There are a lot of things that I love about freelance work. I love the creativity, having the freedom to make my own schedule, and being able to choose the projects I want to work on. It can be challenging to stay disciplined. For example, I very much enjoy a good old fashioned eight hours of beauty sleep. And if I don’t have a morning shoot or an upcoming deadline, it can be hard to resist the temptation of the snooze button. This would be all fine and good if I wasn’t someone who suffers from a specific type of sleep-in-anxiety - wherein waking up late makes me feel a sort of panic that I’ve already wasted valuable time.
Waking up early, on the other hand, offers a sense of accomplishment and serenity. And I find no greater pleasure than watching the sky slowly shift from blackness to inky blue to the warm light of dawn. My interest in a month of mornings was to develop a habit that I could depend on to help me start each day feeling great. So how did it go?
6 am every morning was the idea. I would say my success rate has been somewhere around 60%. As in, I’ve managed to drag my ass out of bed slightly more often than not. Despite pretty much everyone’s advice, I haven’t been going to bed any earlier. It has been a struggle, and I have succumbed often to the alluring warmth of bed. The rest of the time, I have been very tired.
The mornings that I succeeded in maintaining consciousness have been great! I’ve been trying on a variety of morning routines. For example, last week I woke up and went for a sunrise paddle on town lake. A few mornings I woke up and cooked a huge, hearty breakfast. I’ve tried journalling, yoga, getting sucked into social media for well over an hour (not recommended), rock climbing, meditation, wandering around the yard like a crazy person, gratitude list-ing, getting straight to work, and going back to sleep.
The early-morning climbs and kayaking were easily the most blissful mornings. Journaling has been the most helpful in providing perspective and clarity in my thoughts and goals. Reading is nice but it often puts me to sleep. Early morning meditation put me to sleep every time. My social media morning was by far the worst. One productivity hack that I re-discovered this month has been writing down a list of Most Important Things the night before, so that in the morning I have clear marching orders. My MIT list today was to post this blog (it seems I’m still working through my blogging allergies). Let me know if you guys have any morning routines that work for you!