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Finding time for All The Things

Before I moved to my current home, I lived in one of Victoria, British Columbia’s (slightly) less expensive bedroom communities, about a 20-minute drive outside of the city. I worked full time at an office in downtown Victoria, so my morning routine began with a 6:00 a.m. alarm, included a 40- to 50-minute (depending on traffic) bus ride into the city, and concluded with picking up coffee and breakfast from the Starbucks around the corner from my office before starting work at 8:30 a.m.

clockI am most definitely NOT a morning person… I don’t think I ever have been… so not one weekday went by when I didn’t mentally curse the alarm clock, whimperingly drag myself out of bed, and fight off jaw-splitting yawns until the caffeine had worked its magic.

Then I moved to Windsor, Ontario (two years ago now, can you believe it?!). While I continued to work for the same employer (part time), my home office now doubled as my office office. Because I now live a couple of time zones ahead of the company, my work day doesn’t even start until 11:00 a.m. – and because I work from home, I no longer have a time-consuming daily commute.

Ahem. Did you catch the fact that I mentioned that I am NOT a morning person?

I’m sure you can see where this is going.

I started off two years ago with the greatest of intentions. While there was no WAY I was setting my alarm for 6:00 a.m. anymore (hey, there has to be SOME benefit associated with a significant pay cut!), I planned to wake myself up at a reasonable hour every day and do All The Things I never had time to do in the morning back in my commuting days – write, blog, exercise, read – before my work day began.

Riiiiight.

Unsurprisingly, that hasn’t worked out so well. Things were pretty good at the beginning, but gradually my natural non-morning-personness began to assert itself, and these days while I might wake up at a reasonable time (mostly due to the antics of three cats), getting up and getting on with my day is another matter entirely. (Sidebar: I blame my iPad. When it’s THAT easy to grab it from my night table to check e-mail, read Facebook, look at pictures on Instagram, etc. before my eyes have even fully opened, there’s not much incentive for me to get up right away! Besides, it’s easier to put the blame on something else than to accept that it might actually be YOUR fault, right?!)

But you know, against all odds, I really don’t like it. While it was a novelty at the start (and while I’m still not prepared to go back to a 6:00 a.m. alarm!), I am getting tired of losing so many of those precious pre-work hours to time-wasting when they could be spent and enjoyed so much more profitably.

So this week I’ve started making some changes. Though it may not seem like much to those of you who actually get up early every day, I’m starting by setting my alarm for 8:00 a.m. For now I’m allowing myself a bit of wake-up time on my iPad, but then I’m getting up and putting in as many minutes as I can stand (which are few at the moment, but will improve as I become more fit) on the stationary bike before showering and getting ready. I’m enjoying a leisurely, distraction-free breakfast and coffee at the dining room table (à la The Beck Diet Solution) instead of in front of my computer, and am even managing to squeeze in some writing time. Eventually I’m planning to replace my iPad wake-up time by re-introducing Morning Pages, but for now I figure baby steps are a good way to start so I don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged.

I’ve only been following this new routine for a couple of days, but already I’m feeling a whole lot more satisfied with what I’m managing to accomplish each day. Imagine how I’ll feel when this becomes normal and I’m ready to carve out even more time for getting stuff done!

Soon there’ll be no stopping me.

Are you a morning person?
How to you manage to fit in All The Things?
Please share!

NaBloPoMoNovember2013

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Cheri
    Twitter:
    November 20, 2013

    I so hear ya! I am also NOT a morning person however, apparently my internal clock does not understand this and I faithfully wake between 5 and 6 am …even when I haven’t gone to bed until 2 or 3 am … it sucks, BUT NabloPoMo has gotten me in the rhythm of writing my daily posts at night before bed and scheduling them for morning and it has been an amazing difference. I am not stressing about posting every day at all and everything is flowing well. I was concerned because I have a HUGE work/writing load with a ton of deadlines this month and wasn’t sure i could pull it all off, but so far so good thanks to scheduling posts. Knock on wood, say a prayer, light a candle 😉
    Cheri recently posted… My How Times Have ChangedMy Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      November 20, 2013

      Isn’t it frustrating when your internal clock doesn’t cooperate with the amount of sleep you’ve had? I so relate to that! Great idea about writing/scheduling posts – glad you’ve found a system that works for you!
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Plugged inMy Profile

  • Karis November 20, 2013

    I can definitely relate. I just moved to a state one time zone ahead of the state my company is in, so I now start work at 9am from home, instead of having to be at the office at 8am. My alarm is set for 8:45am and people make fun of me endlessly, but I’m so not a morning person. I too want to gain back that time and make it productive…or maybe just half of it so I can still sleep a little later than before 🙂

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      November 20, 2013

      People make fun of me too – and they don’t feel at all sorry for me when I complain about the odd day when I have to get up early!
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Plugged inMy Profile

  • Mandy November 20, 2013

    I am also sooo not a morning person, but my day doesn’t start until 2. I try to get up sometime between 6AM when hubby leaves for work and 10. It varies from day to day, but I immediately get started on work and accomplishing things. I’m so glad NaBloPoMo has gotten you on a routine. I actually really like blogging challenges. 🙂

  • Talya Tate Boerner
    Twitter:
    November 20, 2013

    I am SO a morning person. I’m awake at 5 a.m. Sometimes 4. I do my free writing first thing, drink lots of coffee, work on blogs, check emails, Facebook, pinterest, all before 7 a.m. And then I write until noon. Maybe I go to yoga, maybe not, but I’m always up early. I blame my dad who was a farmer. We woke before the chickens EVERY DAY. ALWAYS. Now I can’t help myself. Of course it’s almost 7 p.m. and I’m sooooo ready for bed:)) Great post!

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2013

      I envy you your productivity, but I’m not sure I’d want to go to bed at 7 p.m., LOL! I wish I could be a morning AND a night person… if I could get away with 4 or 5 hours of sleep, imagine what I could accomplish!
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Plugged inMy Profile

  • Rekha November 21, 2013

    Luckily I am a morning person and at my all-time best early in the mornings. I can finish off most of my chores before the family wakes up. Early morning are so less distracting and disturbing that I enjoy it the most. The calmness helps me de-stress. But yes, the same me cannot burn the midnight oil come what may. Even during my nursing days, it was very difficult for me to even be awake for the little time the baby takes the feed. Beautiful post. I’m glad I decided to stop by. 🙂
    Rekha recently posted… Are they responsible for our parenting needs?My Profile

    • Laurel Regan
      Twitter:
      November 21, 2013

      Thank you so much – glad you enjoyed it! There’s a part of me that definitely wishes I was more of a morning person, but on the other hand I do appreciate being able to stay up late at night!
      Laurel Regan recently posted… Plugged inMy Profile

  • Kim
    Twitter:
    November 21, 2013

    I’m not a morning person either but thanks to the antics of my three cats plus a body clock that naturally wakes me up early every day, I kind of am unfortunately. It usually takes me a cup of coffee (or three) before I’m even remotely productive or functioning somewhat normally. It’ll be interesting to see how I survive next semester with a 2-day a week class that starts at 8:30 a.m.
    Kim recently posted… Goodbye, NaBloPoMo. It’s Been Fun. Sort Of.My Profile

  • anexpatinuk
    Twitter:
    November 26, 2013

    Hmm, feels like I could have written this myself. I’m not a morning person but I would love to be. At the same time, it’s during the first part of the day I get the most done (when following my to-do-list). So structuring my days are a constant work in progress. If I wouldn’t eat breakfast with my husband at 8am I’m afraid I would sleep half the day…
    I found it interesting to read the other comments on this. Lucky you who don’t start work until 11am! I actually think the best work gets done when we are most alert, and that is different for every person. Seems like you have got a good deal with that. 🙂
    anexpatinuk recently posted… Notes on my writing #2My Profile

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