Ada Polla

I get up at 5 am and this is what happens…

A couple of weeks ago, my sister Rachel paid me the best compliment in the form of a question. She asked me how I did it all. How did I manage the work load, the stress load, of running a beauty brand, how did I manage to still look good and act coherent with short nights and sometimes up to 5 flights per week. Did I have any tips or secrets to share with her?

Her questions made me pause, and reflect. Did I have any strategies to share? And I do. This is the first of a few posts to share my morning and evening routines, and a couple secrets, which keep me sane.

My morning routines depend on the type of morning I am having, which fall into four “types.”

  • Mornings when I wake up at home in DC with no travel plans.
  • Mornings when I wake up on the road somewhere.
  • Mornings when I have early flights (7 am or earlier, which happens more often than it should).
  • Weekend mornings.

All mornings share a few things in common:

  • A regular wakeup at 5 am (except if I have a 6 am flight or it is a weekend). And yes, my iphone is my alarm.
  • A tall glass of water with Super Orange Emergen-C. People are fascinated that I fly up to 150,000 miles per year and am not sick more often. I credit this morning ritual.
  • Inspiration from three sources: Danielle LaPorte Truthbombs. Harvard Business Review Management Tips of the Day. And a Milepost quote on running.

Mornings when I wake up at home or on the road without an early morning flight, I exercise. SoulCycle or a run in DC. Hopefully a swim while on the road (even budget-friendly hotels often have swimming pools). Part of what helps me keep it all together is a regular exercise routine, with a minimum of 3 workouts per week.

Mornings when I have a flight at 7 am or earlier are my fastest, most minimalist, mornings. I have learned to get ready in 20 minutes tops: no exercise, no breakfast except for a power bar on the way to the airport, no coffee until I get to the airport (gives me something to look forward to). Those mornings require extra red lipstick.

Weekend mornings are precious treasures. I catch up on sleep during the weekends, and try to have at least one 10-hour night per weekend. The most luxurious morning weekend involves waking up next to my husband around 8 am after a long night. Those mornings include a long run and brunch, catching up on my reading, and on my day-dreaming.

4 thoughts on “I get up at 5 am and this is what happens…

Leave a Reply