THREE TIPS TO FIX YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
About two years ago, I established a solid AM routine that started (gasp!) well before I needed to report in to my former full-time gig. The change felt pretty instant after I made the decision. I became a morning person. There was no more rushing to get ready with little time for breakfast.
I felt like I had made a major life hack. I gave myself the best hour of the day to do whatever I wanted. Learn a new thing? Yep. Work on the blog? Sure. Knit a baby sweater? Hecks yes. I complete volunteer tasks, make art, read books and work on passion projects all before the day starts. This hits home with my ever-nap-loving self (and now there's time for that).
It started with a morning meeting where I noticed how sharp my mind felt. If I had taken the same meeting after 5:00PM, I just wouldn't have been able to work quite as well. In the following weeks, I kept with the routine with or without scheduled meetings, and saw the way that it positively impacted the remainder of my day at work.
I don't know about you, but as a creative, my ability to make decisions and work on freelance rapidly decreases at the end of the day. It's a wonder I was every able to take on new work. If this occasional late night owl can love getting up early, I promise it's possible. Here are my tips.
SET A STRICT BEDTIME
I am my best self when I go to bed at 11:00PM. It took me way too long to comprehend how much sleep affects my mood, diet and general outlook on life, but now I know my optimal bedtime.
This differs slightly from the standard recommendation of 6-8 hours of sleep. Maybe it's that my body responds better to a consistent circadian rhythm, but a solid 8 just doesn't do me as good unless it starts at 11:00PM.
Your sleep needs are probably different, but nail down what that hour is for you. Stick to it, but before then, make a plan.
CHOOSE YOUR MORNING ACTIVITY
If it's just an hour or two that you're waking up early, make sure you've got a schedule in mind. I leave time for a shower, coffee and breakfast, but I also have a plan for what to do in my AM free time.
List out a few actionable things that you can reasonably do in an hour or two. Make it specific. For me, a task like "work on the blog" can easily devolve into mindless internet scrolling. When I include items like "write a post on XYZ topic" or "update your portfolio with the latest project", I will get it done.
LEAVE FRIDAYS FOR SOMETHING FUN
At least once a week, leave one morning for something that you're super jazzed to do. I'm usually excited to work on my side hustle projects, but they're still work. You'll burn out your mornings if it's just another hour tacked on to your workday. Read a magazine, watch Good Morning America or take in a slow morning at your favorite coffee shop. It'll benefit the rest of your week.
Who else is a morning person convert? I'm interested to know.