At a workshop I attended last weekend, the facilitator jokingly mentioned that he’s more of a night owl and his energy doesn’t generally kick in until about 2:00 in the afternoon. I laughed, thinking that my list of accomplishments post 2 p.m. is about HALF of what I get done in the morning and early afternoon hours.
Then I thought... “When did THAT happen?” In years past, you couldn’t talk to me before 10:00 in the morning, much less expect me to get anything useful done. And the weekends? Forget it. If the time had “a.m.” attached to the end of it, you’d better believe I was face-down in a pillow.
Nowadays, however, despite my best efforts I cannot sleep past 8. I’m mentally forming my to-do list before I even open my eyes. I find that my best writing is done within the first few hours after I wake up, and my go-getter mentality has dimmed into a quieter energy come late afternoon.
So what’s my secret?
1. For starters, night time prep is half the battle.
Again, I’m not much of a night person anymore, so this can be a bit of a struggle for me, but this is a post on being a morning person, not a night person! (Just kidding!) A few minutes at night to set up the coffee pot, lay out an outfit, and get your lunch together for the following day can be a godsend come sun-up.
2. Set two alarms.
The first one is gentle, within reach and set for five minutes before you really need it. This soothing sound will slowly wake you up. The second one should be louder, placed across the room and set for the time you actually need to get up. I set my alarms this way because I’m very sensitive to noise (as I imagine many people are at least first thing in the morning), and the last thing I want is to be shocked out of bed by the cacophony that is my clock radio alarm.
3. Do something that is genuinely, authentically YOU.
Too many people give themselves exactly enough time to hurriedly get ready for work and get out the door. Give yourself a little “me” time before the hustle begins. Enjoy your coffee slowly. Take a walk or do 10 minutes of yoga. Do a little bit of journaling. If you walk out the door with peace in your heart, you’ll carry it with you throughout the day.
If you generally thrive in the evening hours, don’t push yourself too hard to go against nature. Lean into your afternoon energy but use these tips to help you embrace those tough mornings with a bit more grace. In time you might find yourself transition into a “morning person” after all!