My Morning Routine: The What and the Why

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What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg wakes up at 8am and first checks his phone and Facebook (go figure); Richard Branson rises at 5am and first gets in a workout, saying “I have learned that if I rise early I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life”; Bill Gates hits the treadmill first thing; Bezos does the same and reads his morning paper.

Reading about how all these successful people frame their mornings, I thought I’d scribble down my own routine. I mean – I’m not a billionaire (lol), but I like to believe I am quite intentional with what I do to start the day… as often as I can be.

1. 5.45 – 06.00 wake

I wake up around 06.00 to get ready for and head to the gym. Although before getting out of bed – I first check my phone and social media more specifically for notifications overnight. I very much used to be an evening/post-work gymer, but I decided to switch things up because I started to find this year that my evenings would often not go to plan, and late nights would mean that I missed a planned session. Essentially, by going to the gym in the morning I took back control of my own time. Aside from that, what I love about an early morning gym session is that it gets me truly set for the day. Plus – once it’s out of the way, it’s out of the way, and the “I need to go to the gym today” feeling doesn’t hang over my head all day. Also – it means that once work’s done I only have to worry about one major thing… and that’s eating.

Around 06.45 – 07.45: Workout

Before I leave my house I also chug down a glass of water – this is just because I genuinely find it hard to drink sufficient water throughout the day, so at least by doing this I’m getting 250ml out of the way before 7am. I then either walk 20 minutes to the gym or take public transport, these days it’s more the latter as it’s so dark in the mornings and hence quieter than during the summer. At the moment I am doing a 16 week weight training programme (I’m currently on week 7), it’s a glute focused guide but targets the entire body with upper body, cardio & ab workouts. Once winter hit and it got cold outside I started finding it hard to get motivated to get up in the morning and work out, but I found that starting a new challenge (i.e. this guide), popped some motivation back into me again. The gym is definitely great headspace for me, it’s also a good feeling when you set goals and are able to achieve them – be it a new personal best re: your strength, a faster run, or a slice lower fat percentage. Input almost uniformly equals output when it comes to health & fitness.

Work starts: 08:20 – 08:30

After the gym, I get ready for work at my office (5 minute walk from my gym) as they have some pretty nice changing rooms / showers (much better than the PureGym alternative…) Once I finish getting ready and hit the desk, some time around 08:20/08:30 depending on the day, I log-in and glance over Bloomberg and my e-mails for (i) any major overnight news; (ii) any very important e-mails and (iii) in the case of my job, any new deals on the screens (that we might have missed, more specifically, or that may just be interesting to our clients). I could bore you with my job – but in a nutshell I work in Investment Banking and help clients raise money through issuing debt to various investors. Provided all is well once I’ve checked off the three points above (it usually is), I then head to the canteen to grab some breakfast. On Mondays I eat an egg white omelette with onions and bacon, for rest of the week I have toast, chicken sausages and poached eggs. My favourite thing about my work is… breakfast and lunchtime. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like to eat, if you haven’t realised.

After breakfast, I either (i) clear out my e-mail inbox, and then write my to-do list for the deal; (ii) clear out my e-mail inbox, and start off on my to-do list that I wrote the prior day or (iii) jump headfirst into work… maybe even whilst I’m eating breakfast. (i) – (iii) pretty much escalate in terms of how busy I am – I just try to be as productive and efficient as possible because I don’t like to spend all evening in the office. As much as I am happy to stay when duty calls – I am not here for super late nights in the office (in my line of work, a late “ish” night becomes anything post 20:00, but a genuinely late night I’d call 22:00+, on a standard day I leave the office between 19:00 and 20:00). The reason being is that as big as a factor in my life work is – there are also many other things I have on my mind – be it this blog, Skylish & Skylish Fit, side hustles… I need time in the evening to ever even picture developing myself and my passions in ways away from work, hence why I always try to be sensible with my time in the office.

Boom – there you go. A pretty structured morning routine. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m quite a structured gal. I write to do lists, I set timelines, goals & resolutions and I make plans… that I don’t always follow. As structured as the above sounds – I sleep in at the weekends, laze around, turn up and give my body the rest and fun it deserves… it’s all about balance. I’m writing this disclaimer as I was talking to someone recently about the above and they responded “my only resolution/goal is the drink more wine” – but the two can co-exist. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you know me you know I love to have a good time, but I also like to try my best to be my best and for me that’s through structure and occasional goal-setting. You just have to do what works for you.

What is your morning routine like?
Oct 30 2019 at 9:35 pm   ·   Leave a Comment   ·   Posted Under Lifestyle


No bullsh*t, practical work tips

Please check out SKYLISH.CO.UK for the new look. You are currently reading this blog via Bloglovin’ or on my old interface as the new website is integrated to Bloglovin’ (I know I’ve said this for a while – but I will get it sorted!)

work, tips, working world, corporate world, advice, lifestyle, lbloggers, lifestyle blogger, motivation, tips, advice

Work, work, work. I can’t believe I’ve been in full time work for 3 years now! That’s basically the entirety of my university experience which was definitely… different. What I can say is that work is harder than uni. Not necessarily in terms of what you’re doing (I mean, I cried once thinking there was no way I’d be able to pass an exam), but work is more difficult for all the bits in between. The early starts, the unpredictable finishes, the new-joiner-hurdles, the deadlines, the really learning how to work in the team, lots of reflecting, lots of reviews – the real epitome of “hard work”. University is different, you do your thing and that determines whether you sink or swim. You don’t have to do anything aside from take you exams and if that goes to sh*t, well you only have yourself to blame.

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In university, I learned a lot about the type of person I wanted to be. I became more reflective, gained a lot of confidence, learned loads of lessons and had loads of fun. Since I’ve been working, I think I’ve more so learned how to put into practice the type of person I want to be. Working has made me super organised (I have to be if I want to productively do anything else outside of work), it’s taught me a few more realities of the world, it’s made me harder working and I’ve learned a lot of skills that I honestly think are not only useful in the office, but outside too. How to be successful in an office environment is often not too dissimilar to how to be successful in many aspects of your day to do day life.

work, tips, working world, corporate world, advice, lifestyle, lbloggers, lifestyle blogger, motivation, tips, advice
work, tips, working world, corporate world, advice, lifestyle, lbloggers, lifestyle blogger, motivation, tips, advice


I wanted to share a few very practical, no bullsh*t tips for those heading to the workplace for the first time. We all know we should work hard and pay attention to detail – and this is very important, especially when you’re first starting out. But here are a few tips that are not so generic and that you won’t just find on wikihow. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Disclaimer – I’m not here saying that I am the master of all these tips below, a lot of them I’m still figuring out and navigating myself. I feel that with work, at least 70% of the time, we all know what we should be doing, but sometimes getting from the knowing to the doing, is not always the straightest line.

Working smart >

Working hard is obviously important; by working hard you’re able to impress who is probably one of the most important groups to impress – your actual team (of course, working hard means little when your output isn’t so great…). But, what’s more important that working hard is working smart, because the truth is probably 90% of people at your firm are pretty hard workers – so how will you differentiate yourself? By “working smart” I mean knowing what projects are truly worth your time and what projects you may need to push back on (if you haven’t got the time); knowing how to work efficiently because you working until 12am every night is probably not really going to impress anyone (they’ll just feel bad for you). Essentially what I’m saying is that you should work more purposefully to ensure you really are working “smart”.

Perception is everything

Have you ever heard someone explain something – either inside or outside of work – and because you know better than them you know full well that they’re chatting sh*t, but, because they’ve said it with such confidence, they’ve successfully convinced somebody else that they know what they’re talking about? Perception is everything – and most of the time, what you’re trying to portray is that you know wtf you’re talking about. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should be afraid of asking questions when you don’t get something, actually asking questions still portrays confidence because you show that you do not feel any kind of way about not knowing something, you’d rather learn. But, what I generally mean, is that you should try to carry yourself with confidence in general, it’s pretty easy to convince a lot of people of this fact. Try to work one level above your pay grade (my tips to grads is never to say “ah – I’m a grad. Somebody else can do that”, always to question what value you can bring).

Feedback is so important

I have heard stories about people who either (i) don’t get any feedback from their bosses or (ii) are told they are perfect with nothing to improve. As much as this would decrease the stress in your life a whole lot… it doesn’t actually get you anywhere. Nobody is perfect. Even Beyonce misses a step / note and gets things wrong sometimes. If you know me, you know I’m all about self development and hence, I value feedback at work a lot. Honestly, constructive feedback can be hard to swallow, boy I know. There’s times I’ve received constructive feedback that has had been looking out of a window for 40 minutes thinking “well, damn”. But – you really just have to dust yourself off, come up with a plan of action and keep it stepping. My tip is to actively seek feedback, at least every 6 months. Celebrate the good feedback, but also focus on constant growth.

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Making yourself valuable

My final tip is to basically work to really excel within your team – which seems like an obvious tip. Essentially, you want to be as valuable as you can so that people (hopefully) appreciate you being there; that when you go on holiday for example, it can be felt that you’ve left for a while. You don’t want to be quite simply – disposable. Personally, I don’t always buy into the notion of “key man risk”, I believe that in a generic workplace, most people are replaceable if you give it sometime. However, some people are more painful to lose than others. Some people go about being valuable by finding themselves some niches and learning in depth a few things that nobody else knows about, some spearhead a lot of the team’s output to bring value, some form really strong relationships with clients. Whatever it is, work on developing what will make you very well valued by your team.

So there we have it. I certainly could have come here and told you how important it is to network (this is very important), to check your work 100 times, to have a good attitude… but I wanted to touch on some things that are not so obvious, which you’ll find are super important when you start work! The great thing is, whilst these things will help you thrive in an office environment, my honest belief is that they’ll help you thrive more generally in such a breadth of different experiences.

Have a great week peeps!

work, tips, working world, corporate world, advice, lifestyle, lbloggers, lifestyle blogger, motivation, tips, advice


Photography: Marianna Olaleye

Oct 14 2019 at 6:42 am   ·   Leave a Comment   ·   Posted Under Advice