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The new morning routine

I have a morning routine now, which has evolved over the past year or so. It’s remarkably different from even a couple of years ago, largely as a result of becoming a blogger I think. Here it is:

After the school run I sit at the laptop with a cup of tea and bowl of muesli (if I’m indulging – marmite on toast).

  1. Firstly, I check email, delete all the spam messages, do any quick responses, and mark any more detailed ones for later.
  2. I check messages in the student forum for the course I run.
  3. So far, so 1990s. Next I go to my blog, check stats, and comments and respond on any comments.
  4. Then I pop in to Facebook, check my news feed, update status and look at any messages or notifications.
  5. By this time Twitteroo is loaded so I catch up on all the tweets from the US or Canada of the people I am following. I follow any urls that have been twitted and look interesting.
  6. Lastly, to Google Reader to look at any new blog posts of the 112 blogs I subscribe to. I will scan most of these, ignore a few, read some, and respond to maybe one or two.
  7. Now I’m ready to start work.

And here’s some thought on what this routine reveals:

  • It’s a mixture of social and professional. Most of my Facebook friends, blogs and Tweeters are professional peers but what they post is often a mix of social updates and relevant resources.
  • I’m more connected to what is happening in my field than I was before. I didn’t used to start every day by reading an academic journal, but I will usually find one academically interesting post or resource before I’ve finished my cup of tea.
  • It’s expanding. Since being a blogger I have had the additional burden/privilege of tending one’s own blog garden, but also I have become a much more active blog reader, so now have a lot of posts to get through in my aggregator. And then I added Facebook in to the mix, and more recently Twitter. I don’t seem to have dropped anything though. At this rate my morning routine will be my all day routine.
  • I’m developing new skills in scanning, interpreting, reading and writing. Given the expansionist desires of my morning routine, I have developed further skills in information processing – I’m not on a par with ultra bloggers, but I can scan my Google reader list quickly, and determine which posts to follow. It may not be always reliable, but it is reliable enough. I know how to get in to Facebook, get what I want and get out quickly. I am currently trying to develop my Twitter voice (more on this in a later post).

Any other activities that should form part of a connected morning routine?


  • Martin

    I am tempted to give the standard rock star response ‘I’m just doing stuff I like, and if anyone else likes it, that’s a bonus.’ (read I really want lots of money)

  • Scott Leslie

    I sympathize, but a quote from a video by Jay Cross I was watching last night made me feel slightly better (and it may not be exact) – “for knowledge workers, the conversation is the work.” Obviously within reason, but it feels true – connecting with peers and with the ongoing conversation isn’t ‘optional’ but essential.

  • Martin

    Thanks Scott, that’s a great quote, and there is a lot of truth in it (although I’m not sure my boss would buy it). But certainly being connected is how a modern academic (or at least an ed tech one) functions, and that’s not connected in the old boy network way, but to views, content, people.

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