so you automatically get your new box of contacts every month, so you don’t even have to think about it!
Aveo has a couple different products: Aveo Hello (regular contacts) and Aveo Joy (contacts for astigmatism). Be sure to use the promo code ELISE40 for a FREE one month trial + 40% off the next month (expires 12/31/19). You can also check out other Aveo customer reviews here.
I love that Aveo is based in SF and direct-to-consumer (it’s always better to cut out the middle man!), and that it’s founded by boss lady Cecile Thai. Her story about why she founded Aveo really resonated with me—she found herself needing expensive, hard to get lenses, which led to her overwearing her reusable contacts to the point where she developed severe corneal hypoxia that ended up threatening her vision and having to undergo refractive surgery. Scary stuff. But this led to her feeling like there had to be a better solution, and ignited her fire and passion for creating Aveo.
The reason Cecile’s story struck a chord with me is a few years ago, my mom suffered from a retinal tear, which also threatened her vision. Your eyes and your vision are something that you can very easily take for granted, but the moment things start to go wrong, it’s really, really scary. My mom almost lost her vision in her left eye, but an emergency surgery caught things just in time. After that experience, our whole family is really cautious about how we treat our eyes—taking care of them is so important!
7:50am – Journal and coffee. You guys, I never thought I would be a journaler. I just thought it sounded really useless and like a total waste of time, even though it’s always something that’s mentioned as a great tool for self reflection and growth.
When I left Google and was faced with thinking about how I wanted to start my days, I decided to give journaling a try. Mostly I felt like I needed a way to track my goals, time, and intention for the day since I was the only one holding myself accountable now.
Turns out, I love journaling! Some days I only write a paragraph, and others a couple pages-worth of writing will spill out of me. I also make sure to write down three things that I appreciate every morning, which helps me start the day with a grateful heart.
During this time, I’ll also write down my to-do’s for the day and note what is a priority and what would be nice to get done, but can be pushed to later in the week if needed. I recently bought gelly pens (omg remember gelly pens??) and it’s been making my daily to-do list much more fun (and sparkly).
8:05am – Meditate. Next, I do a 10 minute meditation session. I love the Headspace app for meditation, and I’ve been using it for years. It’s crazy how you can have such a physical reaction to just a ten minute session, and I notice my heart rate is slower and I feel more confident and ready to take on the day after meditating.
8:15am – Dive into emails. By now I’m ready to fire up my laptop, and the first thing I do is tackle my emails. I do my best to only spend one hour on emails in the morning before moving on to other things like content creation and writing. I just can’t focus on the creative aspects of my job until I’ve cleared out as much of my inbox as possible in the AM!
That’s my morning routine! I’d love to hear from you guys if you have a morning routine and what it consists of.
Thank you to Aveo for sponsoring this post!
Elise Armitage is an entrepreneur and founder of What The Fab, a travel + lifestyle blog based in California. At the beginning of 2019, Elise left her corporate job at Google to chase her dreams: being an entrepreneur and helping women find fabulous in the everyday. Since then, she’s launched her SEO course Six-Figure SEO, where she teaches bloggers how to create a passive revenue stream from their website using SEO. Featured in publications like Forbes, Elle, HerMoney, and Real Simple, Elise is a firm believer that you can be of both substance and style.