A long time ago in a land far away….

…I used to sleep until noon.


Until I had a job.

And children.

And dogs and cats and assorted individuals who depended on me to get out of bed and put my feet on the floor and drink loads of coffee to wipe the bleariness from my eyes and face each day earlier than I ever imagined possible.  Understandably, it took me a while to adjust.  It took me a while to figure out that the sun was my friend and chirping birds are just nature’s way of telling you the day has started and that hitting the snooze button can be a little overrated.

To say I’m not really a morning person is the understatement of the century, but along my sleeping journey, I figured out morning person habits and ideas and tricks of the trade to fake it until you make it.

And then something amazing happened.

It changed my life.

I became more productive and accomplished more than I ever thought I could and learned how to make the most of the morning.

So here’s my five best tips to get the most out of all those hours I never knew existed before noon.

Are you ready?

farmhouse bedroom with color

1.  Get out of bed

I know this is the most Captain Obvious suggestion you’ve ever heard of it.

But it’s true.

You have to make the commitment to get up out of the bed and stop hitting the snooze alarm and smell the coffee pot that you’ve set on a timer and put your feet on the floor and not snuggle back under the covers.

And here’s my best tip to accomplish step number 1….as soon as you get out of bed…

….make it.

It accomplishes two things (three if you count teaching yourself how to coordinate your arms and legs together before 7:00am).  First, making your bed prevents you from climbing back in it and second, it helps get your room ready for the morning, too.

farmhouse bedroom neutrals

2.  Put your shoes on

The next step in my routine is to get dressed for the day down to my shoes.


The shoes are the key.

Not to go all Dr. Seuss on you, but I’ve seen a 27.8% increase in morning productivity with shoes on and a 35.9% increase if the shoes actually lace up.

I’m not sure exactly why this works, but it does.  I think when I put on my lace-up shoes, my feet are telling my brain that it’s go time and there’s no going back and crawling back under the covers (which you can’t do any way because the bed is already made).

organizing an office

3.  Don’t get on social media

So your bed is made and your shoes are on and you’ve stumbled into the kitchen to the smell of coffee and suddenly you hear a Facebook beep from your phone.

And you want to reach for it.


If you reach for Facebook it might turn into Twitter which might turn into e-mail or Instagram or Snapchat or Tumbler and you before you know it Good Morning America isn’t playing on the television any more and the View is on.

And the morning is half-way over.

Kittens playing the piano and dogs riding skateboards and people singing or laughing or graduating from high school or wearing Chewbacca masks can wait.

I established a rule for myself that I don’t get on social media until 8:00am.  It’s what works for me.  You can find your own time that works for you, but give yourself time to adjust to the morning first before you start looking at that little screen.

Gatehouse Office

4.  Spend 10 minutes on yourself

Mornings are rough.

I try to give myself 10 minutes of uninterrupted me time to do what ever I like.

Each morning looks a little different.

Some mornings I read catalogs for inspiration.

Some days I make oatmeal and add raisins.

Some mornings I just sit and wake up with coffee and think.

And some mornings I have lengthy life conversations with the dogs.

The key is its my time to spend however I want, mentally preparing for the day and getting ready and filling up my heart a little before I face the world.

office sign

5.  Block first hour of the day

A while back I figured out that the first hour of the day can set the tone for an entire day of productivity.  To structure my day, I make a to-do list and then block out time on the list each day to accomplish everything I need to get done.

It’s kind of like laying out a super cute outfit for the day so you don’t have to think about what you are going to wear.

I don’t need to think about what I’m doing the first hour of the day, because it’s already blocked off for me.  I’ve transferred it from my to-do list to the first hour of the day.  For example, if I’m writing a post or putting together ideas for the fabric line or planning out my month or putting together boxes to mail out, I work on it for an hour.

And then I stop.

And take a break for fifteen minutes and then start on the next hour and the hour after that and the hour after that and before you know it noon shows up.

And you smile….

….right along with your to-do list. 🙂

diy tips and tricks

And now here’s a few more tips to take on your day from some of my favorite people.


Open Shelves DIY

Stone Gable 

diy summer porch decor ideas

Summer Porch Decorating

On Sutton Place


Painting Brass Candle Sticks

Cedar Hill Farmhouse

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Patti Patti

    Please.....where did you purchase your wonderful sign "Be the change you hope to see in the World" and what size did you purchase? Thank you.....I love reading your blog, it is one of the few I will actually read every morning, after 8:00!

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      It came from my Painted Fox shop! Here's the link: It's 25% off right now with free shipping! Happy day friend! karianne

  2. Image for Andrea Andrea

    Love your comment on the shoes being key! I am reading a book about Ronald Reagan and he told people "If you are feeling tired, change your shoes". I guess that works wonders as well :)

  3. Image for Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie Jeanne @ I Dream of Jeanne Marie

    Good morning KariAnne, What a great post as I always wondered what your mornings and days were like since you seemed to accomplish so much every day! I need to plan my days differently as I stay up too late sewing which makes me get up too late each morning. I'm going to have to read your post several times, take notes, "find" my sneakers, I guess "learn" to like coffee, (sorry...can't do that one...) and see what happens around here. I always seem to run out of hours in my day before I finish everything! Thanks for a wonderfully inspiring post! Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Image for Debbie Debbie

    One of the things that I do is to read your posts. You are always an inspiration to me and so often you bring a smile to my face. Thanks so much.

  5. Image for Jan Fusco Jan Fusco

    You are so right about social media. I get hooked right away in the morning. I drink 2-3 cups of coffee and check it out and before you know it, it's 10:00 and I haven't accomplished a thing. Thanks for the tips. I'm going to give it a try.

  6. Image for Susan Susan

    I have been an early riser for friends do the eye roll, my kids try to talk me into staying in bed, but that is just not me. For about half an hour in the afternoon, I rest on the sofa, go into a relaxed zone, and then I am ready for the rest of the day. My mom told me that I was born this way--early to rise, and you are so smart to have figured out time for you, time for nature, time for all that life brings. Here is a toast to the sunrises.....

  7. Image for Theresa Theresa

    Where O' Where did you get those fantabuloully pretty pillows. Perrrrrrfect for me too. would love to have a pair. You are such an incredible woman and Mom and visionary of fabric design. Just love, love , love YOU.

  8. Image for Rowena Philbeck Rowena Philbeck

    That is crazy but I do some of that every morning. I feel that getting up and making the bed makes things start for the day. I always do that. Then I check the news and sometimes have a cup of tea or coffee..then get the day going. Great to do something for you for an hr. I usually sleep as long as I can but before work I have to feed my son's dog and 2 cats and fish. We were involved in a tornado and flood a few weeks back and I'm still dealing with all that and looking forward in getting back my routine again and of course working at the University. Love the sign too!! Thanks for the great tips on what you do every morning. When my kids were little I always got up before them just to get my day going in quiet!!

  9. Image for Carol Lander Carol Lander

    Laughing my head off about #1 because I have been working in bed since 6:30. Yes, I've posted my blog to Pinterest and posted pics to Instagram and posted to my son's Facebook and wished him happy birthday and read email and deleted emails and read some bloggy info I signed up for and it's 2 minutes before 10:00. This working in the morning from bed must stop! My daddy always made me make my bed first thing (if your bed is made, your room looks neat), but you have to get out of it first to do that. Feet are on the floor. Where are my shoes?

  10. Image for kddomingue kddomingue

    I was with you right up to "take 10 minutes for yourself to do whatever you want......". I need an hour. If I don't get my hour, I'm cranky for the rest of the day. And I'm a natural born night owl so I'm most productive between 4pm and 3am. Once my children were grown and gone, I reverted back to what was most natural for me. Not everyone can do that but I haven't anyone to answer to so I can work whenever it suits me best! All your other points are totally valid! Get out of bed, make up bed, put on clothes, put on shoes (and lace up IS best), brush teeth, wash face, grab coffee and (weather permitting) sit outside in direct sunlight to drink it. That's my routine to kick off the day.

  11. Image for Kris Kris

    I have another one for you--prepare the night before. For the kids, lunches should be made/clothing laid out/whatever needs to go to school should be placed by the door. If it's winter, make sure the night before that there are dry mittens instead of wet ones wadded up in pockets. Not that that has ever happened in my home. Nopey nope. Actually, I do the same stuff for myself--clothes laid out, work badge by my purse so I won't forget it ... I am not the quickest thinker first thing in the morning and I try to eliminate the dreaded last-minute panic whenever possible.

  12. Image for Michelle Rudis Michelle Rudis

    Great tips! I already use the 'make your bed' suggestion but the very next thing I do is grab a cup of coffee and go to social media...*guilty.* Every night I think to myself, "Tomorrow morning I'm going to start an exercise routine." But I never do. You are so right that once you sit down to that computer and all that social media sucks you in...well, time passes like nobody's business. So. Tonight? I'm NOT going to pre-program my coffee maker. Nope! I'm going to lay out my exercise clothes, including and especially, my lace up shoes and socks. And tomorrow (after I make my bed of course) I'm going to dress in those clothes, grab a bottle of water and head out the door with my four-legged companion. Coffee and social media will be waiting for me after my shower ;-)

  13. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    This is a pretty awesome post. I love the effects of getting out of bed early, but so often find myself sucked into Pinterest while I inhale my coffee. I've been thinking I need to spend the time outside watering my flowers or putzing in the yard. Wouldn't that be more productive?? I think I'll try it tomorrow.

  14. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I guess I 'm a morning person -- one of those people who smile and talk first thing and talk even more once the caffeine kicks in :-) I don't get dressed right away but I do make the bed AND I don't have kids or critters dependent on me any more. Your tips are priceless. Although I should follow no turning on the computer until after 8:00. I'll try getting my shoes on and laced -- do you think they'll look funny with my lacy pjs?? You're GREAT!!

  15. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    I really have to fight the urge to jump on social media, email, etc. It's just an easy thing to do when I first get up...grab my coffee, read some posts, and wham! the morning is almost gone. So I'm trying very hard to be more productive. A list is a good idea!

  16. Image for Mona Mona

    I love reading your blog. I would like to know what kind of paint and the color you used on your daughter's gray bed frame please.

  17. Image for Claudia A. Claudia A.

    Well I'm out on a few things. I do make my bed, but after pottying and sending the dogs out for their first potty (hopefully) of the day. Then on with the day. No shoes, no coffee and definitely no getting dressed yet. I do a quick pick up through the house and clean the kitchen.

  18. Image for Susan Susan

    I'm a night-owl by nature and an early riser by necessity...the two often clash because I've never gotten a handle on the night-owl side of my personality, so, more often than not, I'm missing out on major sleep. I know that's not such a good thing, but good things do come of, for instance, I'm often up after midnight so that I can vote for you in the Frog Tape contest, KariAnne! :) Maybe when I'm retired I'll try to get to bed a bit earlier...that is, if I'm able to get over the feeling that I'm missing something during those late hours...hehe!

  19. Image for wilma wilma (and everyone in the comments) wears their shoes INSIDE the house? This is a thing? What about carpet? What about dirt? Do people do this everywhere in the States? Huh. Is it even comfy? I love all the other suggestions (and I love love love your blog), but I don't think I could ever do this. It's been ingrained in my very being to TAKE OFF THE SHOES prior to entering anyone's house. And I am teaching my kids the same (except maybe not when we're in the great U.S.A.?)

  20. Image for Leslie Leslie

    #1 is definitely the most difficult. I keep saying I'll start doing that when the baby starts to sleep through the night. He slept through the night for the first time last night. If this continues, I may just have to start doing it! All joking aside, I definitely can tell a difference in my mood and attitude if I get up and get dressed and showered before the kids are up. It's a wonderful thing.

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