Things I learned in those extra hours.
I’ve never been a morning person or an evening person, instead, I’ve adapted to my circumstances. When I was younger I saw sleep as my best friend, and I was definitely more of a night owl. But when I began going to school I woke up at or around 6:00 every weekday, and transitioned to a morning person
Once school was over and I began Freelancing, I knew that one of the benefits of making your own schedule is sleeping in! So I’d sleep until 9 or even 10 on most days, and consequently became a night owl again. But, as I tried to become more professional in my Freelancing life and sought to advance both my personal and professional goals, I was running out of time and the ability to focus during the time that I had.
So I came to the conclusion that I needed to be up and at em early in order to complete the tasks I had to do, so I could use the afternoon to do the things I wanted to do. The analytical side of my brain works the best in the morning when I’m writing articles for my clients, and the more creative part of me works best in the afternoon.
After watching a video showcasing the benefits of getting up early, I decided to give myself a wake-up challenge and try to get up at 6 for the next week. The week is over, and I learned a few things about myself as I woke up and hauled myself from my nice bed.
Having More Energy to do my Want
Surprisingly, once I shook off that initial drowsiness, I was up and ready to do my want! My want is simply something that I want to do early in the morning. It’s the carrot rather than the stick, and for me, it’s something that gets me going in the morning. I wake up and get myself going into something I want to do.
I’m up and going for my walk, or playing a video game, or putting models together. Getting up earlier and doing my want puts a smile on my face, and that gives me the energy to start my day.
2. Being able to listen more
I’ve found that with more time in my day, I’m really able to listen more. There are countless Podcasts, motivational speeches, and pieces of music that I am devouring because instead of spending all my energy on high focus tasks I am mostly working on low focus tasks. During the afternoon, I’ll read and put on some music, or type emails to a podcast, or use a guided meditation before bed.
I’ve even begun using motivational speeches during my walks and morning routines, and they’ve been able to give me the kick I need to shake off the last bits of sleepiness and get started with the day.
3. Focusing on my Things, not Other People
When I first became a Freelancer, and even now as I expand my career into Copywriting. I found myself struggling to find time for my dreams and visions. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write my own books, work on my music career, or put my own work out there, I simply didn’t have the time or energy.
Now, however, I’m really able to portion out my day and make it so the morning is my work time and the afternoon is my personal time. I’m still in the beginning stages of setting it up, but I’m starting to make more and more progress on my own goals as time goes on.
4. I Have a Better Understanding of Progress
Previously, when I got up and got my work started at 10:00, I would always feel like I wasted the day by the time I was done at 4:00 or so. There was just enough time to eat dinner and go to bed before I began another day. But getting my work done at ten really helped to show me just how far I’d come.
Being able to say “I started work at 8:00 and was done by 10:00” really gave me the motivation to keep on being productive. After all, I’d already done one thing successfully, and I wanted to keep on doing more. It was a domino effect that really worked for me.
5. I’m Good at Using my Hands and Head
One of the key ways to get yourself out of bed is to forbid yourself from checking your phone. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pulled back to sleep after scrolling through my morning emails, but I’ve started going 30 minutes without looking at my phone in the mornings.
Because of this, I’m forced to do something other than stare at a screen in the morning. So I’m making breakfast, walking, or simply taking the time to let my imagination do its thing. My latest obsession is making Warhammer models, cutting them out and gluing them together in the early hours of the morning.
It feels good to have completed a screenless activity in the morning, and it gets your blood pumping nice and quick!
6. I Felt Better in all Aspects
Having a longer day to enjoy just made me appreciate time, with my family, friends, and time with my introverted mind. Because I wasn’t rushed, kicking myself for sleeping in, or too tired to function, I was able to get the important stuff done quickly and leave more time for the fun stuff I wanted to do.
My mind was clearer, my emotions were sharper, and my body felt better after getting up. I’m still reaping the benefits by starting my days earlier and encourage anyone feeling stuck to do the same.
But… I NEED SLEEP!
Alright, no need to yell. Look, what worked for me isn’t going to work for everyone. Some people get more energy at night and feel better when they sleep in, and I’ll admit I’m more creative at night and have pulled some late nighters because of it.
Find the time that works for you, where you feel the most creative and ready to take on the day, and try getting up at that time every morning. If you need help, try this process.
Pick a target time you’d like to get up at (say 7:00) and then look at the time that you often get up at normally. (Let’s say 7:45)Roll your alarm clock back 15 minutes and get up at 7:30 for the next week. Repeat the 15 minute rollbacks until you hit your target, and see how you feel.To aid the process, try leaving your blinds open at night so the sun streams in in the morning, put your phone/alarm on the other side of the room, and come up with a want that you can do the moment you get out of bed.
It’ll take some practice, and it’s going to hurt for the first few tries, but once you get up at your target time, then you’ll find that your day has radically opened up to you.
Now you pick what to do with it, and make it count :)