Early Mornings

Last week I wrote about how I’ve been handling my schedule and my friend Kathyrn left a comment about how Jessica Hische recently posted about her schedule as well! I really loved Jessica’s post and decided to implement a little more structure to my own self-care and personal life. She outlined her mornings, how she handles her lunch breaks and exercise. I need to prioritize my own self-care just as much as my meetings and productivity.

THEN I read Jeff Finley’s post about how he’s maintained a morning routine for over a year. I loved how he wakes up to do anything and everything he loves. Want to watch a tv show? Do it. Love working out? Yep that too. Breakfast, reading and yoga? OK! A lot of times we’re constantly told that we need to wake up, meditate without falling asleep and then BECOME PRODUCTIVE ASAP!

For those of you who know me at all, you know that I’m a night owl. For about a decade I’ve been staying up until 2-3am and then allowing myself a semi/decent night’s sleep. If you’re at all living in the professional world, you know that waking up at 10 or 11am doesn’t really cut it. By then, the entire world has been chugging along for quite some time. You wake up to an ungodly amount of emails, you feel behind and you begin your day feeling rushed.

Last week, I decided to change my life pretty radically. For an entire week, I woke up at 7am and stopped working by 6:30pm and I’m pretty sure I’ll never go back. Heck, I might wake up even earlier! 

But here’s the truth: I don’t like waking up early. I do love having two hours to myself before I start my day. I was able to sit outside when it was still cool, eat breakfast, drink coffee and do my makeup. Those are four things that I hardly ever do. I’m a nicer person when I have done those four things. As an introvert, I’m a nicer person when I’ve had time to myself. I get a jump start on my emails and then I can dive into being creative and productive. This week a woke up a bit later mostly because we had family staying with us so I was limited to staying upstairs so I didn’t wake anyone up! Without coffee, loud music and breakfast, I end up just hitting my snooze. What does your morning schedule look like? Do you have a routine? Do you allow yourself to do the things you enjoy or do you jump straight into tasks?


PS: In case you missed it, you can sign up for a sneak peek of my new book Charge Up! Learn to build a business and manage your energy as an introvert.

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Comments (32)

  • I just wrote about this, too! I’ve been getting up earlier for two weeks and it’s life-changing! I’m a night owl, too, but I’m realizing all of those things I like to do at night are just as good in the morning (and I’m way less annoyed with life!). Great post! :)

    • Yeah girl!! I’m with ya. It was more about having quiet time (aka no email or deadlines) and that can still happen in the mornings!!

  • Awesome Allison! I didn’t know you were writing a book. Sign me up!

  • Hey, blog shout-out! Thanks. :)

    I just finished reading Jeff’s blog post and it really resonated with me as well. Thanks for sharing. I’ve been pretty good about getting to bed at a decent hour, but I definitely need to work on a morning routine. I pride myself on the fact that I can get ready and out the door in about 45 minutes, but I wish I wouldn’t rush so much.

    I’d love to start working out in the mornings instead of after work. I like the method of just doing a little bit each morning to work your way up to bigger morning routines (like just getting up early for a short walk, instead of trying to work out at the gym for 45 minutes). I’ve found that some apps actually do help me to improve on those areas (Sleep Cycle shows stats that have made me want to improve my sleep habits), so I might try out the Morning Routine app.

    • Adam uses Sleep Cycle I think and it’s so interesting! I totally agree – I loved Jeff’s post because it’s about doing things YOU want to do in the morning. I want to start waking up and walking too (I just don’t know if I could do a hard workout yet) and shower so I don’t have to worry about it after work.

  • I’ve been trying to figure this out for months and finally feel like I know where I’m heading. I actually enjoy getting up early, but I thought I had to get my workout in then…which was the hard part. I had no motivation to get out of bed and go workout, but I realized it was easy for me to get up early and work on the computer or take time to read in the mornings. Now I just use that awkward moment between when I’m off work at my “real” job and dinner/working on my “dream job” (aka: when I space out on the couch watching tv for an hour) for the workouts.

    • YES! Totally agree with you. I won’t wake up to sweat/throw up/workout HAHA. But I WILL wake up if I can watch tv, listen to podcasts or read! It’s the best way to start your day (doing what you actually enjoy) in my opinion.

  • I also just wrote about this! Couldn’t agree more about waking up, starting slow and letting yourself settle in before getting bombarded by the day. It makes a world of difference! My morning used to consist of springing out of bed, gulping down a full cup of anxiety-driven coffee and then rushing out the door to rush all day long for everyone and everything else. Starting my day now with yoga, a walk or run and reading time has completely changed my entire day. I think the important thing that you mention – do what feels right or good or amazing. Sometimes, that means that laying in bed for some extra time and really slowly waking up is exactly what puts me in motion for the day. :) Enjoyed reading your thoughts on it!!

    • That’s exactly how my old mornings used to be! It was awful. I love that you can do whatever you want with those early hours because literally no one will bother you or email you! Checking out your post now!

  • I tend to think the most important part of a morning routine is to have it not be rushed and stressful. As long as you can achieve that, you’re good.

    I’m a night owl, so I tend to like to stay up later and sleep in as long as possible.

    I make this work for me by having a really minimalistic routine on the days that I go into the office. I use the bathroom, feed my cats, meditate for five minutes and/or play with cats, get dressed, brush teeth and hair, and makeup (sometimes) and can achieve all of those things at a relatively leisurely pace in 30-45 minutes. I do my morning reading on the train, and have breakfast after I’m at the office.

    This also means that a lot of things that you’d see as part of a morning person’s morning routine generally lives in my evening routine instead.

    • This is so true. Not feeling rushed is such a great feeling. Ironically, I slept in longer than I wanted this AM and didn’t get to eat breakfast (only coffee). Not good!

  • I have hated mornings with a passion. All throughout my twenties it was torturous for me to get up. I think i slept later because I had crazy work hours so any free time I had (and if I had enough energy) I would spend it awake to watch TV, read, be on the Internet, etc. But then I ended up being a morning person. I can’t really remember how and when but I started to go to sleep at 10 am and waking up at 6:30 am. I was going into work earlier and being a lot more productive in the morning and actually eating breakfast. And I began to realize how much better it was and I became a morning person. I don’t work anymore but I do wake up at 5:30 am now to prepare breakfast and lunch for the husband to take to work, I check the news and my social media feeds and by 8 am I am working on my blog stuff. I love the mornings now. It’s quite calming and I feel super productive :)

    • Isn’t it crazy how we evolve/grow up/change? It’s insane to me that I look forward to mornings now! I think the life paths we choose (for me, owning a business) causes you to adjust in order to thrive. Love hearing about your routine too!

  • I have never had a difficult time getting up early, but I did have a problem getting up early and getting my day off to a good start. Back in December I read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod and successfully implemented many of the practices – still working on some of them. It’s been a big game changer for me. I’ve managed to read 32 books so far this year just by starting a morning reading habit instead of watching the Today Show.

  • Haven’t really had a real morning routine until here recently where I’ve started doing yoga, meditation, tea, then breakfast before jumping into work. It seriously makes the day much easier I feel!

  • Funny that you blogged about this, cause I’ve recently been getting up earlier too! (And I know we’ve talked about how we’re both night-owl-morning-haters!) My reasons are different…and pregnancy related (now I get sleepy earlier at night and get uncomfortable earlier in the morning!) but I haven’t been hating it as much as I expected! I get some time to myself, and usually the idea of breakfast is enough to get me out of bed even when I’d rather be snoozing ;) I suppose getting used to early mornings now is a good thing so I’m not AS shocked come baby time!

    • Haha seriously! Before I started getting up earlier I couldn’t imagine having kids. Although making sure a baby eats is much more important than what I tend to do in the AM :)

  • I just started the early morning routine this week, too! I love how quiet and uninterrupted my time is in the early EARLY morning – I’ve been waking up around 630 to eat breakfast, grab a huge cup of coffee, and get to work. Feeling like I’ve done the majority of my day’s work by 1 pm with limited disruptions feels incredibly awesome, and I now I don’t feel guilty about taking long afternoons to myself swimming at the pool or walking around downtown. Now I just need to rework my sleep cycle so I can get to bed earlier…

    • Yeah girl!! Go us! I agree – I tend to feel so much more relaxed by 3pm and not have to work continuously through the evening. Last week I kept going to sleep around 1am and that’s just NOT early enough. I need to be in bed, reading and taking my mind off stuff around 10pm.

  • This post (and Jessica’s and Jeff’s posts too) has really inspired me to try work on my night owl habits. I’m pretty similar to you with the hour I go to sleep, however it’s never because I’m working haha. I am usually just watching tv shows and such. :P But it often messes with what time I should get up in the morning. I really need to get into meditating too, so I found it super interesting that Jeff includes that in his routine! Very inspiring… need to get on to this asap! xo

    • It’s crazy that we’re both trying to become less night owl-esque. I know we both always shared that. I’m either working super late or doing the same (watching tv/youtube). Waking up early hasn’t been as hard as going to be early…

  • It’s awesome that you are loving mornings now. I try and get up early every morning to work on my blog and youtube channel before work. I leave for work at 7:30, so I try to get up around 5:30 to get ready for work and work on my blog for 45 minutes to an hour before work. I feel like I have accomplished something before I even get to work.

    • I’m a real adult now!! haha just kidding. But I feel less like a college kid now. I’m so impressed you get up at 5:30! What time do you tend to go to sleep?

  • I don’t even pass as night owl, I’m full on vampire. Can’t remember the last time I went to bed before sunrise (lie, it was before summer break!) and woken up before noon. This was a lovely read, especially since I’ve been doing some serious thinking about making big changes to my routine since the one I have now is everything but healthy. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Girl, I feel ya. There was a stint this summer that Adam looked at me and said “Let’s go to bed before the sun rises today.” It’s insane. I feel a lot more healthy and less foggy now but going to bed around 10pm is still hard!

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