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The Morning

Let’s talk about the morning hours.

First, let me lay claim to the fact that I despise the morning just as much as the next night owl. And, while I may have 2 kids under 5, I can still manage to sleep in until noon if left to my earplugs and night mask. I am NOT by any definition a morning person.

I know many of you are going to GROAN at the idea I’m going to propose here… but hear me out…

You need to wake up earlier (if you aren’t already). I’m not talking about 4am. I’m talking about 30-45 minutes earlier than you’re used to. And, I’m talking to those of you that can’t seem to find the extra time for xyz project that you’ve been wanting to tackle for the last 3.75 years.

Here’s the thing… the morning is when you can crack open a bit of productivity and efficiency. The phone/email/facebook isn’t ringing yet. No one is asking things of you. It’s just YOU and your BIG project. And, if you aren’t awake to use those extra 30-45 minutes, you’re missing out.

{my 17 year old self is crying for me right now – but I’m SERIOUS, people}

I don’t know how many newish business owners tell me that they wish they had more time for their business (aside from their day job)… and how many experienced people say they wish they had time to write a book, launch a new product, reconnect with an outside-of-work hobby, exercise(!), ________.

The morning is when it’s happening.

With just 30 minutes a day on a HUMONGOUS project, you can achieve incredible things. Here is the math:
30 minutes a day x 4 days a week (I’ll let you slack a bit) x 50 weeks a year (2 weeks vacation)
= 100 hours/year

I could likely write a 200-300 page book with 100 extra hours.

What could you do with 100 extra hours?

Share with me below… am I CRAZY? Or, has this worked for you? What have you been able to accomplish with squeezing in some quiet time in the wee hours of the morning?

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August 28, 2013 - 8:39 am

Bethel Nathan - Ceremonies by Bethel - The business person in me knows that you are totally right, and that while I am quite productive at night, I know that even I hit a limit and I would be better off getting to bed earlier for better sleep. But the person in me who so loves to sleep, and can sleep until 10 AM easily unless someone or an alarm wakes me up, has been fighting this for years (and will probably still fight it). Maybe I compromise and do this two days a week for now? ;) Also, the only way this works is to spend that “bonus” morning time not looking at email or FB, and going right into a project, otherwise it’s totally wasted for me.

August 28, 2013 - 8:56 am

Michelle Loretta - You and I are so similar, Bethel! For years I have been kidding myself that I just get the work done at night (late at night)… but when I started to look at the way I was spending my time, I realized it was self-defeating. I would stay up until midnite ‘working’… and look back on 3 hours of ‘work’ to see that I was really tired, not always doing quality work, or spending 30 minutes of hard work with 2.5 tired hours on social media. As much as HATE waking up early, I realize that I am much more productive in that 30-45 minutes than I was in the 3 hours of staying up too late. And – believe me – it doesn’t happen it every day – *maybe* once or twice a week. (Being on the east coast I’m not as tempted by social media at that hour because few people are on it then.) Tell me how it works for you! I’m curious if you notice a difference!

August 28, 2013 - 12:32 pm

Holly Rutt - SO SO SO true! This semester my husband is out of the house at 6:20 for rotations at the hospital and I am riding that wave getting up with him to move my car out of his way and staying up…. Doing YOGA, reading books I’ve been dying to read practicing the guitar… sometime answering emails at 6:15 am just to impress the socks off of my brides if they happen to notice :) its the best total game changer getting started on the right foot makes the whole day better. ~holly

August 28, 2013 - 1:28 pm

Cassandre Snyder - Perfect advice. When I know I need to get something done, I wake up earlier than I ever would. Tackle it & sometimes go back to sleep. But it’s uninterrupted productivity. Nothing good is on tv, nothing good on fb or twitter. Just me & that project that is keeping me from crawling back into bed!

August 28, 2013 - 1:31 pm

Lauren @ Every Last Detail - Oh this is sooooo true. I myself totally need to be doing this! I actually find that I’m pretty productive later at night- like 2am, which I suppose could be considered morning, right? But nonetheless, I definitely think I’m going to start waking up earlier to tackle all of my projects. Because I have a lot of them ;)

August 28, 2013 - 4:39 pm

Michelle Loretta - I can have those late night waves of productivity also, Lauren. But, I also find that I (personally) can also get sucked into time waste more often at 2am than at 6am. (There’s less good social media out there at 6am!) HAHA.

August 28, 2013 - 4:41 pm

Michelle Loretta - Yes – that’s exactly it Cassandre. It’s the uninterrupted productivity that is so valuable about the morning!

August 28, 2013 - 4:42 pm

Michelle Loretta - Isn’t that wonderful, Holly? I want to get to the point where I wake up to do some of these personal things you talk about… not just the work things… because it sounds so relaxing and fulfilling!

August 29, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Kristine Bentz - Thanks for this nudge, Michelle! You are spot on. I get up early because I a) have a horse and b) live in the desert. If I’m not out early in the morning and done riding/exercising by 9AM, forget it. Still, I could get up earlier than 6:00. In the winter I get up that early and my work – especially writing – flows. (I just ride during my ‘lunch’ instead.) Now, about a book . . . that’s intimidating stuff!

August 29, 2013 - 4:57 pm

Michelle Loretta - You already have some great habits in place! I love this!

September 4, 2013 - 2:13 am

Evelyn - Unfortunately, when you work from home and your children wake anywhere from 5:30am onwards, I refuse to get up any earlier as I am still also doing night feeds.
Still, I’m slowly training my 3.5 year old to understand that if he doesn’t let Mummy work a little during the day, we won’t have money for toys. That seems to hit the spot with him :-)
Also, I found that I had to turn my phone off at night because orders and questions come in from Etsy all hours of the night from overseas.

September 10, 2013 - 2:48 am

Michelle Loretta - Oh yeah! The phone off at night is A MUST! Even the east to west coast time zone difference is enough to keep you up too late or up too early. :)

October 10, 2013 - 6:52 am

Parthenia Fayne - So, here I sit. I had JUST typed in my journal about the importance of those early morning quiet hours. I had just typed about how that habit is one that affects so many other things in my life. I had just poured out my heart about (re)establishing the habit. I listed how my “night-owlness” hindered me (groggy, fuzzy and ineffective in the morn)and how the early morning quiet time will help me! I have had this struggle off and on for years and know that I am my best self when I go to sleep at a good time and get up early for my quiet time. After typing that in my journal, I went to my email hoping to clear it out a little. That is when I saw your email with that title looking at me, “Mornings”!!
Timely and awesome!! Thanks for being a source of confirmation and encouragement. By the way, the comment about your “17 year old self”, oh I can so relate. What a great way to phrase it!
Well, onward and upward! Here’s to morning productivity!! :-)

October 10, 2013 - 6:56 am

Michelle Loretta - Thanks Parthenia! I really do love the ‘quiet’ of morning productivity. It’s so magical. Glad you agree. (Also – I just was notified that this post went out again recently… I think there is a wordpress ghost or something because the article was originally written a few months ago. Maybe the ghost knows what we all need to be reminded of! ;) )

November 8, 2013 - 6:53 pm

Margaret Williams - This is great advice – thank you for writing about this! On the few occasions I’ve woken up just a little earlier than usual, I was able to get some things accomplished which I typically pushed off during the workday and in fact, I felt more productive. Sometimes that feeling alone can help you be more productive throughout the day. You feel ahead of the game! It’s a mind game and time management game. Thanks for expanding on this some…the math is really inspiring!

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