I always have a more difficult time getting out of bed early when the temperature reaches below the freezing point but I’ve found that this year has been even more challenging than years past. I still wake up at 5AM. Once my alarm goes off, I’m up and even if I lay in bed with my eyes closed cuddled under covers, there’s no falling back to sleep for me (especially since my husband’s alarm tends to go off a lot during the morning- he’s my little night owl). But after spending that extra time in bed, no matter how cozy I may feel, I always HATE feeling like I wasted such precious morning hours. I inevitably end up getting upset that I didn’t get up early and I spend my day at work thinking about all the things I could’ve gotten done if I had just gotten out of bed.
I’ve been trying to think of ways to motivate myself to actually get out of my bed and I think I came up with a good one. When I was feeling fully awake (aka I had at least one cup of chai tea flowing through my system), I decided to write out all of the events that would occur during my ideal morning. Now that I can visualize what I can realistically accomplish and imagine the feeling of productivity that comes along with it, I’ve been having a much easier time ditching my covers before sunrise. I originally wrote this out just for me, but I decided to share it in case it helps others as well!
1) Up at 5 AM – I am blessed by the fact that I don’t have trouble falling asleep at night. Since high school, I have always been an early riser. I look forward to those quiet morning moments where no one else is awake to bother me. Since I had started getting up later, I noticed a change in my attitude. I felt like I wasn’t getting anything done and it killed me. I missed having that jump on the day!
Tip: This has helped me in the past- If I know I’m going to be extra tired, I’ll put my phone on my desk which is across the room before I fall asleep the night before. Then I HAVE to get out of bed to turn it off (I don’t know about you but there is no sound I like less than my alarm- I need to turn it off within SECONDS of it going off or I lose my mind. My husband on the other hand, hits snooze multiple times and I’m always just like nooooo how could you possibly want to hear that noise again soon?!)
2) Make a cup of tea – Tea is one of my favorite elements of any given day. I look forward to the moment that the warm deliciousness that is caffeine infused tea hits my taste-buds. (I usually opt for chai or earl grey for my first cup). Sometimes if I wake up early without having a cup of caffeine, I can feel my eyes drooping while I read on my hour+ commute no matter how invested I am in the story. When I start my morning with a cup of tea, that never happens!
3) Do a 5-10 minute workout – I used to catch up on social media while my tea brewed (Twitter, Instagram and the like) but in all honesty I’m struggling to think of a time when I found something useful on Twitter that was posted while I was asleep. Instead of getting sucked into my phone, I’ve been doing a quick 1-10 minute YouTube video workout. Once I’ve gotten some of the techniques memorized, I think I’ll probably just do the exercises on my own and watch a BookTube video while I wait for my tea to be ready.
4) Decide what I want to work on the night before – I also find it easier to wake up when I have a clear plan in my mind of what I want to accomplish. I’ve been using Trello to organize blog post ideas, to do lists, and MANY other aspects of my life since I first heard about the service from Alice at The Geeky Burrow. Before I go to sleep I like to consult my spreadsheets & Trello boards to determine what I want to work on when I wake up.
5) Work on blog / YouTube at my desk – For a while, I didn’t have a desk at home when we moved into our apartment. And then once I did bring my desk over, I used it purely for Bookstagram photos and literally never sat at it. But, I cleaned it all off (in the week I KonMari’d) and I find that I am so much more productive when I’m sitting there than I am when laying in bed and trying to work. While it’s obviously a bit less comfortable, I find it keeps me more focused on what I’m doing and less prone to distractions. And if I get cold, I just layer on the sweaters and use a throw blanket!
6) Update Bullet Journal – I LOVE my bullet journal. It’s like my little creative baby! I keep track of a bunch of things amongst its pages, blog & YouTube posts included and I like to update it in a timely manner as soon as I’ve accomplished something I’ve tracked. I’ve tried bringing it to work and trying to update when I have a quiet moment during a break, but it’s kind of a pain to carry all of my markers or to draw everything first in pencil, only to redo it in marker at night. I also find that I’m better at bullet journaling at a desk too. Much straighter lines!
7) Get ready (Makeup / Hair) & Pick out outfit – Finally, the thing I spend the least amount of time on each morning >.< I find that the way I dress and whether I take the time to do my makeup often has a huge impact on the rest of my day. I’m one of those people that just *feels* better when I’m confident in my outward appearance. Once I’ve accomplished something for the day, spending my remaining time getting ready turns into an actual fun thing instead of a mad dash to throw on something clean and bound out the door to make my train. It’s way less stressful and to make the getting ready experience even more enjoyable and transform it into a way to unwind after “working” I usually perch my laptop on my bathroom sink counter while I do my hair and makeup. Then I feel ready to take on the world!