on why I’m not doing what the most successful people do before breakfast (for now)

If you know me even a little bit, you know that I tend to get up around 5AM each morning.

It’s not even too unusual for me to get up around 4AM or 4:30AM.

In fact, when my babies have woken me up at 3AM, I have even — at times — decided to stay up for the entire day.

Why, oh WHY, would I choose to do something so sadistic?

Because, quite simply:  I want to fit in as much time into the day as possible.  Long before I had kids, I realized that getting up before most of humanity gets up means I get extra hours in my day.  Would anyone schedule a meeting at 5AM?  Will anyone want to grab some dinner at 5AM?  Does someone need me to cover their shift at work at 5AM (with the exception of Starbucks)?

No.

Can I work out at 5AM?  Could I fit in some extra work at 5AM?  Is it possible to find extra time to pray at 5AM?

Yes.

So since 2006, on most days of the week, I’ve been getting up around 5AM.

And according to the fantastic, smart, and prolific writer Laura Vanderkam, I’m doing what the most successful people are doing before breakfast.   *pats self on the back*

But wait.

For the last week, I’ve consciously adopted a slightly different schedule.  In order to save up my energy for my day (which includes working hard at a startup, watching two very small children, keeping house, making sure everyone is fed, and job searching), my husband suggested — what IF — what IF I tried “sleeping in” until 6:30AM or 7AM, working out after the girls are in bed, and using my newly found energy to work or hang out with my husband?

Innnnnnteresting idea.

He’s suggested this idea before, but I’ve never taken him seriously because I’m SUCH. A. MORNING. PERSON.  But lately, I’ve been tired/stressed/burnt-out enough in life that I decided I’m willing to try just about anything.

Some Results

So far, it’s been… good.  (FINE honey, you were riiiiiiiiiight!)

I feel a little out of sorts not going to sleep/getting up at my “normal” hours, but I do feel like I have more energy for the day and patience with the little interruptions that happen to everyone during the day.  My “I’m about to explode” fuse has virtually been snuffed out — I have been facing most frustrations with some very mindful, positive self-talk — and (yes, I’ll admit it) singing my way through difficult situations.  (Anyone want to hear my rendition of “Darrrrrliiiiing don’t pull your sister’s leg — she’s not a doll?”  or, “Whhhhhhyyyyyy didn’t you use the potty?”   Nope, didn’t think so.)

Moving Forward

Now before anyone says, “See?  I TOLD you so!” I just have to say that I believe this is a season for me.  I don’t think it will stick.  I believe people have internal clocks and my internal clock likes to get up at 5AM.  I am a morning person, and I crave the quiet and stillness in order to start the day out right.  But until the itty bitty one starts consistently sleeping through the night — until I find a job — until we figure out a few more “up-in-the-air” stressors in our lives — I’m thinking I’ll stick to this schedule.  But once things fall into place, I’ll go back to the early morning wake ups.

In the meantime, I’ll also try to make a couple (at least one) 5:30AM boot camp class because — welp, I’m just addicted to them and would really miss my workout buddies.  So I’m not a complete convert.

Why It Matters to You

Alright.  So this was a rambly way of saying the following:

If something isn’t working in your life — if you’re starting to feel burnt out — if you feel like your “I’m about to explode” fuse is on fire every day — if you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious or insecure:  try something new. 

A new routine.

More sleep.

Better food.

A good book.

Some extra support.

Less TV.

Some exercise.

Increased rest.

Planned down time.

Whatever it is you need to recharge, make sure you get it.  Don’t ignore the stressors.  Acknowledge them, and then find ways to cope with them.

  • Do you do what the most successful people do?  Why or why not?
  • How do you take care of yourself?
  • If you needed to try something new, what one thing do you think would completely change your life right now?

Image credit:  H is for Home on flickr

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One thought on “on why I’m not doing what the most successful people do before breakfast (for now)

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