I’ve long written about my disgust for those who are able to spring out of bed all chirpy at the crack of dawn. Bitterly I would mutter that it was horrendously abnormal. Then I started hearing about people who were choosing to rise at 5am. Urgh, I would scoff, I’m still in my sloth-like coma at that time, and I like it that way. I couldn’t fathom why anyone would choose to rise so early in the dark, out of choice! Then I found myself becoming fascinated with the idea of rising early. Could I get up at 5am?
I had seen two bloggers who were extolling the 5am virtues, The Organised Mum and Le Coin De Mel, seemed to be enjoying their early mornings and they didn’t look tired or grumpy. I’ve always believed that rising early makes you look like the front of your face has fallen off. Now that I am getting older my face doesn’t settle until at least lunchtime. Perhaps getting up earlier would actually mean I look less haggard.
I mooted the idea to my husband who quite rightly scoffed, “You hate getting up” and “There is no way you will be able to do this” and “You are the least morning person I know”. Obviously, that made me more determined to do it. I could not let my husband be right. Therefore, I brought my going to bed time forward. Instead of going to bed at 10pm, I would be in bed by 9pm. I would try and stop going on my phone at least half-an-hour before, so that my mind was clear.
How have I found my early morning rising so far?
I’m not doing it every day. I tend to rise early Monday to Thursday at 5am and then Friday and Saturday 6ish and Sunday is whenever the children wake-up. Rather surprisingly, I am really enjoying the early morning get ups. I’m not reaching for the coffee as soon as I rise and I’m not drinking more coffee as a result. If anything I am drinking less coffee. So what am I doing with those extra two hours every morning?
How my working week has changed
My working week is almost divided into parts. I have to write one long extended article and then 14 mini articles of between 250 and 300 words. I can find myself writing about car insurance one moment and then skincare the next. It’s varied but as a result you can find that your brain jumps all over the place and your writing can become stilted.
Previously, I would start my working day at 9am. This would be after a frantic start to the day, the answering of constant questions from the children, the gentle coaxing you have to do when you are asking them for the 20th billion time to put their shoes on whilst on the inside you are screaming “For the love of god, put your shoes on before I lose the will to live, NOW”. Then there is the school commute and the herding of kittens as you try to get them into their classes before the school bell rings. By the time I am back at my desk I would be feeling frazzled and fraught and that feeling is hardly conducive to writing. I would sit there, staring at the screen, loudly cursing because I can’t find the words and the sentences won’t form.
How has rising at 5am changed my day?
Rising at 5am has changed all of that. I get up quietly so as not to disturb Mr C and I go into my office. The glow from the computer screen lights up my room, and I take a few moments to just enjoy the peace and quiet. I find that at this time of day the words come easier. They flow onto the computer screen and my fingers dance across the keyboard. It’s methodical and writing at this time of the morning feels relaxing. Just me and the computer and the cockerel on the farm next door, loudly crowing. By the time my children have risen I have already completed 2 hours’ worth of work.
Starting my day at 5am also means that I feel more in control. There is no rushing about. We have plenty of time to do everything. The day feels more ordered somehow. As a result of rising early I am finishing my work for the week earlier. Last week I even had the whole of Friday off because I had met all of my deadlines. There is no doubt that these early mornings have helped with my productivity. There are no distractions, no emails to reply to and I don’t find myself distracted by Instagram. As a result, I feel happier. I have the time to squeeze a run into my day and I have my weekends and evenings back. By the time 11:30am rolls around, I have often smashed all of my deadlines for the day.
Am I now a morning person?
I’m no longer clinging to my duvet in the morning, hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock repeatedly. My natural position was always horizontal but now I’m embracing the vertical. I’m no longer challenged by an early morning. However, I have to say, that I am only able to do this because I go to bed at 9pm. I would not be able to get out of bed if I were going to bed later. I might no longer be a night owl but I don’t feel twit-twoo about it. I am happier now that I am ruffling my feathers at 5am. No, I might not have become a millionaire by getting up earlier. There are many, many articles regurgitating the idea that an early riser is more successful. Take Apple’s Tim Cook who apparently rises at 3:45am, personally, I find that time insane. Anna Wintour also rises at 5am but I’m not sure she is a great advert for it. Yes, she might be outrageously successful but she is always wearing those sunglasses and looking miserable. Are those sunglasses hiding the sleep-deprived eyes?
In conclusion, I would wholeheartedly advocate rising early but I would only consider this if you are someone who can go to bed at 9pm and, if you are a parent you need children that sleep through. I love having those hours that are just for me. I almost feel like I’m rewarding myself with an early get up and I never thought I would say that.
I’m no longer a grumpy bed hogger but, don’t get me wrong, I’m no Julie Andrews at 5am. There is no singing, but there is some quiet satisfaction as I sit back in my desk chair and enjoy the peace and quiet.