Morning Meetings Are Routine Killers

“Man is largely a creature of habit, and many of his activities are more or less automatic reflexes from the stimuli of his environment.”

-G. Stanley Hall

I would consider myself to be a creature of habit, and if you asked anyone I am related to they would agree. I do not like change and I am at my best when I am able to stick to my routine both at home and at work.

Here at home I have a routine that spans from the time I wake up until I am dressed and ready to head to the office. The only thing that upsets that is my inability to wake up on time and while that is frustrating, it is solely my fault when that happens.

At work I have a routine that is meticulously planned out and integrated into my work to do list and it goes something like this: Get to work, drop my stuff in the office, put my lunch in the break room, make coffee, fill up my water bottle, unpack my work bag, and go for a walk around the hospital before sitting down at my desk and starting my day. My routine goes on from there in regards to the tasks I need to complete on a daily basis, but that is what I do when I get to work and when I get to complete that routine I feel good about the start of my day.

Sometimes my routine gets interrupted if a co-worker needs something or if I need to discuss something with my boss, but in those situations I am able to pick up where I left off and keep going. There is only one thing that completely prevents me from doing my morning routine and that is morning meetings.

I have a standing morning meeting that I attend twice a month and when that meeting occurs I do not get the chance to complete my morning routine, I don’t even start my day at the office. I am gracious for the opportunity to be included in these meetings because they provide a great chance to learn about the tasks and projects I hope to be working on in the future if I get promoted, but they completely kill my morning routine which is not good for this creature of habit.

These meetings generally last all morning, which gets me back to my office just in time for lunch. I then go through an abbreviated version of the morning routine, but it is just not the same. I am always left feeling off balance, out of sorts, and generally anxious the rest of the day. It’s kind of like tossing and turning in bed as your trying to go to sleep, but instead I am tossing and turning in my chair trying to figure out what I can get done in the time I have left. These are generally not my most productive days in the office; while I still complete the tasks that need to be done, I am left feeling like there was more I could have done.

Aristotle is credited with saying, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” I feel like I am at my most excellent when I have the opportunity to complete that morning routine at the office, but I also know that the position I want to hold in my organization is going to pose daily challenges to any kind of routine. I need to become more comfortable being uncomfortable in the mornings and still striving for excellence in all I do. Easier said then done for someone who knows exactly what they will be doing at 7:58 in the morning Monday through Friday; walking down the stairs for a morning walk around the hospital to cap off the morning routine and begin the day.

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