I am not traditionally a morning person. I considered 10 a.m. to be early, and even then I would drag myself out of bed and reluctantly work my way through a morning routine. I never saw the sun rise and I didn’t want to. Getting ready for work, even when I started working for myself, I did reluctantly.
I envied those people who seemed to jump energetically out of bed at 5 in the morning. I thought this must be something genetic, a trait I could never develop. But I’ve learned that while being a morning person comes naturally to some, you can also consciously become one. As I trained myself to be a morning person, I found that not only did I feel less tired, but my productivity increased and my performance improved.
This is how I went from night owl to early bird and how it helped me with my business. I have adjusted my routine in the evening
You can’t expect to become a morning person if you’re up all night. I had a bad habit of lounging in front of the TV every night after my kids went to bed. I regularly fell asleep on the couch, only to wake up with a child in my face and a cramp in my neck. How could I expect to show up alert at work if my mind and body never really rested?
Establishing a daily routine was my first step to becoming a morning person. Every night my kids are in bed by 8pm and I start preparing for the next day by making a schedule, picking out clothes for the kids, and making sure the living room and kitchen are clean. Then I give myself an hour to relax. Sometimes that means watching TV, sometimes that means reading or hanging out with my husband. I even set a timer to really keep track of the time! After an hour I put on my pajamas, brush my teeth and go to bed. Knowing that I’m well prepared for the next day helps me relax and fall asleep faster. My body and mind actually rest, so getting up at 6am the next morning makes me feel alert and ready for the day. I can finish our morning routine, get everyone to school, and then focus on my business with full focus.
I set strict limits for myself
I own a social media marketing agency so I mainly work from home with a remote team. When you have your own business, it can be easy to always be “on” and available to anyone who needs you, be it an employee or a customer. I used to stay up late to answer emails, send text messages, or make to-do lists.To become a morning person, I had to find ways to make my days more productive and my nights calmer. For me, that meant setting boundaries to protect my mental health. I have set the rule that my phone will turn off after 7pm. As a result, I can’t see if an e-mail or text message comes in. I give myself time in the morning to drink coffee and do something for myself before I start the working day. I make a work schedule for myself and use an app to really stick to it.
Planning my schedule the night before also makes me feel better prepared for the day ahead. The app helps to create a realistic schedule, which I feel confident that I can actually do all the tasks on that list in a day. As a result, I can rest better at night and look forward to what the next day will bring me.
I make my mornings as nice as possible
It took me 12 years to become a morning person. I fought it as long as possible, I wanted to stay a night owl in my dark, quiet and child-free space. But as I got older, my body just couldn’t take it anymore. My kids and work forced me to get up early, so I knew I needed something to look forward to every morning to get me going. Did you know that you can not only rest in the evening, but also in the morning?
Knowing that I have an hour to myself after the kids are at school helps me look forward to getting up at 6 in the morning. Instead of going straight to work, I give myself an hour to drink coffee, watch the news, or sit on the porch and just be in the moment. When I feel like my mental and emotional cup is full and my brain is alert, I start my workday. And yes, I do all of that before 9 a.m.
Becoming a morning person takes discipline, but so does starting a business. Taking control of my routine, my schedule, and my mornings has made me a better boss. A more organized boss and a less stressed woman.