Most productivity blogs, books, seminars that I have encountered recommend getting up earlier as a means to getting more done each day.

In the past I have always been a bit of a night owl (I hate waking up and can hardly be described as a morning person) but I have discovered that working out and getting into the office early allows me to organize my time better, gain of sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning, and start the day off in a better mood.

My typical morning goes like this: the alarm goes off, hit the snooze button.  The alarm goes off again, hit the snooze button and curl up under the blankets (sometimes this can repeat 5 times).  The alarm goes off, finally get up and floss and brush, realize what time it is, scramble to shower, do my hair and makeup, throw on some clothes (going with gut instinct tends to work best for me when picking out outfits) and then rush out the door grabbing a few things for the fridge to eat for the day.  I am scrambling and stressed and sometimes grouchy….not the best way to start the day certainly!

This has brought about Project Wake Up Earlier.  The plan isn’t just to get up earlier, but also to work out, have a enough time to get ready, and roll into the office relaxed, organized and ready for a great day.  To do this I have determined I really need to get up by 5am (I figure this is okay because if I ever got into finance and stocks I would have to wake up this early anyway unless I relocated to another timezone).

Day 209 - Sleeping in...
Image by ktpupp via Flickr

To achieve this I am doing the following things:

  • Get up when my alarm goes off. I started setting my alarm and committing that no matter how tired I was that I would get up when it went off. This way I can train my body to wake up at the same time each day.  Also, hitting the snooze button isn’t really useful in anyway–you don’t get much additional rest and you lose time–so no more snoozing!
  • Work out in the morning. I hate taking more than one shower per day.  My hair takes forever to blow dry and I have dry skin and multiple showers make me itchy.  And since I can’t seem to go one night without rolling my hair into knots–necessitating a morning shower and blow out.  I also seem to sweat like a pig when I work out, so skipping a shower wouldn’t be smart.  Making sure I get my workout in reducing the amount of time per day I spend cleansing and primping, plus it gives me a sense of accomplishment, AND I am much more likely to actually work out without being interrupted.
  • Go to bed early. This is likely to be the most difficult for me.  I like staying up and when I get home I always feel like there are so many things to do.  So I am going to work on making good lists and trying to organize and manage my time better after work.
  • Lay out workout clothes, and work clothes the night before. The workout clothes are the easiest, since I don’t have a lot and I care a lot less about how I look (after all when your face is red, your hair is sweaty and your a panting like a dog in heat, your top and shorts don’t make a big difference in your overall look).  For work clothes this will be harder, as I always change my mind in the morning and generally like to try on 2-3 ensembles as you just never know what you feel like that day, but I am going to try to at least select one pivot piece the night before.
  • Pack my lunches the night before. This may also help with the whole diet thing and will certainly save me time in the morning….Oh and I should buy something cute to take my lunch in.  I used to use an ice chest but it was too big, now I use one of those “green” bags you are supposed to take groceries in–not exactly stylish…..I digress…

So that is my current action plan.  What are your tips for getting up early? Anyone tried it and didn’t think it helped much?

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