The Morning Routines of a Distributed Company

coffee mug on a desk

Lullabot has been a distributed company since its founding in 2006. We have a team spread out over many different countries, timezones, and climates, each working out of our homes and/or co-working spaces. One commonality: we all have to get up in the morning.

Here are some of the morning routines of Lullabots.

Ezequiel Vázquez

I wake up, take a quick coffee, then go out for a run. After the run, I may be attending a Pilates class if there is one scheduled for that day. Finally, I go back home, take a shower, and eat a proper breakfast.

Favorite morning beverage: Espresso, made with freshly ground beans.

Putra Bonaccorsi

I typically start my morning with a nice cup of coffee, and if the weather is nice, I'll take a stroll through my backyard garden to get fresh air and enjoying the different blooms. (It should be noted that Putra's backyard garden is a miniature paradise, and you can see pictures of it on her Instagram.)

Favorite morning beverage: Coffee for the win!

Sally Young

I wake up at 7:30 am for coffee + breakfast and then do a long exercise session. If I need a rest day, I'll do house chores.

Favorite morning beverage: A flat white made with Lavazza espresso beans and whole milk.

Jerad Bitner

Wake up, thank God, go downstairs, make coffee for my mother-in-law and myself, then turn on the heat in the office. Check email and respond to anything high priority, then check slack and respond to anything high priority.

Daily devotions and prayer. Hug and kiss the family and say "good morning" to them, then sit at my computer and start working.

Favorite morning beverage: One cup of coffee, then switch to English Breakfast, Chai, or Earl Grey tea.

Kat Shaw

I push the snooze button once or twice, roll out of bed and make sure that Maya is up, take a super-hot shower, drive Maya to school, get something healthy to eat, walk my 14 step commute upstairs, brew my yummy coffee, eat while checking emails, and get to work. It's like Groundhog Day, but I like it that way.

Favorite morning beverage: Two mugs of fresh-brewed black mocha coffee.

Tearyne Almendariz

Wake up at 7:30 am. I take out doggos once they realize I am conscious (which is usually around 8:00 am.) On Mondays, I go to the local supermercado and get pan dulces to have for the team call. Around 8:30 am, it's time to check-in with the Support and Maintenance team. Next is breakfast, coffee, and catching up with my partner while reading emails and listening to the local news.

Favorite morning beverage: Venti Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice with coconut milk and 2 pumps of the classic syrup. I need caffeine to focus my attention in one place, and that usually does the trick on days where I have galaxy brain!

Grep Dunlap

My morning routine is very strict. I wake up early, shower, make some beverage (which has been in flux of late,) wake up Nicole, do some chores around the house, make breakfast, then get out of the way while Nicole gets ready from work. I even do this all mostly on weekends. This routine in the morning is really central to me getting into the day with the right mindset.

Favorite morning beverage: After being a lifetime coffee drinker, I recently cut it out of my diet and haven't really settled on a new favorite yet.

Sean Lange

I roll out of bed, move toward the coffee pot and start coffee (a full pot just for me), start email and triage while awaiting the final gurgle of the coffee pot to signal its completion. Get coffee, start slack, appreciate that I am still in my pajamas.

Favorite morning beverage: Coffee (Starbucks French Roast); Sugar-Free Italian Creamer (Coffee-Mate); served on one of my very large Marvel coffee mugs.

David Burns

I wake up between 5 - 6 am and use my iPad to check my RSS feed and emails while still in bed. I don't usually reply to any emails because typing with tablets is not efficient, even with an iPad keyboard case. Then I go into my office anywhere between 7 am and 9 am and launch all the apps I use for work using Alfred Workflow.

  • iTerm
  • Chrome
  • Airmail
  • Calendar
  • PHPStorm.

I think about which support projects need the most attention and try to schedule my day around those based upon how much time I have between meetings. I get coffee and breakfast if I'm feeling hungry. If I know I don't have meetings early in the day and nothing super urgent, I'll take a shower.

Favorite morning beverage: Maxwell House French Roast Coffee brewed by the cup in Ninja Coffee Brewer Bar.

Monica S. Flores

The routine definitely changes with the season. Now that it's autumn, it's bright outside when I wake up. Typically the cat, one of the children, or the alarm will rouse me. While in bed, I read the daily highlights from my Bible app. I've also recently started following Chris Albrecht's recommendation to collect thoughts in a "five-minute journal," which includes three bullets about what I'm grateful for, as well as what would make the day great.

If the weather is good, I'll go for a quick walk around the block, and when I return, I typically like to make a big breakfast, as it's usually my largest meal of the day. It's not unusual for me to have greens, soup, casserole, noodles, rice, or something else leftover from dinner the night before. Or I'll have eggs and a bagel or English muffins.

Then I help get the kids are ready for their school (whatever that looks like), then head down to my home office to start the workday.

Favorite morning beverage: I split between tea and coffee depending on how groggy I'm feeling. If tea, I drink English Breakfast or Earl Grey with a teaspoon of honey. If it's coffee, my husband home roasts and grinds coffee beans that we get green in 1-lb bags from SweetMarias.com. I have this coffee with organic half-and-half and a lump of sugar.

Darren Petersen

I sit down and look at my list for the week, reprioritize, and pick the one thing I want to be sure and do so I can spend time on it first thing in the day.

School and family morning routines definitely play into how my day starts - it's different from summer to fall and from year to year... it needs to stay flexible when people get up and go at different times, or when they don't go anywhere at all.

Favorite morning beverage: One cup fresh-ground coffee: Red Brick Roasting Rocket Java (Dark roast, whole bean coffee available at Winco Foods) brewed via Aeropress, using two paper filters. We taste-tested on the advice of a local coffee roaster, and using two filters was noticeably different in terms of quality.

Eduardo Telaya

I do exercises and some stretching for 40 minutes. Then I have breakfast and watch a motivational video (normally a YouTube video from Carlos Muñoz.)

Favorite morning beverage: Orange juice.

Kris Konrady

Eat breakfast, journal, and read the news over two cups of coffee. If I'm good, this is followed by 20-30 minutes on my treadmill before working. The only thing that might change depending on the season is whether coffee/news reading takes place in my backyard or not.

Favorite morning beverage: Peet's Big Bang coffee (though I'm on the hunt for a local roaster who makes a similar flavor) made with the Aeropress and a splash of unsweetened almond milk.

Kayla AhoWalsh

With a new baby, this is sort of all over the place. My ideal morning is getting to relax in bed a bit, making breakfast, and enjoying some TV whilst eating said breakfast. I then try to get something productive house-wise done, catch up on slack and emails, plan out what I need to get done that day, and then deal with my daughter waking up. Kaleia is always SOOOO happy and giggly in the morning, it's such a great moment, but I really want to get situated for the day first.

Favorite morning beverage: Not very exciting, but water from my faucet... or orange juice with no pulp!

Andrew Berry

The kid's alarm clock goes off. I get them sorted out, pull an espresso, and then do a bit of work until breakfast. I've been trying to be more active given various COVID restrictions, so I've been deep into Ring Fit Adventure as an exercise routine. After cleaning up from that, it's work for the rest of the day.

Favorite morning beverage: Espresso! 18g coffee to 36g out. I order my beans from Detour Coffee, and they go through seasonal rotations of single-origin beans. I grind with a Baratza Vario and brew with a QuickMill Vetrano. My wife refers to it as "the spaceship."

Angus Mak

Make coffee, catch up on notifications and news, then enjoy said coffee.

Favorite morning beverage: Kicking Horse Kick Ass coffee beans, freshly ground and brewed with a French Press.

Jen Witkowski

Wake up and do a half-hour of yoga, a morning run, or light stretching depending on the weather and how I'm feeling.

If I do yoga, I usually include meditation and gratitude reflection after practice. I shower, walk Oreo (my dog), eat breakfast (usually oatmeal, but I just made this oatmeal bake with blueberries. It's so yummy! It might be part of my new routine). then I make a cup of coffee or tea and start work.

Favorite morning beverage: I LOVE coffee, but I need to be careful about how much I drink. So usually, on the weekdays, I make myself a cup of tea (The Republic of Tea British Breakfast or Earl Greyer), and on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, I make coffee with a Chemex pour over with fresh ground beans. Usually, the coffee is from a local roaster in Buffalo (The Bean Bastard) or a place in Durham, NC called Counter Culture Coffee. I use just a little bit of cream or drink it black.

Juampy NR

I usually wake up at 8 or 8:30 am.

I like to prepare and take a slow breakfast, which usually is composed of turkey, fresh goat cheese, and some membrillo(a piece of fruit). To drink: coffee with milk. While I eat for 15 to 20 minutes, I read a book, then I sit on my workspace and skim through eldiario.es, nbcnews.com, bbc.com, and aljazeera.com. Next, I skim through social networks for 5 to 15 mins (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Wallapop, and LinkedIn). Finally, I start to work by checking email and catching up on Slack channels. I stop at 1 pm for lunch.

Favorite morning beverage: 50% Colombia coffee from Día supermarket (the white label is called Delicious) brewed with an Italian coffee pot. The other 50% is lactose-free semi-skimmed milk from Día too.

Nate Lampton

I usually don't have a lot of time before needing to be at work. I usually wake 30 minutes before my first meeting, which only gives me time to get dressed, walk the dog, make my morning tea, and do a few minutes of prep before the first call of the day.

Favorite morning beverage: Rishi Masala Chai brewed as a black tea, with water, kettle, and teapot. I add a splash of half-and-half and a teaspoon of honey.

Matthew Tift

Meditation > yoga > coffee > study a foreign language (currently Spanish) > RSS feeds. Same routine and same order all year.

Favorite morning beverage: Black coffee, freshly ground beans, pour-over, made at home.

Chris Albrecht

My morning routine's underlying theme is to own my time, start the day on my terms, and set a plan for the day. I'm not perfect at it, but I can detect a markable difference when I don't get these things done. It may be worth noting that I am definitely not a morning person. As much as I love a good sunrise and the feeling of getting things done early, I have been unsuccessful in numerous attempts to change my circadian clock.

1. I try to get out of bed with enough time to accomplish the following before getting on the computer:

  • Stretch.
  • Feed the cats.
  • Manually grind my coffee (This is important. This is a very ritualistic part of my routine and forces me to physically accomplish something, no matter how tired I am.)
  • Make my coffee.
  • Write in my 5-Minute Journal.
  • Plan the personal tasks I want to accomplish, including minor chores or activities I can do as work-breaks, such as emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry. This goes on my whiteboard or in my to-do list.

2. After logging onto the computer, but before getting on Slack:

  • Check email and log any that need my attention as tasks to complete today. I don't reply immediately unless it's a super-simple reply. I clean out my inbox and create todos out of them to be prioritized.
  • Open Slack and check notifications, flagging any that require my follow up. Inevitably there will be several red dots urgently grabbing my attention. Again, I try not to respond to them immediately but use Slack's flagging tool to note and prioritize them. The goal is to have all of this out of the way before my first meeting. Otherwise, the constant feeling of demand on my attention will throw me into a frantic and frustrated frame of mind.

 Favorite morning beverage: Coffee. Whole bean from a local roaster, usually a medium roast with some hint of chocolate and fruit flavor. My backup is dark-roast cold-brew, same flavors.

Overall Beverage Preference

Coffee or espresso is the clear drink of choice for most, but tea made a respectable showing. Orange juice comes next, barely taking third place from "tap water."

What are your morning beverage recommendations? What morning habits have you found helpful?

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Matt Robison

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Matt has been working with Drupal since 2008. He loves spending his time reading, writing, playing with his three kids, and eating lots of ice cream.