Schedule for Success
A daily schedule is a great way to optimize your day and ensure you have time for everything life throws at you. Having a schedule has helped me organize my time. Allowing me the freedom to spend with family and friends, without worrying that I’m forgetting something.
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I’m working on a post about how to become a morning person. I’ve never been a morning person myself but lately, I’ve been trying to make the switch. So far, having a morning routine has been huge! I haven’t always stuck to it but trying to the best I can.
My morning schedule is much more detailed than my evening one. I’d say my evening schedule is even more just a guideline. Whereas my morning routine is much more structured to help myself get up early and still be, somewhat, productive.
Before reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, I didn’t have a strict schedule that I followed. I lived my days the way they happened and tried to be as productive as possible. The book opened my eyes to the fact that I should maybe try the whole schedule thing and see how it worked out for me.
Not too long after I did a challenge with Evelyn, from evolvewithevelyn, and there was a section about creating your routines. This is the first time I actually wrote down what my schedule was going to be. Then I changed it about 5 times. After that I tried to stick to it the best I could, knowing that there would be days that would change it but overall I would follow it.
Converting a Night Owl
I was, and still am, a night owl. I much prefer staying up late to waking up early, and I tend to be more productive later in the day. So, forcing myself to get up early, and get to bed at a reasonable time, was a challenge.
Frankly, I never thought I would be the type of person who would enjoy waking up at 8. Yes, I know for most people waking up at 8 am isn’t early. Heck, most of you are probably at work by then BUT sleeping in was one of the luxuries of working from home that I took advantage of. This wasn’t always the case as I worked my fair share of contracts where I had to be on set at 7 am, but I always preferred sleeping in.
A year ago if you told me that I’d be awake and being productive by 8, I would have laughed. That just wasn’t who I was. I used to love the fact that working from home meant sleeping in as late as I wanted and still getting my work done. As a result, I used to work late into the evening or push tasks off because I would run out of time. Now, by getting up early my days have started to feel longer and I’m productive right from the get-go.
Well, I say that but I do give myself a little grace in the morning. Part of my schedule is that after I’ve set my daily affirmation and to-do list I take 20 minutes to drink my coffee and watch a show on Netflix, read my book or listen to a podcast. It’s my me time.
I start each day with positive thoughts and a little time to just indulge and then kick it right into content creation. This is a huge part of why I believe I’ve succeeded in waking up early. I always hated mornings because I didn’t let myself take time to wake up and ease into my mornings. Now I cherish this time each day to align with myself, see what I need that day and set out my daily tasks.
For some of you that might be doing a morning yoga class or hitting the gym, but I’m not a morning workout person. That still hasn’t changed with my shift to waking up earlier. The point is just to do something that you enjoy and can look forward to when you wake up. I highly suggest trying a few things out and seeing what works best for you.
It’s really hard to get up early when you’re going to bed at 2 am. Part of having an evening schedule is to help you continue getting a good night’s sleep without it lasting until 11 am. For me, this was one of the big things to force myself to do.
As a night owl at heart, I love the evening and tend to stay up fairly late. Try to stick to a certain bedtime was difficult for me and it didn’t always happen. The important part for me was still making sure I got up in the morning no matter what time I went to bed. This helps your body get used to waking up that that time no matter what. Life is unpredictable and you won’t always get to bed at the same time, but it’s a good goal to strive for.
Some suggestions for an evening routine are to keep away from screens for about an hour before you go to bed. Also, limiting eating right before bed and it can make it difficult to fall asleep. I like to use my nightly routine as a good time to do some self-care, whether that’s reading a book, taking a bath or binging on some Netflix.
Tips and Tricks – Schedule like a boss
While it’s important to find what works best for you, I’ve found some tips and tricks that have helped me out. They made the transition from night owl to morning person just that much easier.
- Put your phone away before bed
- Do something you love right when you get up
- Coffee!! or tea in the morning
- Try to get to bed at the same time every night
- Exercise daily (this will help tire out your body and help you sleep better)
- Make your bed right when you get up
- Avoid the snooze button
I have templates for your morning and evening routine that you can find HERE, or in the resource tab of my blog. These are just a guideline to help you find your groove and set out a schedule that you can keep as a visual reminder.
Create a routine that allows you to start your morning on a positive note and motivate you to work throughout the day. Working self-care into your morning routine is a good way of achieving this.
It gives you something to look forward to and also has you putting yourself first. This can make waking up easier especially for all you night owls out there. When you’re excited about waking up, pressing snooze five times just isn’t as appealing.
Whether you’re used to working from home, or just starting out, having a routine will be a huge help. Morning routines are a great way to start off your day but I urge you to get into a daily routine as well. Things like time blocking or batching tasks are great ways to stay on task throughout the day and not spend too much time getting distracted.
One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed is that, more often than not, when my partner comes home I can put my work down and be done for the day. I have the ability to be more productive AND finish working before the sun goes down. This has been a huge change for me and I’m 100% loving it.
I’ve started feeling more awake as soon as my alarm goes off in the morning. I used to be a perpetual snoozer but now it’s much easier to jump right out of bed and get my day going. To all my fellow entrepreneurs out there who are living the sleep in life, STOP what you’re doing.
At least give waking up early a chance and see how you like it. That’s what I did, and while I still sleep in on weekends and the occasional other day, I’m loving the change I feel in my mind and body. Plus, who doesn’t love getting more work done and all before dinner?