Hey there! Surprised to hear from me? I know what you’re thinking…
Back to back days of posts?? For the first time ever?? And after I just mentioned yesterday that once a week posts would probably be the norm this year?? Who in the world is this!?
Well, this one was a shocker for me as well, but I did mention that I’d be posting more if I had the combination of time and/or more to say.
And boy do I have something to share with you all! I’m totally jazzed by the big goals I set for myself this year, I did not want to waste any time getting started.
The problem is, my big goals require both my time, and energy: something I seemed to be lacking at the end of last year. I decided I wanted to do something about that…
Enter my January challenge: wake up at 5AM!!
Waking Up At 5AM… Are You Crazy??
For pretty much my whole life, sleeping in as long as possible has been my preferred choice.
Obviously with schooling and a full time job that isn’t always possible, but nevertheless it was the mindset. I’d prefer to stay up later and then subsequently get up later – still giving my body the sleep it needs. (Maybe my former weekend hobby also had something to do with that these past several years….)
So why in the world would I try this 5AM wake up challenge!?
After all, the only time I’ve done something like this in the past was when I was forced to, via early morning college football workouts and extra OT shifts at the cardboard box factory. (<– ok not forced but I needed that extra money!!)
Well, during this past year of blogging, I realized something about myself. As a chronic procrastinator most of my blog posts are written the day before.
As time went on, the night before turned into the morning of, as I found I lacked the concentration and focus to write after long days of work. Thus, I’d set my alarm early, somewhere between 5-6AM depending on how much I had left to write and would then finish it.
Doing this several times, I realized something interesting: I was much more efficient and productive when writing in the mornings. What would sometimes take me several hours to write at night (staying up very late), would only take me 2 hours max in the morning.
Maybe it was the self imposed deadline looming that forced me to concentrate. But either way there’s no denying it has been a much better use of my time to do it this way.
I would be tired by the end of the day for sure, but that’s only because my body was not very used to getting up this early, and the abnormality would throw off my schedule.
Keeping this is mind, I looked more into waking up early to see if this was something worth trying more regularly.
The Benefits of Waking Up Early
In my research I was surprised to find there were a whole other host of benefits to waking up early than what I had noticed myself.
Even better is if you make it your regular schedule, so your body has time to adjust to it. Trying to do it one to two times a week like I had been doing doesn’t seem to quite have the same effect (hence why on those days I got very tired after my initial burst of productivity).
A few of the benefits I am most intrigued by are:
- More energy
- Better organization
- More time to exercise
- Better sleep
- Fewer distractions
- Better mental health
If you think about these, most of them make sense.
Waking up earlier gives you a lot more time before work. You can fill this with doing any number of things – whatever you prioritize.
Maybe that is exercise, or organizing your life and setting daily goals. It could be simply stretching or meditation to give you focus. Maybe it’s time to work on a side hustle you have outside your day job.
As a bonus, most people do not rise this early, providing you with fewer distractions to get whatever it is you want accomplished.
More energy makes sense to me as well. From experience, I have more energy in the mornings than I do later in the day, simply because I have not experienced decision fatigue from the thousands of decisions we make on a daily basis.
I am intrigued about better sleep and whether that will work for me, but I suppose getting on a set sleep schedule can’t hurt.
All of this combined – better sleep, more energy, organization, exercise, etc. is the perfect recipe for better mental health – something everyone should be prioritizing.
5AM Wake Up Challenge
Despite stumbling on to this idea from my own experience this past year, I do know of many others who wake up early.
J Money at Budgets are Sexy has been doing this for years, and J at Millennial Boss put together a list of a few other bloggers who have done it/are doing it as well. Heck, my own parents and several coworkers I know wake up early anywhere between 4:00 – 5:30AM.
It’s time I gave this a real shot to see if it’s for me or not. I’m intrigued by the possibilities!
In this challenge, time, energy and productivity are what I’m after.
Before, the only extra time during the week I had was after work, when I lacked energy and productivity after a long day of work.
This made it difficult to accomplish some of my goals such as consistently working out, as who wants to workout when they are exhausted??
With my extra time in the mornings, I have big plans, including getting regular workouts in, writing for the blog, reading, and spending time figuring out ways to make that extra side hustle money this year.
While I was initially just going to do this on the weekdays, in order to fully adjust my body I think it’s best to give it a shot the entire month – weekends included.
If I like the results, this could be a permanent change! If not, I can always adjust to find some sort of happy medium. Worst case, I just go back to what I was doing before. What is there to lose!?
Nevertheless, I’m excited to start off 2019 on this note and to see what can be accomplished with this “new found” time! 🙂
Do you wake up earlier than needed? If so, why? Have you noticed you get better sleep/more energy? If not, have you considered trying it out?