Are you an early bird or a night owl? The majority of the women (25+ interviews to date!) that I’ve interviewed in the Dream BIG series have professed their love the mornings when sharing how they structure their days. It’s the one time of day they can put their needs first, ranging from sneaking in a workout to sitting down with tools of their trade or passion before the workday begins. There’s simply something about the morning hours and a few routines that make you more productive and happy. Even the most creative and free-spirited people I know have rituals built into the first few hours of their day.
As a self-professed night owl I resisted the mornings for years. I was beyond irritated with my brain for waking up before 9:00am on a weekend morning. But more and more I find myself craving the quiet time in the morning, even on the weekends. My best ideas are springing up between 6:30 and 8:30 in the morning. I’m waking up earlier on my own – NO alarm clock, which is the biggest surprise (hello, circadian rhythm!). The day begins by jotting down a few ideas, a workout or a steaming mug of green tea – all before looking at my phone or checking emails. When working for an employer, the late shift was the only time I had available for my personal projects and writing, making for very long days and nights.
“The best morning activities aren’t things you have to do, but things that you want to do but just never seem to get around to.” – Author Laura Vanderkam
Working on WELL in L.A. full-time has allowed for a big shift in how I start and end my days. It’s not always easy and there are some very long days, but I keep coming back to creating balance and making more of my work feel like play. Plus, the better organized I become the more time I have for unwinding or an impromptu night out. My mornings typically look like this:
THE MORNING SHIFT
6:30-7:30 - Wake-up (not SUPER early bird); walk the pup & get ready for workout
7:30-8:30 – Workout – yoga, cycling or TRX/Strength training
8:30-9:00 – Shower, make tea or coffee and breakfast; jot notes or ideas in my notebook; kiss the hubs-to-be “good-bye”
9:00-9:30 – Check email, social media accounts; scan Google reader & comment on blogs
9:30-11:00 – Work on creative projects and writing… ignore email & social media (this is a work in progress!)
Not every day is exactly as shown above, but 4 out of 5 mornings a week shape up in this manner. There are mornings I have client meetings beginning at 9:00am. Or project deadlines and preparation that become a priority and demand my best creative juices. Structuring my morning allows for a more fulfilling day, more flexibility when I need it and the ability to relax a little more in the evening hours. Life’s too short to toil away on things I don’t love or spend every waking hour working.
Being a morning person is beneficial for both your personal and financial health. I rounded up guides from both Fitness Magazine and Forbes on making the switch to mornings. I’m working on making the switch from night owl to early bird for my health and business, but my biggest “block” in the transition is that my fiance’s schedule. He routinely works long days/late hours, making it tough to crawl in bed before I get to spend time with him in the evening. I’d LOVE your advice if you have any for making the switch!
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