First Things First, How Most Mornings Start

dawnI start each day pretty much the same way. Here’s a list of things I try to do in the morning. The days of grabbing a cup of coffee and reading the morning paper are long, long gone.

  1.  Download e-mail. This usually takes just a couple of seconds as almost everything I get is spam. Even if I get something compelling enough for a response I typically will wait until I am more awake. The only thing I’ll do right away (typically) is send out a prayer request if one was sent to me.
  2. Login to feedburner. Actually I login at least twice so I can check out the subscriber levels of YMX and my personal account. (With blog accounts for Kristen and I.) Here I’m looking for a spike in additions or subtractions. If it has spiked, I’ll update the YMX team.
  3. Login to Google Analytics. Since I’m managing about 20 websites now, this is my one-stop shop to see how everything is doing. (It doesn’t update live, so the morning is my first look at what happened yesterday.) Again, I’m looking for spikes and dips. For YMX, my blog, the church site, and any other site I’m paying special attention to I’ll look at the referral tab. I alway like to see how people are making it to my sites. The vanity search thing is sending us bucket loads of referrals lately. (People googling their name.)
  4. Check site rankings for my favorite search terms on Google. (No, I’m not checking out my name… I get emailed when that pops up anywhere on the internet!) But I like to know if there has been any shift in organic search terms I care about. In just the last 30 days Google has sent 4100 visitors to YMX… our number one referral. ( is moving up quickly, love that site!)
  5. Google Reader time. I subscribe to about 100 blogs. My goal in the morning is to clear out the blogs… meaning I want to drop the number of unread things to 0. If it’s good I share it (appears on the left side of my blog), if it isn’t I don’t finish reading it. This is also my primary news source. So if there is something going on in the news I am depending on bloggers to cover it. This is also the source of my morning Bible reading, devos. (Check out RBC’s RSS page)
  6. Pop into YMX. That may surprise people but I only pop into the YMX forums a couple of times per day. I love having a great team of folks that keep the forums going! Patti is the forum-meister and the more I trust her, the better.
  7. Post on my blog. If there has been something on my mind or if one of these other steps brought something to mind that was compelling. I’m also becoming a bigger user of the draft feature, so sometimes I’ve got 8-10 posts that I want to work on when I get a chance. I also go through big “writing feasts” where I may write more posts in a day than I should publish… so I time them to release later.
  8. Publish stuff for YMX. I login to Google docs and see if there is something Amy wants me to publish. It takes me at least 20 minutes to publish an article, do the graphics, and pimp it out. If I’ve got time and it needs to get done, I’ll do it then. If I can’t swing it, it’ll wait until after work.

How long does all this take? It depends on what I’m doing, how much time I have, and a lot of other factors. (Like getting picked by Megan to take her to school.) I can do all of this in as little as 5 minutes… or if I’ve got a lot of time, it can last all morning.

What about your morning routine? What do you do?

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.


  1. My alarm goes off at 4:30a and I drag my butt out of bed.
    I then grab my work clothes.
    I go into the bathroom and…. well, you know.
    I then get a quick drink of water and go into the fridge and grab one of my vitamins, then back into the bathroom for the rest of my vitamins.
    I put on my work clothes, brush my teeth and then after grabbing my wallet, keys, etc. I head out the door.
    All of this is done without turning on a single light in the house.
    Then I head off for work with a quick stop by 7-11 to grab a cup of coffee, newspapers (USA Today, Detroit News & Macomb Daily), and some breakfasty type thing.
    Then back onto the road for work.
    I usually get to work about 5:30a, so all of this takes me about an hour.

    Exciting life, huh?

  2. It’s an exciting life. I do a lot of those same things. Well, minus the 7-11 stop, the no lights part, the newspaper part, and the vitamins. I didn’t include hygiene in my list!

  3. If you log into technorati and search for a term, any term… you can subscribe to that search. You’ll get notified any time that term pops up on google. I also get emails from Google… but I can’t remember how I set that up.

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