Monday, June 18, 2012

10 tips for waking up earlier



With busy lives, jobs, and families, it can seem impossible to fit in time to pursue our dreams. The best time for me to follow my dream of writing is 5:15 a.m. Before my three-year-old climbs out of bed and before I get ready to go to my day job, I make my way to my desk to follow my passion. It isn't easy to leave a nice warm bed, but here are my tips for teaching yourself to wake up earlier:

1. Place your alarm clock on the other side of the room.

2. Use an alarm clock without a snooze. I use my Iphone and disable the snooze.

3. Go to bed at the same time every night. I go to bed at 10:15 almost every night. It may sound early to the night owls out there, but it makes a huge difference in my energy and productivity the next day.

4. Wake up at the same time every day ... 7 days a week. Okay. I know I lost a few of you here. If you can get your sleep patterns into a normal rhythm, it helps a lot.

5. Don't make a decision about whether or not to wake up while you're in bed. Trust me, the bed will always win. I don't let myself decide whether or not I'm going to stay out of bed until I've brushed my teeth and put in my eye drops. By this point, I'm almost always ready to stay up and get my writing done.

6. Create a routine. I do the same thing every single morning. At this point, I'm on autopilot when I'm starting the coffee and making my way to my office.

7. Make it enjoyable. For me that means staying warm. I have to have my warmest blanket, my slippers, and my coffee. Figure out what works for you.

8. Have an accountability partner. My husband also wakes up early to run and work out. I also have a few writers who keep me accountable. You know who you are ;)

9. Know why you want to get up earlier. Set your goals and look at why they're important to you. It's a sacrifice to give up sleep to pursue your dream. Remind yourself why you're doing it.

10. Just do it.

When do you write or pursue your dreams? Do you wake up early? What are your tips for fitting it all in?

33 comments:

  1. These are great tips! I'm an early riser, too...I have to be because the day job sucks up so much of my day. At first, it was ridiculously hard...but like you noted, once you're in the routine, you hit auto-pilot. :)

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    1. Yes. I thought I'd never hit the point where I was out of bed and moving without the great debate going on in my head every second. Routines are powerful!

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  2. Great tips, Julie. You know me, early riser too! I usually set my alarm about 20 minutes earlier than I really want to get up. For some reason, thinking I still have some time lay there helps me get up when it's really time.

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    1. I wish I could do that, but I would definitely fall back asleep. I have a special talent for being able to fall asleep any time and any place if I'll let myself.

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  3. I've been waking up naturally lately. I think all the sunlight and the birds. But come winter, it takes A LOT to get me up early. Will have to try a few of those. :)

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    1. After having my son, I think I forgot what waking up naturally feels like. If I don't get up with an alarm clock, my little human alarm clock wakes me up :)

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  4. Quiet time is my golden time! Otherwise I'm up late and squeezing it in any other change I get.
    ~ Wendy

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    1. Me too. I must have some time to myself every day or I will go crazy!

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  5. Oh my gosh, I was going to blog about this, too! I went through a patch of feeling really tired so I worked hard on getting my schedule on track so I could clear that up. Now that I feel better, I'm working on getting up earlier so that I can fit in some writing and exercise time when it's quiet.

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    1. You should! It's a fun topic. Getting up early helps me feel like I have some breathing room in my busy day.

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  6. This is a great post, Julie! Sometimes I'm up late doing some writing, but then I'm exhausted the next day. I must get on a schedule. You stated some great tip here to help.

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    1. I used to stay up late, Loree. Lately, my brain just won't cooperate. My mind is clearer in the mornings.

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  7. Great tips. I'm a night owl, but having a dog helps keep me on schedule. I have to wake up early to walk him. I also make a writing schedule.

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    1. Dogs and kids make great alarm clocks ;)

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  8. LOL I want tips on how to not wake up so early!! My husband has to get up for work around 4am and now I am so conditioned too I hate it!! I write once he leaves and I wake up fully.

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    1. 4 am is early! That would take some super strength coffee for me.

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  9. My husband is the early riser in the family. Wish I could do it, but my brain does not function well in the wee early hours!

    But good for you, Julie!

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    1. Stick with whatever works for you! You've been churning out the word count, so I wouldn't change a thing. :)

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  10. This post is very timely for me. I've been desiring to wake up a bit earlier and struggling, but I'm going to try some of your tips. Thank you!

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    1. Awesome! Let me know how it works out.

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  11. Thanks for these tips, Julie! I'm more of a night owl myself, but have been training myself to get up earlier to be as productive as I can. Once I'm up, warmth is a big thing for me, too - I can totally relate to those slippers and the blanket! My writing time is typically late morning to early afternoon.

    Wanted to thank you for stopping by Life Lessons! Sorry to hear about your experience with skin cancer. Mine was pre-cancerous, but scary nonetheless. I still enjoy being out in the sun, but I've learned that sunscreen is my friend!

    You bring up an excellent point - it's easy to miss God's instructions when we're busy. And a teachable spirit IS critical! Have a blessed week!

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    1. Hi, Maria. I also keep a space heater under my desk at my day job. I can't work when I'm cold!

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  12. LOVE this list, J. I'm definitely a morning person and try to get up at the same time 7 days a week, too. I like the routine of it. When I sleep in, I feel awful. I feel like I've missed too much time.

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    1. Thanks. It is weird to wake up late and feel like half of your day disappeared!

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  13. I wish I was an early riser. Your tips are excellent and they make so much sense to this night owl. I'm getting better though! I wake up a couple hours before my children so I can get some writing in, but since I stay home with them I don't have to write around a day job - I just have to write around four children! Thanks for these tips. And, hello! I'm so happy to stop by and check out your blog. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I'm sure writing at home with four children is just as big of a challenge as one child and a day job! If your kids are anything like mine, they have an alarm that apparently goes off when their mother is getting anything done. And they just can't stand it! :)

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  14. These are great tips. I hate waking up early and going to bed early, but during the school year I have to. I've found that leaving the alarm clock in the bathroom forces me to get up to turn it off. lol
    Thanks, girlie!

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    1. I'm such a sound sleeper that when my alarm was on my nightstand I would turn it off and not even remember doing it!

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  15. Great tips, Julie! I definitely need to incorporate these because my best writing time during the summer is before the kids are up. My favorite is the just do it! :)

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    1. :) I used to try to write when my three-year-old was awake. I've learned that I mostly just spin my wheels.

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  16. Great tips. I think having a partner who also gets up early is the biggest help.

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    1. It does help a lot. My husband gets up a little after I do, but he gives me a hard time and I give him a hard time if one of us doesn't get up (all in good fun, of course).

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  17. Great tips, Julie! Thanks so much, and keep up the good work!

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