I’ve always been a morning person. Between the ages of 13 and 16 I did a paper-round 6 mornings a week and had to be at the newsagent by 6 each morning. There were plenty of wintery Ballarat mornings where I’m sure I hated it, and I do remember begging Mum or Dad to take pity on me sometimes and help me deliver the newspapers from the car, but mostly my memories are the cosy ones – the warmth inside the paper shed on those cold mornings, the fact that I was the only girl in a shed full of teenage boys (no shortage of fumbling pimply suitors waiting for me to glance their way) or the breakfast waiting for me when I’d get home*. I’m grateful that it set me up to be an early riser and taught me the value of hard work.
So for years following this, my alarm would go off at 5 or 5.30 every day of the week and I got used to having a leisurely 2 plus hours to fart around getting ready for work, or Uni, or whatever. These days, it’s getting a little harder. My alarm goes off at 6 and I inevitably hit snooze for half an hour or 45 minutes before getting up, then sit on the couch with a coffee like a stunned mullet for 15 or 20 minutes checking what’s happened overnight on Facebook, Twitter, etc. The whole routine goes something like this:
6am: alarm goes off
6.40-7.10: coffee, couch, stunned mullet
7.25-7.50: hair, makeup (when I can be bothered), dress
8-8.15: pack lunch, pack bag, teeth, panic, rush
8.15-8.45: walk to work
Looking at that, I’m only productive for an hour of that time. SO much less productive than I used to be and it that pisses me off. I’ve been toying with different ways to get going earlier in the morning, and make better use of that precious time. I really should make more effort with hair, makeup etc since I’m a big girl now and wear I pull-ups. Living only a 20-30 minute walk (20 for most people, 30 for me because I dawdle) there’s no excuse not to be there just a little bit earlier.
Options I’m tossing up are: Leave the alarm where it is, but actually get up when it goes off. No more snooze! Or, set the alarm for later so it’s a real sleep in but bounce out of bed at the alarm like I used to do in the good ole’ days. I could try harder to pack my bag the night before work, or I could take my breakfast to work and eat at my desk which would save me at least 10 minutes each morning.
Coincidentally, I mentioned this to my workmate this morning and she directed me towards an article that someone she follows on Twitter had tweeted the link to – ‘What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast’. The author says something I firmly believe – “The hopeful hours before most people eat breakfast are too precious to be blown on semiconscious activities”. She’s dead on. Apparently mornings are when our brains work quicker (I did used to notice this when studying) and our willpower is stronger, so it’s an easier time to do yucky things like exercise. One of the 5 strategies she offers for making over your mornings is to ‘build the habit slowly’, and choose one new habit at a time to introduce. It’s the same with trying to make any change in your routine – incremental change is often more sustainable than drastic change.
So, starting tomorrow I’m going to get straight into the shower as soon as I get up. And when I’m in there,
I’m going to give this new product a go. No idea if it’s any good but I love the idea of having one product to do everything – a truly streamlined shower experience! That will have to save me some time, surely? I’ll try that for a week and see how we go. Ultimately I’d like to be at work by 8.30 each day and I’d like to be well-groomed when I get there. Apparently, “when you make over your mornings, you can make over your life. That is what the most successful people know”. Bring it on!
*Now that I think of it, I wonder if this is where my food issues began? Some mornings my brother and I (he had a paper route as well) would drop past the servo for a hot pie on the way home, or Mum would have one in the oven waiting for us, and that salty savoury goodness was worth hours of misery that had led up to it. On Saturday mornings the whole crew (me and the 15 boys) would take our cash down to Maccas for a big breakfast. Hash browns were my first one true love and will always hold a special place in my heart.