It is 6am on a Saturday morning, and I am already up and working on my blog. I seriously cannot believe it. I even woke up before my alarm went off. I never in a million years thought I could or would want to get up early on the weekends. The weekends are supposed to be my time to sleep in, be lazy, and catch up on sleep. But we all know you can’t really “catch up” on sleep, so I’d usually wake up still groggy anyway. It all started with an email.
I signed up to receive emails from (in)courage in order to get their e-mail series “Three Ways to make guilt-free time for yourself in the new year.” I have time, but I don’t always have guilt-free time. I am also not always as productive as I would like to be. I hoped these e-mails would help me figure out how to balance things so I had time for work and play. Lately I’d been feeling like every free moment was spent on chores, meal prep, or working on my blog. I really LOVE working on my blog, but it shouldn’t consume my life either. 😉
The first e-mail suggests tracking your time to see where your days are going. I thought that sounded like a good tip but I had done something similar not too long ago. The email also mentioned a new book that talks about finding pockets of time that often go underused or wasted. These “pockets of time” are called the “fringe hours” of your day. That idea sounded intriguing.
The second e-mail changed everything.
In this e-mail, Jessica Turner (author of The Fringe Hours) shares that she maintains her schedule seven days a week because if she doesn’t, it throws off her Monday & and Mondays are hard enough! I agree. Mondays are terrible. Usually I sleep in on the weekends, so I’m not tired at 10pm Sunday night. That means I stay up later and start the work week already sleep deprived. I’ve tried telling myself that wasn’t the best idea, but I just couldn’t seem to get up early to save my life.
I have always said that I’m not a morning person. If you would have asked me a couple weeks ago how to become a morning person, I would have said “who cares?” I HATE getting up early, and it has been a challenge my entire life. I have heard so many times that it is better for your body to get up at the same time every day. I’ve laughed at that and thought “Yeah right!” When you are exhausted and you have an opportunity to sleep in, why wouldn’t you?
Here’s the game changer. This is the passage from the e-mail that really clicked with me: Staying consistent is an important part of making this habit work. In fact, “waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.”
I read this and immediately thought “I want to be in a calm and centered state.” I sent a text to my husband telling him that maybe I should try it. He said “Get up early? Not my baby….” Of course that was a valid response. After 14 years of marriage, he knows that I do NOT like waking up early. I responded and said “but I want to find my calm and centered state!”
I was discussing this with a friend at work and discussing when we do our best work or are most productive. Throughout our discussion, it came to light that I really do work better in the mornings. I have a hard time concentrating late at night. She said “I think you actually ARE a morning person!” What? How could that be? For years, I have struggled with getting up on time. It turns out maybe the issue is not the mornings. Maybe the issue is getting out of bed, specificially getting out of bed when I am exhausted from lack of proper rest. So instead of saying “I’m not a morning person,” perhaps I should say “I’m not a get out of bed person” or “I’m not a run on empty person.”
I received e-mail #2 on a Wednesday. The following weekend I did it. I set my alarm for 6:30 on Saturday AND Sunday, and I actually got out of bed. I didn’t hit snooze or turn off the alarm to go back to sleep, as I would normally do. I had finally found something motivating enough to get out of bed. Finding my calm was more important than sleeping in for once. I wasn’t sure if it would work and I told myself that I would just take a nap later if I needed it.
During the following week, I got up at 5:30 every day. I know that’s technically not the SAME time, but it is way closer in time than it used to be!! The one day that I hit snooze and didn’t get up on time is the one day I felt AWFUL all day long.
Today is my 2nd Saturday of waking up early. I wanted to get up at 5:30 since that is the time I have to get up during the week, but I didn’t get to bed on time. I had my alarm set for 6:30, figuring that was close enough. I woke up at 5:45 on my own. I just woke up. I thought about going back to sleep, but I was ready to get up. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME? Could it be working already? Could it be that I actually AM a morning person? Could it be that my issue has always been lack of sleep rather than a willingness to face the day?
I feel great. I feel alert and ready to tackle the day. I’m sure it helps that I look forward to working on my blog in the mornings, but I used to be jealous or even angry when I had to get up and my husband didn’t. Now I am choosing to get up when I don’t “have” to!
I am so excited about this tiny change that I have already pre-ordered the book. I cannot wait to see what other changes it can bring into my life. If there is even one phrase that speaks to me, it is worth my $10. You can pre-order your own copy all over the place, including Amazon and Dayspring.
Check out her blog and her book. It could change your life for less than the cost of eating out. Finding my calm and centered state is worth so much more than the cost of a book. As Jessica mentions on The Fringe Hours site, “Balance isn’t easy, but fighting for it is always worth it.” I’m going to keep fighting. Are you?