One Month of Waking Up at 5 AM
TLDR: I don’t hate myself because of it.
A few weeks ago, I decided to change my schedule. After a few weeks of self-disciplined work, I figured out I do my best work in the morning hours. By one o’clock in the afternoon, my attention was gone, the sun was shining, and all I wanted to do was be outside walking my dogs.
So I decided to make my mornings longer. By waking up at 5 AM. Which I haven’t done since high school. And I didn’t do it willingly back then, either. Classes started at 7:15 AM, and I had to be at the bus stop by 6:00 AM sharp or I was walking six miles to school.
But as an adult, that motivation to wake up earlier then the sun for half the year was missing. Yah’ll, I normally wake up at 8AM. But I was determined to get that extra three hours out of my morning.
It did not go well. I was constantly snoozing my alarm, my dogs would literally sleep on top of me so I didn’t get out of bed, I used any excuse to stay in bed, and then try and cram all my new morning habits into like thirty minutes. Not relaxing, nor productive.
Doing better on the snoozing. The latest I slept was 6 AM. The positive changes were slowly creeping in and I was figuring out what time I had to be in bed by for the evening to have a successful day in the morning.
The dogs were still rioting. One morning I literally had to physically remove them from my bed and clang their bowls on the floor to get them moving for the day. I on the other hand had three mornings of waking up before my alarm and happily beginning my day.
The dogs have accepted their fate. One even removes herself from bed and goes to sit by her bowl the second I roll out of bed. The little guy still needs to hear the food hit his bowl as an incentive. I’ve burned through all my podcasts, and have begun to look for more.
The Take Aways
Once I got into the groove, my mornings were more productive.
Now all before 8 AM, I’ve:
- Walked the dogs
- Fed the dogs and myself breakfast
- Read for half an hour
- Tidy the house
- Work a chunk on the day’s big project
I’m struggling with the responsibility part of waking up early.
Some days I get less sleep then I need because well, life gets in the way.
I’ve run out of podcasts to listen to on my morning walks.
The sidewalks are crowded in the early morning – I’m dodging joggers, people waiting on the bus, bikers, etc.
If I don’t go to bed by 10 PM, I’m a cranky mess by 3 PM the next day.
My dogs don’t like to get up at 5 AM, so it’s a bit of a fight to get them out of bed.
I have to schedule my day the night before, if I don’t, I feel like I miss out on valuable time in the morning.
I am hungry ALL THE TIME. I’ve turned into a Hobbit. I eat breakfast at 5:30 AM, starving by 11 AM, have a snack around 3 PM and have dinner around 6:30 PM, and I’m not gonna lie, I’ll have ice cream or cookies before bed.
Before this experiment, I would have a smoothie for breakfast, a snack for lunch, and then dinner, being awake needs food.
The Final Results:
I’ll continue waking up at 5am. Most days now I get up before my alarm, which is nice. It’s a great feeling not being shocked awake by a loud alarm. While my routine might be an evolving process, it’s been a positive experience so far.
Check out my other posts on productivity, creativity, and the creative life.
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