Ah, the morning. The soft sunlight filtering through window. Our kitty Eli snoozing at the end of our bed. My husband hitting the snooze button ten times in a row, trying to cling to his last few moments of sleep.. While destroying mine. Since the two of us start work at completely different times (T usually leaves the house around seven whereas I don’t need to leave until nine most days.), and I wasn’t getting any extra shut eye anyway I decided instead of wishing away the sound of the alarm each day to get up and make the most of the morning.
In the two extra hours between 6AM and 8AM I have taken my productivity to the next level, (My inbox has never been so empty! My stomach so full of breakfast! My hair has never looked better!), found time to relax and, reconnected with myself and my priorities. All within a matter of two short weeks.
But how do you even know what you could be doing in the morning? When you’d need to wake up? How will you adjust your sleep schedule? Fear not, apprentice morning person! It’s much easier than you think to revamp your morning routine. It only takes a little organization, a dash of preparation and a heck of a lot of willpower. I’ve broken it down into four easy steps for you; Idealization, Mapping, Shift and Follow Through.
In the Idealization phase, you write out (preferably with a real pen and paper!) what your ideal morning looks like. Do you want to be able to squeeze in an early morning sweat session? Spend some time journalling, setting intentions or listening to a meditation? Eat breakfast with your spouse… on a weekday? List all the activities you’d cram into your morning if you only had the time to do so. Bonus if you also scribble out how accomplishing those things every day would make you feel.
Now it’s time for the Mapping phase, which I also like to call the reality check. Look at the serene oasis of productivity and self care you have created for yourself– and allocate an amount of time to each task. Say for example you wish you could squeeze in a sweat session in the morning instead of taking out a chunk of your valuable evening time– Will you be travelling to the gym? Add time for travel. Running at home? For how long? Do this with the entire list and add the times together. This is how long your ideal morning will take to accomplish.
This is where Shift comes into play. With my own list I would have needed an estimated four hours of time to complete my morning. This would have meant I would have needed to rise and shine by 5AM every day. Which simply wasn’t practical given I often work late nights. Adjust your ideal morning (if needed) to follow a reasonable time for you to wake up each day. Write out the new list of tasks to achieve.
Stage four is the most challenging of them. This is where you start dialing your alarm clock back. Freeing up time to get more shit done isn’t all cute lists and visualization. It also takes some mental endurance and commitment to get up each day. Make gradual transitions to your waking time and resting time, so your body has time to adjust. This can take some time, especially if you were a particularly late sleeper and now are planning to rise before the sun. Be patient, be persistent- and don’t forget that coffee is the lifeblood of the productive.
Get out there, take back your morning and get shit done!