May 18, 2022

I thought I’d share my current AM routine for posterity, since it’s been working well lately!

Current AM routine:

4:45-5:00 – up. Yes, it’s early. I go to bed between 9-9:30 most weeknights (and admittedly some weekend nights, too). It’s a tradeoff!

5:00-5:20 – read. Morning = nonfiction reading time, as opposed to other times when I usually read novels. Just started Tranquility By Tuesday (not out yet but Laura sent me a “first pass pdf” version!). Already enjoying it!

5:205:35 – Headspace 10 min meditation (whatever the meditation of the day is). Sometimes I’m really distracted. Other times not. Either way, it feels helpful.

5:35-5:45 – Make plan for the day (referencing weekly planner + writing in my daily – currently Hemlock & Oak and Full Focus – affiliate links; use code BLP on H&O or code SARAH10 on the FFP for 10% off). Yes, I really do this every day including setting my 3 priorities for the day. I also take a moment to look at my monthly goals & fill out the habit tracker in my PowerSheets (non-affiliate link).

5:45-6:00 (or often 6:10) – Blog post! And sometimes wordle, haha. Any score of 3 or lower means an auspicious start to the day (not really . . . but sort of)

6:00-6:40 – Workout. Lately I am in a groove of:

M – leg day

T – easier run (b/c legs are tired!)

W – upper body

R – tempo or interval run

F – full body

S – yoga or barre (recovery)

S longer run (not that long – trying to build up to an hour, last weekend was 50 min!)

6:40-7:00 – Shower & get ready while Josh gets kids up

7:00-7:35 – Help kids eat, get them dressed, eat my own breakfast, brush G’s teeth, etc

7:35 – OUT!! I usually drive Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Fridays; our nanny drives Mondays (I have an early mtg that day) and Josh drives Thursdays.

FFP / H&O / PowerSheets / cornucopia of pens

Are there variations? OF COURSE! I’m not a robot. Sometimes there are days with different structure, so I might write a blog post later or take more time with it (like yesterday!). But this is the basic framework. And it works really well in this season.


  • Reply Grateful Kae May 18, 2022 at 7:59 am

    I remain in awe of your 20 minute shower/ get ready period. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Sorry, I probably comment on this every time you post your a.m. routine- it just really impresses me!!!) You must have more natural beauty than I do. ๐Ÿคฃ Because it definitely seems to take me more than 20 minutes to be fully “presentable”. hahaha!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2022 at 8:20 am

      Nope I probably just look worse ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

  • Reply Elisabeth May 18, 2022 at 8:04 am

    These posts always reaffirm I am not an early-morning person.
    My ideal wake-time is 6:30, lounging in bed until 7:30. I’ve tried so many times over the years to wake up earlier (and am often asleep by 10:30). I don’t particularly enjoy sleeping in late (and can’t really do it, either…I just naturally wake by 7:00 at the latest most days), but I hate “jumping” right into a day. I really need to ease myself into my routine.
    But, I think it’s so wonderful for those that can get up early and tackle so many things efficiently (workout, shower, blogging, reading etc) BEFORE most of the rest of the world is up. It’s a true advantage, I think, for how our society is ordered.

    • Reply omdg May 18, 2022 at 3:32 pm

      I am the same. My profession really wants me to be at work by 6:30, but it has always been really hard for me to get up at 5:30 (or earlier) even if I go to be super early — and who really wants to go to bed at 8 anyway? But I do so so so much better going to bed by 11 and getting up at 7:30. Maybe someday…

  • Reply Amanda May 18, 2022 at 9:18 am

    Yay for being an early riser and maxing out those pre-dawn minutes. You are far from the only one who is up at 5am by choice every day. I’m right there with you — as are a handful of others in my neighborhood who walk/run/bike just like I am in the mornings. ๐Ÿ™‚ I could go on and on, but I know you get it.

  • Reply Shelly May 18, 2022 at 9:25 am

    I love this kind of a post! I never used to be a “morning” person. Having my youngest wake up at 5 am for a looong time when she was a baby/toddler has shifted my body clock! The unpredictability of kid wake up times and work schedule shifts each semester have meant that it was hard to have a routine. Now the kids are old enough that even if they wake up they are doing their own thing in the morning. I am working on my routines. Our house is too small and my body needs time before I exercise. Morning exercise just doesn’t work for me.
    I have started to meditate for 10 minutes and intend to do some planner and journalling. The thing that trips me up the most? My computer or phone. Thinking I will just check email or read a blog and then half an hour later… So I’m needing to contain that! When do you read blogs and respond?

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns May 18, 2022 at 9:33 am

    I’m amazed at how early you start the day. I so wish that was appealing/felt doable for me as it would be easier to fit in workouts if I was more of a morning person. One of our kids is waking around 5-5:15, and then he usually wakes the other kids so mornings start early in our house but not by choice. Ideally we’d all wake up around 6:15. I don’t know how to get the baby to sleep later again, though! Maybe when he moves up to the toddler room in a couple of weeks he’ll be extra exhausted and sleep better? That is my hope.

    My morning routine is pretty non-existent since I’m dealing with kids if I get up with them. I can usually do a wordle and get started on the NYT Spelling Bee (my new obsession!). I eat the same thing every day – oatmeal with a sliced banana. If I am healthy and WFH that day, I usually do a workout or go for a run after the kids leave and then get settled into work. Those are my favorite days because I love getting my workout in before starting the day. But that doesn’t happen when I am in the office. Those days I need to be in the shower at 5:45 so I can be out the door with my husband and kids at 6:50.

  • Reply Mary May 18, 2022 at 9:48 am

    This is just a thought looking at your am routine and bedtime and thinking back to a previous post about kids and bedtime, but maybe your bedtime with kids is extra difficult because it is at the end of your day as well. I usually put my kids to bed 8-8h30 and my bedtime is more 10:30sh. So I still have a lot of energy when I am doing their bedtime. I would have no energy for a nice bedtime if it was so close to when I was also going to bed.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2022 at 10:51 am

      I am sure it plays a role! Thankfully bedtime has been a bit better recently (I succumbed to reading kindle books in the kidsโ€™ beds).

  • Reply lawandcreative May 18, 2022 at 1:11 pm

    I am here for morning routine posts all day long! I really want to get back into a good morning routine, right now I’m adjusting to new migraine medication and it knocks me out. I probably need to experiment with taking it earlier in the evening; as it is, I tend to remember at bedtime and left unchecked, would sleep in until 10am each day which is unheard of for me normally! [Also, not a regular option anyway because of daughter, school, life, etc]

  • Reply Noemi May 18, 2022 at 1:16 pm

    Love seeing this written out. Iโ€™m so impressed by all you get done in the mornings. Inspiring! It must be nice to have so much of what you want to get done early, before you start dealing with everyone/thing else! Way less opportunity for priorities to be waylaid.

  • Reply Erika May 18, 2022 at 2:50 pm

    This is actually so helpful as I’m thinking about next school year when all my kids are in school and I’m (grudgingly) signing up for ~4 solo mornings per week getting all 3 kids out of the house by 7:30. What time do you get to work on a normal day??

    Separately, maybe as a BOBW question sometime, but would love to hear how people have shifted their nanny hours as the kids get older. This is my first time in ~8 years not having a child < 3 and it's a whole new world of afternoon/evening activities and I don't even know where to begin!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2022 at 3:17 pm

      I get to work at 8:30. The kidsโ€™ school is on the way to my office so it works out! On Mondays I leave at 7:15.

      Quite honestly this is a really tough question. My answer is keep a full time nanny IF thatโ€™s affordable to you but have some days start and end later. That is what we are planning on!

  • Reply Maria May 18, 2022 at 4:16 pm

    I mean this in a kind, inquisitive, non-judgmental way: can you break down the 20 minutes of your shower/get ready?

    How long is your shower? Do you wash/dry your hair? Makeup/no makeup? Clothes process? (I’m probably missing things…) It’s really neat to me and I would love to see if I can borrow elements.

    I take probably an hour getting ready, shower to shoes. I dabble and listen to podcasts and prefer the “leisure” of it all, but love seeing the minute details from others.

    Thanks, Sarah!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2022 at 4:40 pm

      Yes! 8 minutes in the shower (while up first plays 1.5 speed – if it’s ending it’s my cue to get out). Wash hair. shave in two seconds if necessary.
      Dry off, brush teeth, and minimal makeup in about 6-7 minutes. I put on some kind of moisture serum, then tinted sunscreen CC cream, eye shadow, and mascara- that’s it. (Mask ==> no lipstick needed)
      I do NOTHING to my hair literally brush it wet for 15 seconds. This only results in reasonable hair because I do Japanese Straightening (have since 2007).
      Get dressed (wear same boring things) = 5 minutes
      == Usually under 20 total!

      • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger May 18, 2022 at 4:41 pm

        PS: I think my secret weapon is the 15 second hair AND very boring clothing. I wish my clothes were more fun honestly but I am actually reasonably happy with my 15 second hair!

        • Reply Maria May 18, 2022 at 5:02 pm

          Thanks, Sarah! This was a delight to read and understand the minute details. I think I add time in shower and hair, in particular. I have super fine and thin, oily hair, and if I don’t blow-dry/style it each day I look like a drowned rat of sorts. I DREAM of 15-second hair.

  • Reply coco May 18, 2022 at 4:43 pm

    I was just about to write my post about my new morning schedule. I’m not that productive as you ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Sarah K May 20, 2022 at 7:01 am

    My morning routine is largely scrolling on my phone and delaying getting up … this was inspirational. I am never going to be a morning exercise person but I find it fascinating to read about other women’s routines.

  • Reply shalini June 24, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    7:00-7:35 โ€“ Help kids eat, get them dressed, eat my own breakfast, brush Gโ€™s teeth, etc
    Does this usually fit within an half an hour slot, i feel like i have only one child and this process still takes me about an hour. What do you usually do for breakfast? Do the kids shower the previous night?

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 24, 2022 at 3:49 pm

      yep, bath is night. They eat fast! Cereal or a waffle etc.

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