It was easy to have a routine when I worked for somebody else. My employer told me where I had to be and what I had to do. If I needed to get something done before work, time was a constraint. Now, as a self-employed worker, I need to tell myself what to do and when to do it. And time is less of a constraint. But, I am motivated to make my business successful, so I’ve tried to create a morning routine similar to the one I had when I worked in an office. I’m still productive, but there’s a little more leisure in my pace.

Once my coffee is ready, I start with reading the news. I feel like it’s important to know what is going on in the world. I also like to share articles: I send my husband articles about money, retirement and technology. I send my mom and friend, Kelly, articles about new books we should be reading. Mostly, I send articles about flowers, the environment and nature to my team and members of the LoCoFlo book club. I send these by email or Instagram message because not everyone wants to get a text from me at 5:30am (I’m a naturally early riser). I also do the daily Wordle (my starting word is always “adult”) and the mini-crossword. I am always excited when there is a flower reference in either of these games.

Next, I check my Instagram and post whatever I’m going to post that day. This could take a few minutes or a lot of minutes. I still don’t (yet) use a content calendar, so most mornings I’m faced with the question: “what to post?” I have my main LoCoFlo IG to post on. I also make exclusive posts for my IG subscribers. And finally, I manage an IG page called Florists Buying Local. I try to think of IG as a tool to connect with my customers, provide good content to my followers and make some occasional promotion of my business.

Once I’m done posting and commenting (I try not to get sucked into reels or the explore page because that could wipe out my whole morning.), I do some journaling here on the VF and some other reading. If I don’t prioritize reading in the morning, the day gets away from me and I don’t always fit it in. I spend some time reading the book club book, some fiction or something educational for my business.

Once I’m done reading, I’m at a crossroads. I can get up and exercise, I can work on digital products (I’ll be marketing these to you someday), or I can dig into emails and boring administrative work. I know that if I exercise and blog early, these activities won’t be hanging over me all day. I have to do them, it’s just a matter of when to fit them in. Email and admin tasks often win out. They have to get done, and I hate leaving them until the evening after going to the shop. One of my New Year’s goals is to prioritize exercise and blogging. There is no reason not to do them first. I have time, I just sometimes don’t have the will.

Any advice for my morning routine? Tell me in the comments.

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  1. Ellen! I love this. In sales we called this concept “eating the frog”. You have to swallow the frog first. Get it off your plate and it won’t be staring you down all morning looking at you. And, of course we realize the frog is not actually that hard to swallow once we were in the middle of tackling it. We know how to handle the bigger problems. We know exercise is good for us. We know we’ll get into a rhythm once we start the blog. It’s just a matter of eating that frog first. Maybe because you have two frogs, you have to prioritize, which one is worse and do that one first. Lol. You are the greatest.

    1. YES! I also heard it recently told by Jenna Kutcher on the Goal Digger Podcast as filling a jar with rocks, sand and water. Rocks first or they’ll never fit after the sand and water are in. But if you put the rocks in first, the sand and water can fill in. I’m definitely continuing to tweak my morning routine to get all the big frogs/rocks/tasks done early!

  2. I started using the app “Habit” this year and it’s really helped me double down on commitments to certain morning routine aspects because I want the satisfaction of checking it off in the app and I like seeing my streak grow – gamification is very motivating for me!

    1. I’ll definitely check it out. I’ve never met a checklist I didn’t love!

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