Getting up on time

photo-110I haven’t done much alarm setting over the past 7 years. My kids woke me up most mornings with ample time before anything I needed to do. But in the past 6 months, this has started to shift. The 2-year-old stays up later, especially on days she naps, but she also gets up later (note: sleep has never beget sleep in my house.)

What this means is that I have more control over my mornings. I’ve started to set an alarm on weekday mornings to give myself space to shower and make my breakfast before the kids rise. This has started to raise a tantalizing possibility: could I actually get some work done before the kids get up?

I did today (Sunday) though not intentionally. The kids went to bed late after going to the Please Touch Museum’s storybook ball. I went to bed at a reasonable time for a weekend (11:30) and so I woke up on my own by 7:30. No one else was stirring so I went downstairs, made my coffee, and was able to work for 45 minutes before my daughter started hollering for mommy.

My mind felt fresh. I got a lot done in 45 minutes. This is not surprising to me (see: What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast) but it was interesting nonetheless. I’m not ready to commit to a long-term habit of getting up early. But I’m willing to try it for a week, especially since I’m starting to figure out the data from the time logs I’ve collected from Mosaic. It’s tedious work, and it’s good to be focused.* I’ll report back. If anyone else wants to try getting up early to get things done this week, I welcome company! Just post about how it’s going in the comments.  

*I will probably get help for the data part of all this, but I figure I should do the first chunk of logs myself so I can get a good methodology going to teach someone else.

24 thoughts on “Getting up on time

  1. Ugh, not me. We still haven’t shifted from daylight savings time and I am not looking forward to getting up so we can get DC1 to school. We have to be out the door by 7:20 and I haven’t woken up anywhere near before 7:20 since before Spring Break.
    That said, my normal mornings start in my office at 8am, and I still wake up on my own without the alarm, usually with the sun. I just hope I have brain power to use the early morning because if I don’t get enough sleep I’m useless for anything requiring thinking. And generally when I wake up to the alarm instead of on my own that means I haven’t gotten enough sleep. I was amazingly productive over spring break, probably BECAUSE of sleeping in, not despite it.

    1. @nicoleandmaggie- having to get out the door by 7:20 counts as already waking up early in my book. I’m so glad we won’t have to deal with that for a few more years — the elementary school my kid goes to starts at 9, and it’s 5 minutes away. Not looking forward to the early start of middle/high school.

      I’m not productive when I’m sleep deprived. I’ve just also realized that I don’t focus that well late at night, particularly on this counting/data crunching type of work. I can edit well. I just can’t count. So I’m getting up at 6 to do it. I imagine that my “early” is a lot of people’s “sleeping in.”

  2. I intend to wake up early this week (18 – 21 March). It is the 17th here for me and I woke up at 09:40 am thanks to a really late night and today being a school holiday for my girl. I can reasonable wake up at 06:00 and put in about 45 minutes to 01 hour of work before the family is up. This is what I want to do in the morning slot – Write Chapter 06, which is the concluding chapter of my dissertation.
    Laura, you are welcome to keep me company even if you intend to wake up a little later than me.

    1. @usha- I’m trying to wake up at 6 this week too. I can get in 90 minutes of work before everything else starts around here. Good luck on the dissertation!

  3. Waking in the AM is a constant struggle for me. My ideal time would be between 5:30 AM and 6:00 AM as this would give me enough time for a workout before work. The issue–inconsistent sleep at night–can’t seem to sleep straight through and therefore, when the alarm rings, I literally turn it off and sleep for another hour when my hubby’s alarm rings 🙁 I’ll keep you posted on how I do this week.

    1. @sukeina- I definitely think that getting enough sleep is the primary issue, long before the time one wakes up, in terms of productivity. That is a bummer about not being able to sleep straight through. I sleep with ear plugs, and that’s helped me a lot.

  4. I’m always up early (4:50), and it has become so so so much easier now that my son consistently sleeps through the night. He goes to bed by 8, which gives me a little chill out time to read and be asleep by 9. I always need an alarm to get up, but I feel a million times better now than I did when I was doing the same schedule but waking a few times each night.

    1. @Chelsea- 4:50 is early! But yes, being able to control what time you wake up and duration of sleep makes life feel so much more doable. That’s why I feel so much for people whose kids aren’t sleeping through the night, esp as the kids get a little older and the sleep deprivation stretches on for months/years. My kids don’t sleep as much as many kids, but at least when they’re out they’re generally out.

  5. We are early risers at our house. We all get up at 6:00 and are out the door at 7:00. I generally arrive at work around 7:30. I’ve always thought I should try getting up before the kids but I can’t seem to bring myself to get up in the 5:00 hour. I, too, have not set an alarm since my first child was born 4.5 years ago.

  6. I’m back to setting an alarm (for 7:30) as a stop-gap measure because we keep oversleeping. Toddler still wakes up multiple times per night, and the big girl has trouble falling asleep, so everything has shifted LATE.

    I can imagine a time in a year or two when I’m not sleep deprived (or co-sleeping) and could easily wake on my own ~6:30 and put in an hour of work/writing before the kids need to be awake.

    1. @gwinne- it was so wonderful when I first realized I could sleep past 6 regularly. Then 7. That was heavenly! Here’s hoping it happens for you very soon.

  7. I was up today at 5:05 AM. I really forced myself to get out of bed today because I tend to just lay there for at least 30 minutes before getting up.

    But, since I woke up so early, I had time to go for a walk and leave the house early so that I could work at a coffeeshop.

    I realize that in order for me to get up and be productive that early on, I need to prepare to do so — going to bed on time, not using my laptop until the wee hours, packing my lunch, and setting out my clothes!!

    I would like to wake up earlier on the weekends. I tend to think of the weekends as time to catch up on sleep. But, ideally, I want to wake up just as early!

  8. OK, this is timely for me. I will check in first thing in the morning, and we will see how I did. Mornings are my biggest time wasters. I don’t spend mornings doing anything good but drinking coffee. And I am embarrassed to say how long the coffee drinking goes on!

    1. @Amber – I love coffee. The coffee drinking goes on for a while around here too… I just happen to be at my computer 🙂

      1. 5:20am and I am up. My coffee computer time is usually spent on facebook. I’m working on my dissertation, and the lack of accountability to anyone but myself doesn’t always bring out the best in me. I am trying to turn that around. 🙂

        1. @Amber – yes, you need an accountability partner! (feel free to check in here too though). And how about using FB as a reward? Work an hour on dissertation, spend 30 minutes on FB guilt free… You can even post about how you just worked on that dissertation!

  9. Thanks for inspiring notes 🙂 I surely can make it earlier than 7 am especially when I go to bed at around 10 pm. I am ok with sleeping 4-5 hours sometimes. Nowadays, I really need to go back to this routine again ’cause there is smth more to be done these days. I am happily eager to be a company to you and all other early risers 😉 Good luck to us all!

  10. Hi, I like the idea of getting an hour of work completed before everybody else gets up and I have tried. My problem is that if I do get up early, the other members of my family are such light sleepers that it wakes them all up too. I don’t achieve much and other family members are less jovial too.

  11. I need to start going to bed on time, its always an effort to stop the creeping up of bedtimes, which then leads to later and later waking up. Its because the kids are going to bed later and later and I still need some time to myself after they go to bed. (but they aren’t waking up any later…last night they went to bed at 9, and woke up at 5:30 and 7…and were grumpy all morning)

  12. I found a tool which makes getting up early a little easier for me. The blaring sound of my alarm always rattled me causing a rocky start to my day. About 5 months ago, I began to use my Fitbit One as an alarm. I wear it in a wristband on my non-dominant wrist. At 600AM there is a vibration which wakes me. So much more soothing than the alarm clock!! It has habited me to awakening just before the alarm vibrates!! My day is so much better! With the change in time (DST), I’m going to move up my alarm 10 mins every week until I can easily arise at 5AM. I get so much done when I get up early. I have also used an alarm to help me to go to bed on time….good for another post!

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