About a month ago, I penned a piece for BNET called "What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast." The idea is how to use your mornings intentionally and start your day off right. For some reason, that particular headline has turned out to be total reader bait. It's like people are compelled to click on it. An initial surge of traffic drew a lot of comments, which then pushed it up the ranks of business headlines, landing it on LinkedIn's list of posts to read, with the net result that it's had well over 200,000 views. It continues to get a few thousand more every weekday, which I think is awesome for many reasons (such as my getting paid by the click!)
Anyway, as people write me about their attempts to use their mornings, I'm examining my own. With the summer sun coming up early as we near the solstice, I've been popping up awake at about 5:30AM. No alarm clock (unless you count the kicks of the little girl I'm expecting in October — she seems to like to wake up with the sun too). I think of my work day as starting around 8AM, so that leaves a lot of time to fill. Of course, a big complication for planning that time is that my kids wake up at varying times, though inevitably early as well. In theory, my husband and I could trade off with them in the AM (and something I definitely recommend for parents of young kids trying to use their mornings) but he's been traveling.
So how have I been using my mornings?
Monday I went for a run. My mother was here so I didn't have to coordinate with my husband on what time he was leaving for work. It was great to knock that daily to-do off before breakfast, when the air was still cool, and the streets relatively empty (I am starting to get a bit self-conscious about people looking at the crazy pregnant lady running). I think I will try to do more early AM running in the future. 6AM-7AM would often be a time that would work for my family.
Tuesday I worked from about 5:30-6:45AM. My kids got up about 6:20, but I let them watch one TV show while I finished up a few things. Then we played and packed boxes for the move until 8.
Today, I tried a bit of "strategic thinking time" as I lay in bed, pondering how the book revisions are going. Just a half hour or so, but nice nonetheless. The kids were up around 6, so we had roughly 2 hours of interactive time this AM. Nothing too special, but a lot of playing (and pulling them off the packed boxes). We jumped on the bed, sat on the floor eating raisins, sometimes out of my hand since they decided to pretend to be sheep like at the petting zoo. It was good to get this time in, since my evenings have been spoken for with work and volunteering commitments.
So this week has been going pretty well on that front, though I'd like to get things a bit more scheduled so I can do my runs 2 mornings or so per week. I definitely have more work I could be doing, but I'm going to try to do a shift this weekend. I never thought of myself as a morning person, but sometimes life conspires to turn us into such creatures. I'm slowly learning to make the most of it.
(photo courtesy flickr user bigal_60714)