It’s no secret that I love planning and productivity, so I’m constantly reading lots of information and advice online about how to get more done – especially things written by mom’s or people in a similar situation to myself. It seems like almost everyday I stumble across a new blog post from a mom talking about how getting up early is the key to a calm and productive day. Have you noticed that, also?
It sounds like pretty good advice, doesn’t it? You get up early (and before your kids get up) so you can start your morning calmly and intentionally. It gives you time to gather your thoughts and get something accomplished before the sun even rises. Sounds pretty good to me.
In spite of all this great getting up early advice, you will rarely find me out of bed before 7am. Most days my daughter calling out from her crib is my wake up call. My first steps out of bed are straight to her room to get her up, dressed, and then fed. I’m not up early, before her, and I get nothing accomplished before the sun rises.
Does that mean I’m a total productivity failure? Sometimes I’m tempted to feel that way, but NOT getting up early actually makes me MORE productive. That’s right! So if you’re feeling like there’s some common advice out there that just isn’t working for you, I give you permission to do your own thing.
Let me explain. I don’t think the getting up early advice is a bad thing, and I think it’s truly the best thing for a lot of people. Plus I tried it myself before I decided it wasn’t for me. I think it is important to be willing to try new things before determining if they are actually helpful for you.
I’ve never been a morning person. I know a lot of people say that and maybe some use it as an excuse, but it’s really true. I worked a traditional day job for 6 years that required me to get up a little before 6 each day. My body never got used it. It never got easier. Not only was it obviously rough to drag myself out of bed before the sun rose, but I would be tired and draggy all day. Obviously, I did the best I could and still got up early, but it wasn’t ideal.
I now work for myself and have a lot more control of my working hours. For the first 10 months of my baby girl’s life, she was a terrible sleeper. We were lucky if she did even one 2 hour stretch (night or day). Therefore, anytime she would happen to sleep, so would I. If she happened to settle into a good, deep sleep from 8 am to 10 am, I wasn’t about to sacrifice that quality sleep time for myself. Even so, I was so exhausted and sleepy, that I didn’t function super well during that time. The last thing I needed was to put pressure on myself to be awake by a certain time.
Fortunately (and due in part to some entirely miserable but incredibly helpful “sleep training”), my daughter now sleeps quite well. She goes to bed at 8pm and very rarely wake before 7 am. If I wanted to, it would be totally feasible for me to get up before she does. But it still won’t help me to be more productive. I do plenty of quiet time after she goes to bed. I do what a lot people do during the morning time in the evening after she goes to bed. Plus I get to wake up feeling more refreshed and usually when the sun is already shining. It feels great! If I tried to get up early just because it works well for a lot of people, I would end up being tired, draggy, and would probably get less done!
Here is a recent scope I did on the topic for some more of my story.
If you are looking to improve the way you spend your mornings, I highly recommend the Make Over Your Mornings course by my friend, Crystal Paine who blogs at Money Saving Mom. The course is most certainly NOT about getting up early! I benefited a lot from it even though I don’t get up early. It’s all about using your mornings (and really your entire day) intentionally.
Is there any common advice that you’ve found doesn’t actually work well for you and your family? I’d love to hear.
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