Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Early Morning Trickery

... Or "how to trick myself into capturing productivity before 0800."

Most days I manage to get life started by 0600. That is, I am out of bed. I am wearing a shirt that is not what I slept in (but still in PJ pants). I am drinking my latte. I am pretending to do something productive.

And that's the key -- pretending. Because on most days, although I am awake and up doing something ... I am not being productive. I am cruising the internet, blowing time on Facebook, or really anything except something that actually needs to be done. And we wonder why a perfectly reasonable to-do list ends the day with some things still on it.

It's essential for me to immediately reign in my day the moment I get out of bed. To do so I've developed a few "personal best practices." Since you, obviously, are just itching to know what they are so that you can launch your morning into productivity overload, here we go:

- Get up at the same time almost every day. Once a week I let myself sleep-in to whenever Dave wakes-up. The rest of the time I thrive on the consistency of a 0530 wake-up. If I'm exhausted I take a 20 to 40 minute power nap in the afternoon.
- Get at least semi dressed as soon as I get-up. I don't want to waste precious, Dave-free moments in the shower (I can trick him into playing while I shower later). But I DO want to feel a little more ready for the day than I did when I was, for example, asleep. I wash my face, put on a clean shirt, that sort of thing.
- Make a to-do list before anything else (but after making coffee. Some things are just more important). If I do not make a to-do list and organize my thoughts and priorities right away, they get dumped by the wayside for several hours as I instead fruitlessly look at photos of bunnies taking baths.
- Focus on focusing. Working on that to-do list takes dedication. And every time my mouse wanders towards a Facebook link or an article on dresses made from recyclables I think ... is this on my list? Nope. DON'T DO IT.

I'm not saying these tricks keep me on track every day ... but they help.

What tricks have you found to getting your day off on the right track?


  1. Great ideas and something I definitely need to work on! I've long thought about setting aside the first couple hours of my morning for writing, but hasn't happened yet...

  2. First, coffee.
    Second, packing my lunch. I do this right after getting the coffee brewing and before anything else. If I don't, my morning gets away from me and before I know it, it's time to run out the door to work. If I don't have my lunch packed, I know I'll be left high-and-dry food-wise for the rest of the day, which might force me to make not-so-healthy lunch/dinner choices.