Photo Credit: l.ili.an (Creative Commons)
Last week I was inspired by Jeff Goins (and the other people he linked to) to create a morning routine. Now, I have had a morning routine for the past couple years, but it wasn’t exactly a purposeful one. Most days it consisted of hitting the snooze button too many times, stumbling to the coffee maker, making my Powerpoints for the day, wasting time on the internet, and then throwing on something that was at least semi-professional and heading off to work.
This worked fine, but after reading Jeff’s post, I decided to give a more structured, purposeful morning routine a try. One of the themes rolling around in the back of my head for this year is using time more wisely. That theme has popped up at work (my first batch of assignments was completed a day early, even though it required working on Friday and Saturday night) and on #SheReadsTruth (we’re going through Proverbs this month) and now I’m trying to implement it in my personal life.
Even though I’ve never really been a morning person, I cannot deny that it’s easier to get things done earlier in the day, before my brain gets fried. I really enjoyed the first few hours of the day this summer when I would have time to read my Bible and drink my coffee and write. Of course, my days then usually started around the same time I’m starting class now, but many people have proved that you can train yourself to be a morning person. I’ve already somewhat done that anyway, considering college-Rachel though 7am was really early; now it’s just a matter of shifting things a bit earlier.
So here’s what the new routine looks like on an ideal week:
4-4:15am: Wake up
I am trying to not hit snooze, but I don’t really trust myself yet, so my phone does a preliminary wake up at 4, while my main alarm across the room goes off at 4:15.
4:15-4:30am: Make breakfast/coffee
I only get coffee on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, but I make sure to have either eggs or oatmeal every morning (sometimes both). I’m still moving pretty slowly at this point, plus letting Lucy out and feeding her, so this actually takes 15 minutes.
4:30-5am: Quiet Time
This is when I eat my breakfast and read my Bible. I’m starting to get to the point where it feels strange if I miss a day. Woohoo!
This part of the morning looks different depending on the day of the week. I’d love to exercise and write every day of the week, but then I would have to wake up at 3am and that’s just ridiculous. So on Mondays and Wednesdays I write for an hour. It can be a blog post, or journalling, or something that will hopefully eventually turn into a book; it doesn’t matter what it is as long as I’m spending that time writing.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do my Couch to 5K program (which is much harder to do in my neighborhood, with it’s cracked sidewalks and steady inclines, than it is on the flat treadmill) and then shower. I don’t have time to drink coffee on these days, and I’ve found that drinking coffee before running is a bad idea anyway, but I haven’t suffered from caffeine withdrawal so far, so I think I’ll survive.
On Fridays none of this applies because I have small group on Thursday nights and we’re not starting until 8pm this year so the couples can have dinner with their spouse and put the kids to bed before our meeting. Friday mornings are going to be interesting…
6-6:30am: Get Ready
I get dressed, make my hair look at least somewhat presentable, make sure my lunch is ready to go (I’m trying to put it together in the evening, but that doesn’t always happen), and head off to work by 6:30am. I won’t always have to leave that early, but I have breakfast duty this month, so I like to be in my classroom by 6:45 to give me a chance to make sure I have everything set up and ready to go. I’m trying to do more of that stuff in the afternoons before I leave, but I get nervous if I don’t have that time in the classroom before students show up.
So there it is. A bit ridiculous, no? The early wake up means I’m going to bed between 8:30 and 9pm every night, which I know is going to be more and more of a challenge. I didn’t quite succeed in sticking to this every day last week, but I was close. The hardest part was when I was working until 6 or 7, and then had to be in bed by 9. It made it feel like all I was doing was working, but I know once the year gets up and running I won’t have to work that late very often.
And based on the days I did stick to it, I think I’ll come to enjoy the routing. It was so nice to come home from work and know that I can waste time on the internet or watch Netflix for a while without feeling guilty because I got the important things done early in the day.
*Photo Credit: l.ili.an (Creative Commons)