A long time ago in a land far away….
…I used to sleep until noon.
Until I had a job.
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?
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…
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.
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).
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.
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.
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. 🙂
And now here’s a few more tips to take on your day from some of my favorite people.