I am a night owl. I have always been more productive and creative after dark. So, late nights became a natural thing for me.
These nights also came with late mornings and what felt like short days with zero time to do much of anything. Then I made the decision to start a second company, not long after that, I was burning the candle at both ends. This is when I came to the conclusion that being a night owl was no longer going to work for me.
Let me tell you that was not an easy conclusion to come too. In my mind, this meant I had to start adulting and adulting is hard. Waking up early was as appealing to me as biting into eggshells while enjoying a soft fluffy egg salad sandwich… Not cool, not cool at all.
But I did it and since I have gotten into the routine, I am happier than ever. My days are more productive, I have more energy and am eager to start my day, every day. I went from not getting out of bed before 9 am, then not even starting my day until almost noon to waking up at the crack of dawn and completing most of my to-do list before lunch.
Nothing worth doing ever comes fast or easy, so I have put together a small list of what it took to get me to this point to help all you other night owls become early birds.
Get up 15 minutes earlier. (each week)
Instead of forcing yourself to get out of bed 2 hours early right away – start in 15-minute intervals. Week one, set the alarm for 6:45am. Week two set it for 6:30am. Week 3, 6:15am finally on week 4 you are finding it no problem to be up at 6:00am. These small wins of getting up just that much earlier is motivating and within 2 months you will be up at 5 am, without even realizing it was hard in the first place!
Just get up!
The hardest part of starting your day is getting out of bed. Believe me – I get it! My favourite part of the weekends is waking up and staying in bed, chatting with hubs, planning our weekend, and on a GOOD day, I bring my coffee back to bed and just stay there for the entire morning! However; this is not something that we can do every single day. So, when your alarm goes off in the morning, just get out of bed. Do not snooze, it doesn’t help. Getting out of bed and starting your day is the only thing that will make it easier.
Wind down every night.
Whatever you do before bedtime is your body’s trigger for sleeping. This includes brushing your teeth, reading, etc. Try to keep these activities relaxing and stick to them like a routine.
For example, you could take a relaxing lavender bath then read a book for 15 minutes before bedtime. If you stick to this routine long enough, your body will soon recognize that these activities mean the day has ended and it’s time to relax. It’s important as well to do these activities in order and roughly the same time every day.
Bedtime is sleep time.
When my boys were young the rule was no toys in or on the bed – EVER. Even storytime was done on the couch, not in bed. Their bed was for sleeping – this made sure that after all the other bedtime routines we did every night, putting their head down on that pillow meant sleep time. When I implemented the same rule in my bedtime routine it made all the difference in the world.
No matter what, don’t give up and don’t give into your brain begging for “just five more minutes.” It won’t be easy but it will be worth it. I promise. I have found it has boosted my creativity and productivity – getting projects done while the rest of the house sleeps –with no interruptions or distractions. Magic…
And once you get adjusted to your new schedule, you will be the early bird you used to snarl at in the am and never go back to being “not a morning person.”