Hannah Ackford – My Morning Routine
My Morning Routine
At just 28, Hannah Ackford is, without a doubt, a woman who makes things happen. Just over a year after launching her new business, Consume Digital, she lists both Chatham Marine & Visit Exeter, among her prestigious client base. With a platform for growth firmly in place and those first year challenges under her belt, we caught up with Exeter’s golden girl to talk 5.30am starts, early morning runs and yoga.
What is your morning routine?
To say I have never been a morning person is the understatement of the century; I was always the person to set 10 alarms only to set the 11th. The truth is though, by hook or by crook, I have had to become a morning person since starting the business; it really has been life changing. Typically my day starts at around 5:30, those two hours in the morning really are golden.
What time do you go to sleep?
My bedtime varies at weekends, in the week it tends to be between 10pm and and 11pm. For me, with working such long days, there is nothing better than having an hour in the evening just to kick back and relax.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
As a routine I will always go through my emails in the evening and write a list ready for the next day. There are always things that may not have got done the day before and so these are always made a priority for the next day.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I am very inconsistent when it comes to eating breakfast. Sometimes I do, but more often than not I don’t. If I do it tends to be fruit; I am a mango obsessive, so it will usually be a mango washed down with a cold glass of water. I am one of the rare few that are not a big fan of tea and coffee.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
My whole attitude to exercise has changed since starting a business. In the past I used to try, and often struggle, to fit the gym into my busy schedule, but as my schedule got busier with the new business, exercise did somewhat go out of the window for a while. That is until I found a love for running. Today I run 10km, or as close to as possible, and not only is it great exercise that can fit in with my schedule, but it is also my most productive thinking time. Many of the best ideas have come on a morning run and it really does set me up for the day.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
Not currently although I have recently discovered yoga which was a bit of a revolution. This may, however, be a struggle to fit into the morning, with all the alarms and running.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
Emails have to be answered throughout the day, but checking email is top of the agenda for every morning. I always go through and star priorities and update my list accordingly.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
No not really, but I am all for making it easier to get the first jobs of the day done. I have a fantastic RSS aggregator so I can catch up on all of the industry updates from sectors I work in. I use project management tools that notify me each morning so I know immediately if there are any urgent to attend to.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
It is without fail the first thing I do everyday, checking emails first and then making sure there are no answer-phone messages.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Checking emails, getting through initial tasks for the day. The nature of digital marketing and agencies is that more often than not there are deadlines.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
On the weekend I do try and stick to a similar routine with my running and breakfast, but everything happens a little later and typically a bit more slowly. It is the weekend after all.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
Being in unfamiliar environments is often good for me and I find it positive to have a shift in day to day routines.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Being honest, I quite often don’t manage to follow my morning routine. If I’ve had a stressful or busy day, getting up at the crack of dawn doesn’t help me get the most from the day. I think routines are great, but I am a strong believer that you shouldn’t get obsessed with them. If I miss my run in the morning, I will opt for an evening run instead. If I don’t have the extra time in the morning I will work late to make sure I get things done. A routine is great, but for me what I have discovered is more important, is being able to know how to make the most from my working day.
Follow Hannah @Consumedigi or connect with her on LinkedIn