productive mornings

I used to get up by 5 AM everyday to study Latin and do my translation homework.  The early mornings gave me a time free from distractions, from the sounds of roommates watching movies or eating yummy food; free from the temptation of going to bed because I struggle to keep my eyes open late at night; and free from my muddled thoughts after a long day of school, work, and life.

And then there was a time in the not so distant past when I used to get up early every day because my baby needed me. His crying would wake me in the early morning hours, but my general sleep deprivation kept me from actually being able to do anything productive with those wakeful early morning hours. Thank goodness the flat, confused, and narrow thinking from that first year is over.

Now I am facing deadlines and panic because I absolutely need to work more hours each day on my thesis. There are more paragraphs to write, more articles to read, and more chapters to revise. I’m staying up later at night (I consider any hour after midnight late) and trying to get up earlier in the mornings. I’ve tried resetting my morning routine to get me up and out of bed t 6, but usually I sleep until my toddler walks into our room at around 7:30 looking for cuddles from mommy and daddy.

Today my husband got up earlier than usual because he had an event first thing in the morning. That meant he had to get up and drive our son to daycare. Our combined efforts of getting through the morning routines meant he was able to leave almost 45 minutes earlier than I am usually able to manage on my own.  It also meant I could stay home and get to my computer earlier than usual. (Although I won’t say that blogging is the best use of my morning writing time…)

I read in the blog (link below) about gently pushing one’s morning routines earlier by shifting the alarm earlier gradually over several days or even weeks until reaching the desired hours.  This I can do.

More importantly, I need to use these early morning hours for what they are: my most productive time of the day.  I know my brain processes more quickly and I think more clearly. And clear thinking leads to fast writing.

Focus on the writing, on being productive, on starting my work.  Do this before checking email, social media, or the news. It is amazing how much time and energy I spend trying to keep up with the news; the radio is almost always on in the car or at home with news programs, interviews, analysis. There have been times in my life when I’ve been much more removed from the news cycle, and truly, those have been the most productive for me.

Thanks to this blog for reminding me of the benefits of getting up earlier and for helping me think about how to change my habits.

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