morning: the most productive time of the day

Lately I’ve been waking up before the rest of my family and trying to enjoy some productive alone time in the mornings. It all started when things were really busy at work and I needed to get a head start on my projects one day. But I quickly realized that the mornings are a really productive time for me — my mind is clear, I’m well rested and energized, and I have a cup of coffee (decaf!) which immediately puts me in a productive state of mind. I’ve enjoyed doing this so much that if I don’t wake up early, I feel off for the entire day. 

Here’s how I do it:

No alarm clock

First, I don’t set an alarm clock because my body naturally wakes up around 6:00 AM every day. Usually I would look at the clock, roll over and sleep another two hours. Instead now I get up, put on socks, and pad downstairs as quietly as possible. If I set an alarm clock, I might feel like I was being forced or start to resent that bleeping sound in my ear. (Not to mention, I’m sure my husband wouldn’t appreciate it) This way, it feels like my choice. And I also realize that if I don’t happen to wake up around 6:00, that’s because my body wasn’t ready to wake up. I try to always listen to my body.

Have a Plan

If I get up at 6:00, I can get 1.5 to 2 hours of alone time, and I want to really maximize it. As part of my evening routine, I put together a plan for the next day. My plan is very simple — what tasks do I have to do that day. Those are the things I try to tackle first thing in the morning. If I don’t have anything that I really have to do, I use the time to look at some of the other less-important items on my list or to watch or read something from my “To Read/Watch” list. Or blog!

Avoid Distractions

The morning is my time to be super productive, so the last thing I want to do is get sucked into The Evil Internet. So I’m very careful to stick to my organizational system and pre-defined tasks and not get distracted by Youtube, Facebook, the news, etc.

Clear My Head

At some point, I hear my boys get up and start banging around in their rooms, and I know my alone time is coming to a close. I look at my list to see how I did and give myself a mental pat on the back. Then I take a deep breath and appreciate how clear my head is. I’m ready to spend a wonderful day with my family!
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