Mondays are probably my favorite day of the week.  Why?  Because this is the day I can really get sh*t done. This is when I’m up at 5 a.m., getting a head start on my day and getting as much done as I can possibly manage.    I get up early and do as much as I can before the kids wake up, then after I drop my oldest off at school I dive back in. 

It’s a crazy schedule and there’s a lot of back and forth since I still have 2 kids at home, but these early mornings are what give me the extra time and productivity I need to get everything done. Now, I’m definitely not a morning person, but getting up at 5 a.m. has made a huge difference in allowing me to balance school work, entrepreneurship and a family of 5.  So how does a non-morning person get up so early and keep going throughout the day?

Here are my top tips for being a productive early riser:

Go to bed early.  I know this seems like an obvious one, but it’s one of the make-or-break items for me.  I make it a point to in my bed no later than 9:30.  If I’m studying, I set an alarm for 9:20 so I can put my stuff away and get in bed on time.  If it’s a snuggle night and we’re watching TV, I make sure to tell Nick I need to be in bed by 9:30 so he holds me accountable (and doesn’t start another episode of Magicians at 9:15).

No snooze opinion.  This is the other make-or-break moment for me.  For the longest time I had about 6 alarms set on my phone to wake me up, and you know what? I was never up on time because I was always delaying for the next alarm.  Now I use a this sunrise alarm clock instead of my phone.  I like having the light set at about a 3 or 4 so it’s bright enough to wake me up, but not so bright I can’t see.  This also helps to keep me from falling fully asleep again if I do hit snooze, because for me hitting snooze more than once means I’m not getting until the kids are up.

Prep the night before.  No one wants to wake up to a struggle first thing in the morning, so helping myself out with some quick prep-work the night before is essential. I make sure the kitchen table (i.e. my morning work space) is clean and wiped down, the living room is tidied up (no toys on the floor, blankets are folded, dog toys put away). I set the coffee pot and make sure I either have creamer or a protein shake in fridge to mix with it for iced coffee. Last, I hang my clothes for the next morning on the closet door hook (I usually have both jeans and leggings hanging up there so I can grab which ever feels more comfortable at the time).

Sike yourself up.  Mindset is 80% of the game for me.  If I start telling myself what I’m going to accomplish the next day by getting up early, I know I will look forward to getting out of bed.  It’s kind of like when you have a big trip planned and you have to be up really early to get to the airport and the anticipation makes you jump out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. Building yourself up to that excitement makes it so much easier to get out of bed. Knowing I’m moments away from coffee helps, but actually being excited for the day ahead instead of dreading getting up early is what really gets me going in the morning.

Get dressed.  One reason I started laying out my clothes the night before is that I feel much more productive when I get dressed first thing.  I may not put make-up on or even brush my hair first thing, but I make up my side of the bed and put “people clothes” on.  This helps me feel like climbing back in bed is not an option, no matter how comfy it looks or how snuggly the dog is being.

If you’ve been thinking of getting up earlier or you just need a little extra time in you day, try waking up a bit earlier.  You don’t have to get up at 4:30, but waking up earlier, especially if you have little ones, can help change the whole tone of your day.  Waking up early makes me feel more put together and on top of things, but that’s a whole other blog post.

Have some tips for waking up early? Leave a comment below and share them with us!

See you soon!

Posted by:Amy Clark

Hey, sunshine! I’m a proud entrepreneurial mama with three kids and a hunky husband. I worship chocolate like a deity, drink homemade lattes like my life depends on it and think jeggings are one of the greatest inventions of the 21st Century. A photographer, educator + military spouse, my happiest days are spent helping creative-based small business owners reach their business goals. Have questions about photography, business or life with 3 littles?- feel free to email me! amy@amyclarkcreative.com

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