My Secrets To Productive Mornings: From Snoozer To Early Bird
Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Waking up is hard.
Sleeping in is easy.
Thus, I'm a natural snoozer.
I used to snooze my alarm on repeat every 9 minutes until it was a minute or two over the time that I actually, really needed to get out of bed and going.
It was so easy! Sleep felt incredible, like I was at peace with the world. Interrupting that time just felt wrong to me, so of course, I would sleep in and try not to let the guilt seep in.
Yes, that's right. The ugly, shameful word: GUILT.
Do you ever feel guilty for sleeping in? I am not the only one who feels like I'm doing the universe a solid injustice by snoozing my alarm, right? Right?
I have responsibilities. I am an adult. I have a life to live. I cannot just lay around in bed all day and skip all the to-dos on my list! (Even if I wish I could, sometimes...okay, most of the time.)
This is how I went from snoozer-in-constant-relapse to 6am workouts with my accountability buddies in my virtual gym. And 5 of my best kept secrets to becoming a morning person.
Get clear on what you want.
Look, the idea is not for you to do things you don't want to do. Whatakinda life is that?! Being an adult means you get to choose what kind of life you actually want to live and live that way! What kind of #adulting have you been up to?
If you are wanting to:
- have more time to exercise
- feel less rushed
- improve your concentration
- be more productive with less distraction
- create healthier eating habits
- increase your quality of sleep
- have more personal quality time
then you want to wake up earlier without snoozing your alarm clock.
You need quality sleep and enough of it to live a happy, fulfilling day to day life. If you get to sleep around midnight and some guru is telling you that in order to be successful you have to wake up at 4:30am, then it really is time for you to WAKE UP to the fact that they probably go to sleep earlier than you do.
The National Sleep Foundation tells us that adults aged 18 to 64 function optimally at 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If you are younger than 18, good news: you get to sleep more! If you are older than 64, good news: you function well on less sleep! #winwin
Personally, I sleep about 7-8 hours a night during the week and closer to 9 on the weekends. I set my alarm 15 minutes before I plan to do my workout and hop out of bed excited to start my day. Now, it wasn't always like this, and some days, I still struggle to convince myself to get out of bed.
I'm motivated to do what it takes to live my best life, but discipline is what keeps me going when I have hard days.
We have all heard of ways to make yourself get up in the morning, but these are the secrets and strategies that work best for me. These are what got me out of the snoozing habit and into control of my mornings.
1. Ditch the loud and annoying alarm sounds. Nobody wants to be woken up by beeps or horns or that stupid quacking duck, especially if you have a bed partner. #RUDE Even if you set your alarm in the other room to "make yourself get up", you still have to hear that noise (and so does your partner.) Personally, nothing pisses me off more or sets me up for a bad mood than hearing an irritating sound interrupt me from sleep.
My solution: Use a watch that will vibrate to wake you up! My Fitbit Ionic is set for 5:45am and wakes me up without issue. You can set phone alarms to vibrate without sound, but this has never worked for me. Most of the time, phones are set on the bed side table or floor next to the bed and that defeats the purpose of having a vibration on your skin to wake you up.
2. Ditch the excuses and attempts at self-sabotage. Actually getting up when your alarm wakes you is the first feat of the day you should be proud of, especially for us snoozers. If you are setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier than you need to wake up because you "know" you're going to hit snooze, you are setting yourself up for failure. Don't do that to yourself, dude, just get the eff up. Go back to knowing what you want. BE CLEAR on that.
My solution: Let the first sentence that pops into your head in the morning be: "I want this so I can..." and finish that sentence with something you want that gets you excited!
"...so I can workout with my fit buddies and feel confident in my body."
"...so I can have some peace and quiet to myself before the kids wake up."
"...so I can spend an hour growing my side hustle into a real income and quit my office job."
3. Ditch the dawdling and decision making. It doesn't actually take you 30 minutes or an hour to get dressed in the mornings when you have prepared for the fact that your mind makes it 100 times harder to make small decisions first thing in the morning. You should have what you need ready for you and know the small steps to what you will do each morning.
The amount of time some of us waste "waking up" can be spent getting a 20-30 minute workout in, or reading a personal development book, or writing out your intentions for the day. It takes me less than 15 minutes total to get out of bed, brush my teeth, use the restroom, get dressed, feed and give fresh water to my cat, make my pre-workout, and push play on my workout program.
My solution: Once that alarm goes off, get out of bed and walk straight into your routine. Get yourself moving and get out of your head. You want to eliminate all decision making by preparing the night before and staying on the move. Have your outfit and everything you need to get ready laid out and waiting for you. Make the first thing you do the same thing every morning so it becomes engrained in your actions. You're body is able to move from one thing to the next without your mind having to be fully alert.
Get out of bed.
Walk to bathroom.
Put Clothes on.
Feed + Water Kingsley.
Push play on workout.
Not only is my body fully awake by the time I finish my workout, but so is my mind, and I'm ready to tackle the rest of my day.
4. Ditch the solitude and self-created opportunities to fail. Creating an early morning routine and habit is so much harder to do by yourself, especially if you are like me and can talk yourself out of almost anything. Keeping to a productive routine takes discipline and time to build into something easy and effortless. When we only have ourselves to hold accountable, we can convince ourselves that it is okay to cut our goals short. We persuade ourselves that our original goal is not important anymore. We do this ALL THE TIME.
"I'll just skip today's workout because I stayed up later last night and need the sleep."
"I'll hit snooze just this once because I haven't all week and I just want to."
By not following your plan of action, you are telling yourself that you are not worth it - that your dreams and goals are not worth the effort. You are telling yourself that you can't do hard things, and if there's one thing I know for sure, it's that...
You can do hard things.
My solution: Find your tribe. Ask your friends and network about their morning routines and goals. Look for people who want to wake up at the same time as you, or who have similar routine goals as you and work together to create a more productive morning routine.
Protip: Don't ask them to hold YOU accountable. Nobody wants to feel like your babysitter, am I right?? This is why you need to find people with similar goals, so you can add value to their life too. The women in my Virtual Synergy Gym all have similar goals. We want to live our best, healthiest lives and feel more fulfilled day to day. We are willing to show up and put in the effort to achieve those goals.
There are a few of us in the gym who want to make morning workouts our priority, so at 6am Monday through Friday, we hop on a video conference call with our cameras on (so we can see each other working out), but our lines are muted). It's a mutual accountability that makes our morning routine so much easier to get through.
When I wake up in the morning, I know that my girl gang will be waiting for me and they know that I will be waiting for them.
5. Ditch the morning rush and scramble of #busylife. We all have the same amount of time to work with in the day. We all have our own lives, responsibilities, and problems to deal with. We all know what chaos looks like. You saying that you are "too busy" or that your mornings are "too much of a rush" to be more productive or healthy is an excuse you tell yourself because we, as humans, are too lazy to change and want to feel valid in our choices. #woahharshamy
BUT NO REALLY. Let's circle it back up to the first piece of advice: get clear on what you want. If you want to live a rushed, chaotic life then that is your CHOICE. It doesn't bother me if you decide to live that way. It may have an effect on your partner, your family, and your whole mindset. But the only person who has control over your life is you.
If you want to have a happier, more productive morning, then you will find a way to make it happen.
My solution: Stop. Breathe. Meditate. Write down your intentions for the day while you sip on your favorite morning cup of coffee, tea, or matcha. Take 2 minutes (or 5 or 10) to clear your mind and be clear about your priorities. You are in control. You decide how you spend your mornings. You decide how the rest of your day will go.
What are your best kept secrets for creating a productive morning routine? Did any of these stand out for you? What will you be implementing into your mornings now?