Morning routines

Morning routines

By |2015-02-15T09:23:41+00:00Feb 15th, 2015|

Morning routines… rituals, really.

For me, these pre-caffeinated actions are usually executed in a fugue-like state and they unfold as something like: simulated sun light alarm begins waking me up about 30 minutes before my actual wake up time (7:30AM), disconnect phone from charger, wade through mostly junk mail that made it through Google’s spam filters, and then begin the exhausting and exhaustive process of catching up on the flotsam of social media.

I’m certain this is not a good recipe for me. I say this with such confidence because, as I get older, I am making a more concerted to get to know myself in the way of what really gets me motivated and, conversely, what deflates me. And please don’t take this as me not wanting to keep up with the happenings of my actual friends and family or ranting about any topic in particular. Rather, it’s all the other collective baggage that comes along with operating and putting yourself clearly out here in this space. There is always someone with an opinion. Someone waiting on deck to criticize someone or something else, often times built upon utterly ill-conceived or ill-informed logic. Someone who is right there, ready to tell me how I should live or build my brand or compose my photo.

And let’s not ignore that the pot is very much calling the kettle black. I’m not going to skate by without admitting that, for better or worse, I’ve been that person too. I’d like to think that I approach those instances on a more productive and well-intentioned foot than your neighborhood troll, but I’ve definitely been that guy.

But back to morning routines. I’ll admit that I’m not quite sure what will work for me. I do suspect that exposing myself to this type of stimulus as the first one of the day may have an adverse affect on how the rest of it plays out. So, I’m going to do what most any person living in our modern time would do when they’re uncertain of how to make a significant change to their lifestyle: I’m crowdsourcing! :)

I’d love to know what your morning routines are. What routines work for you and what utterly sucks? I’m genuinely curious so please share away!

Now… where is that first cuppa?

Camera: Sony a7R with the Sony FE 24-70mm f/4
Filter: Formatt Hitech ProIRND 3-stop ND Filter
Tripod: Really Right Stuff TVC-34L/BH-55
Stylization: onOne Perfect Effects & Adobe Lightroom 5.7


  1. ricklepage February 15, 2015 at 9:28 am - Reply

    It’s funny that you posted this today. Just the other day was reminded of what I need to get back to by this post on Mark’s Daily Apple:

    I used to meditate early, then work out (three days a week). It was remarkably centering, and got me away from all the electronics first thing in the day.

  2. Darren Button February 15, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Brian, like you I check social media soon after waking up, but at least I shower first! One thing I have started implementing is not checking email until an hour after I arrive at work…which sometimes, means I don’t check email until 10am or later. That means that the start of my day is not influenced by someone else….the start is mine. Now all I need to do is get this routine with social media.

    • Brian Matiash Photography February 15, 2015 at 9:36 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Darren! That’s a good distinction – email vs social. I tend to check email without hesitation because that’s the first place where any sort of business communications would occur first. Showering is typically the first thing I do when I get out of bed, though. :)

      I sort of like the tech embargo for the first hour, though.

  3. Khürt Williams February 15, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Interesting timing. I recently realized that I wanted (needed) to make some changes to my morning routine.

    Too much time reading the “news”.

  4. Sara Collaton February 15, 2015 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    I wake up around 5am. Check a few emails and instagram in bed (less than 10 minutes). Let the dog outside and do 20 minutes of pilates before showering. Then I sit down at the computer for 15 minutes before waking the Mr. Up for breakfast before I head to my office which is 10 minutes away to get there by 7:30am.

  5. Sarah Marino February 15, 2015 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Really nice image, Brian. I really like the light on the trees. I have an ineffective morning routine so I can’t add much there. I have been thinking about not reading anything except in-depth articles and blog posts from my RSS reader after waking up. At least allow myself to skip the stuff that makes me angsty until
    I’m showered and more awake to help put a more positive spin on the day.

    • Brian Matiash Photography February 15, 2015 at 6:17 pm - Reply

      I tried sticking to the RSS only, Sarah, but it would invariably suck me into some other app or page and the cycle would begin.

      My big thing is getting over the compulsion of having to know everything that’s going on… and FOMO.

  6. David Carrigan February 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    It kind of strange how people actually think anyone cares about their opinions. Called it what ever you want. But at a certain time in your life it just doesn’t matter what nay Sayers think. No matter what you might be experiencing in life. That of course is in reference to the social media folks. Even in reality, we as artist should really focus on what one or s few people think and say.

  7. Karl Black February 15, 2015 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    I wake up, check any non-work notifications in email, fb, text… If I have no fb messages I don’t come on. Then get up and make a coffee and breakfast while I continue to reply to them. Then and only then do I check work ones. That’s made me start my days much happier than when I would look at work emails first!

  8. Lisa Donchak February 15, 2015 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Work out! I almost never do sunrise photography because running sets a positive tone for my day, no matter what. I can be out the door five minutes after waking up.

  9. Al Plyler February 15, 2015 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    As an Old Retired Guy, I’ve tried and tried to break with routine. HA!! So here goes: I usually waken around 5, and slip away so my wife can have the additional hour(s) her body needs. So I quietly get the caffine going. Then I clear the overnight social media and email, then move on to websites of my choosing. I long ago gave up newspapers, as all the major news services are now online. I also read about 50 morning cartoons. As one who struggles with depression, I found many years ago that laughter really IS the BEST medicine. By sometime around 8, I really get the wheels turning, ready to charge through a day filled with all sorts of possibilities.

  10. Ilham Maulana February 15, 2015 at 11:18 pm - Reply


  11. Robert Clark February 16, 2015 at 6:26 am - Reply

    I have totally gone away from the social media catch up in the morning Brian. I start now with coffee or tea, in my rocking chair, along side the our trusty dog. I just have to eliminate the noise early in order to prepare for the day. I won’t tackle email until I am in the office and then only after a second cup of something. Then I get to email and finally to social media. I actually do all of my processing and serious postings at night.

  12. Mike Wong February 16, 2015 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Brian – for me, it’s wake up at 4:45. Go to gym and hit the treadmill and work out. Back home by 6:00 for a pot of coffee and check personal email/news.

    Throw in packing the kids’ lunch and making them breakfast and dropping them off on my way to work.

    Work stuff waits until I get to the office.

  13. Alan Coles February 16, 2015 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    lol.. firstly the image – lovely stuff. Reminds me of a falls we have this way called Sgwd Gwladus (The Lady Falls) Over the past few years social media (FB) has become my breakfast reading – so much so that sunrise shoots have become rare for me these days…I did drive just over an hour a few days ago and lacking some colour made me think was it really worth it? To be out though in the fresh air was something I should have been thankful for. Its just after 7am here in the UK and my 1st cuppa of the day is drunk and now I have to think of walking the dog. :)

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