Womans hands holding alarm clock

Okay, so while pursuing the internet as one does, I came across an article about why you should wake up early, this particular article covered the health benefits of waking up early. After reading it, I thought, huh? Maybe I should check into this a little further. 

Sitting here today, I can say I have read several articles on why it’s better to wake up early. Frankly, some of them were just complete trash and others had some excellent points. An authority on the topic I am not, but I am going to share with you what waking up one hour just a mear 60 minutes earlier does for me. 

Okay, seeing honesty is the best policy you should know; typically, I woke up 45 minutes before having to leave for work. My clothes are laid out and my coffee is brewing by the time the alarm goes off. The routine was to jump in the shower, get dressed, pat the dog on the head, grab my backpack and coffee then hit the road. Sometime this would go smoothly, sometimes not so much. Okay, okay, oftentimes not so much. The commute, if you can even call it that, takes exactly six-minutes with traffic. This morning routine worked for me most of the time, but if the smallest hiccup happened, I would be thrown into a death spiral that most likely would consume my day. Now you may be thinking just get up 20 minutes earlier and that wouldn’t happen. You would probably be right to think that; I can only say it was what it was. The following are the five things I get to do with this found time. 

Imagine if you will the alarm goes off. I jump out of bed, under no circumstance do I allow myself to hit the snooze. In the past, this only made me feel worse; those extra 5 minutes cost me dearly throughout the day. I then grab my coffee and drink it, sitting in my favorite chair. Now, this sounds simple, but this is what I call Mind Time. I am free to think about whatever I want or nothing at all. 

After coffee, I take my sweet Pitbull, Olive, on a walk around the block, something that would never have happened before. This being my Nature Time, personally, seeing the dew on the grass and hearing the birds chirp is soul repairing for me. Waving at the neighbors but not stopping to talk was nice too. I highly recommend a walk around the block, even if you don’t have a dog. 

Now it’s time to take a shower. I was going to leave this out because it seems odd to talk about, but I decided you could handle it. I can now take the time to leave the conditioner in my hair for 5 minutes and do a face mask of some sort, my Me Time. I do all the things I would only have the time to do on the weekend. As ridiculous as it sounds, I feel good about myself when I take the time to do the small things to take care of myself.

After the shower and getting dressed, I have time to read. I wasn’t much of a reader because I didn’t have the time. Reading is a way to open your mind to new thoughts or learn something. Maybe it’s a work-related article or a novel. Either way, I take some Learn Time for about 20 minutes, setting the alarm keeps me on track, especially if I am reading a book or checking out my favorite dog blog The Good Dog Blog. When reading in the morning, the retention percentage is higher for me. 

The remainder of the time allows me to focus on my workday. I call this my Work Mind, is that ever really turned off? I digress. During this time, I go over the meetings for the day, calls to be made, the current projects and upcoming projects. Doing this gives me a headstart on my day. I may even return emails during this time. I am well ready before I ever get into the office. 

I went from having 45 minutes to having 1 hour and 45 minutes in the morning — a life-changing amount of time for me.

The Breakdown:

10 Minutes – Mind Time – Freeing 

15 Minutes – Nature Time – Soul Repairing

30 Minutes – Me Time – Feel Good

20 Minutes – Learn Time – Mind Expanding

30 Minuets – Work Mind – Day Ready

Totaling 105 Minutes, time for my mental health is something I didn’t know I needed and a year ago would have scoffed at the thought. Getting up earlier has been great for me. So much so, I am thinking of adding another 30 minutes to my morning. 

So, how did I change my sleep schedule? With10 minute increments on both ends of the day. Every two days, I would wake up 10 minutes earlier and go to bed 10 minutes earlier until I had an hour built up. I could have tried to do it all at once, but I was honest with myself and knew for me that wouldn’t work. One small tip, the night before, lay your clothes out, pack your work bag, set the coffee to auto brew, pack your lunch whatever you need for your day, have it ready the night before. You won’t have to think about what you need for the day in the morning. 

What are the benefits of waking up early? My sanity. It is the only time during the day I take for myself – mind – body -spirit. I believe in this so much I can say you should give it a try. If you don’t like it, it will be easy to go back to your routine.