Do you want more time for doing things you love? If so, you aren’t alone. I’ve been struggling to accomplish all the things that I’d like to do every day since picking up a full-time job. To make matters worse, my brain is often tired after getting home from work and I’ll often have errands to run. I decided finding time before work to work on side projects (such as writing this post) would be more effective than hoping to have a chance after work. I became a morning person shortly after my teenage years ended. My family on my dad’s side is filled with morning people so it fills me with a sense of pride to be like them. However, in order to get ample time to work on stuff I thought I’d wake up at a time that challenges even myself. It was tricky at the start, but I found a few tricks along the way and now have a pretty consistent morning routine.
My current morning routine looks something like this:
– Wake up at 4:57 am
– Turn on the coffee maker
– Cold shower while turkey bacon is microwaving
– Listen to audiobook and cook eggs
– Eat breakfast
– Read until 6:00 am
– Create (by writing, programming, etc.) until 7:30 am
– Clean up and off to work
This routine has been in place for a couple of months now. In establishing it, I’ve discovered a few tricks that make it easier. If the idea of waking up earlier doesn’t make you cringe. Here are the keys to making it work:
I apologize if you read this far in hopes that I’d be talking about eating pita’s, it’s just an acronym.
If you want to wake up earlier, just remember Breakfast PITAS:
So… I decided the morning of publishing this that breakfast is probably worth pointing out. Luckily my acronym was pitas and it sort of fits in. I credit making breakfast with helping in the wake-up process. Eat a high protein breakfast (ie. eggs, turkey bacon, etc.) not a carb heavy one to avoid feeling lethargic all day. If this doesn’t sound like your thing just drink tea or coffee instead.
Prepare as much as you can for the morning before going to bed. This allows you to have more time. For me this includes, getting the coffee maker ready so I can just push start, and getting my turkey bacon on a plate with a paper towel so I can just throw it in the microwave.
Ok, technically it’s just a cold shower but I needed a vowel to make an acronym. You can start with quicker showers (30 seconds to a minute) and try to make them longer each time. I usually stand in there for 4-5 minutes. I focus the water on my body in the following order: chest, then my face/head, then the back of neck (this is the wake-up spot!)
Know what you plan on doing in the morning. Have one focal task that you can look forward to doing otherwise you aren’t going to get up for it or you’ll fall back asleep doing it. If it isn’t something you love doing, you’re probably better off getting extra sleep.
Yes, it’s plural. This helps out a lot when you are starting out. Keep one by your bed and another that you have to get out of bed to reach. Set the alarm that’s out of your reach to be two minutes after the first. I keep the second one in my bedroom that way if I don’t get up to turn it off it will annoy my girlfriend and then I’ll really be in trouble!
Go to bed NO LATER than six hours before when you want to wake up (ideally you probably want 8-9). In my experience, not getting at least six hours of sleep will in some way decrease the quality of my waking hours.
Wow. Breakfast PITAS. That might be the worst acronym ever created. All joking aside, I do believe doing these things will make your mornings more enjoyable and productive. If you’ve always wanted to be but were never able to become a morning person, hopefully, Breakfast PITAS can give you a fighting chance.
I didn’t know where to put it but listening to awesome music in the morning will help too.
Do you use any tricks to wake up earlier? I’d love to hear them. Let me know in the comments below.