Waking up early is something I’ve always struggled with. I’m a stereotypical snoozer who always craves that extra ten minutes of shut-eye.
However, I have always seen the value of being an early riser. The chance to wake up properly and be completely ready to start the day way before others crack open their curtains.
If this sounds like you, my tips for waking up early might help you make a change in your morning routine.
Still not convinced it’s for you?
Since waking up early I’ve discovered three things:
The moments nestled between 5am and 8am are truly magical – you’re awake before most other people, it’s quiet, it’s inspiring and it’s fabulous.
There’s no such thing as a ‘morning person’ or a ‘night owl’. Whilst you may feel stuck in your routine now, habits can be changed with a little perseverance and persistence.
Waking up at 5am is never easy. Your heart has to be in it if you really want to commit.
Go to bed early.
The first rule of getting up early is making sure you’re going to bed early. I really wouldn’t advise trying to get up at 5am each day if you’re not going to hit your pillow until 1AM. You will burn out.
The recommended number of hours of sleep for the average adult is 8-hours, but you can find out your optimum amount of sleep by seeing what works for you. For me, I like to get at least 7-hours of sleep, but if I sleep more than 8-9, I feel sluggish.
Know what works for you.
When I say 5am every day, it sounds quite militant. In reality, I start softly, setting myself a target of waking up between 5AM and 5:30AM. Recently, I’ve been getting up between 5:45AM and 6AM, as I’ve had an intense few weeks of work so need those extra 40-winks.
It’s all about knowing what works well for you.
8am could be early for you if you don’t need to start work until 11am.
Have a good reason to get up.
If you have no reason to get up, you won’t do it. If you have a rubbish reason to get up, you won’t do it.
Plan your mornings so that you – almost – want to jump out of bed.
It could be working on a project you’re passionate about, or just treating yourself to a bit of self-care.
For me, this includes getting some exercise in, having a nice coffee and getting ready for the day whilst watching something inspiring on YouTube. In the future, I intend to ramp it up and do some brainstorming around my business and other projects I want to do.
Make your reason something you love and not just to catch up on emails. You just won’t get out of bed for something naff like that.
Put your alarm downstairs.
Now, you’ll probably hate yourself – or me – for a couple of minutes if you do this.
But, by leaving your phone or alarm clock downstairs, you force yourself to get up out of bed and switch it off.
By the time you crawl downstairs and hit “snooze” or “stop”, you should have properly woken up and be thinking fairly straight to remember all the reasons you wanted to get up early.
Well, at least more clearly than what you would be if you blindly hit the snooze button from the comfort of your warm duvet.
Make it a habit and something you ‘do’.
There’s no point in trying to wake up early once, hating life and giving up the next day. It’s going to take work and it’s going to take time. You’re probably going to fail a few times, let’s be honest!
They say it takes around 28 days to form a habit. Whilst I don’t know if this is quite true because it’s so easy to fall back into bad habits in my experience, by being fairly consistent, you’ll find it a little easier to wake up early every day.
A bonus to waking up early in the week is you’ll naturally wake up earlier at the weekend – maybe give yourself a break and wake up a bit later than 5am though!
This means you have more free time at the weekends, rather than wasting the day in bed!
Do you have any tips for forming new habits or waking up early? Perhaps you disagree and love staying up late? Let me know in the comments or via Twitter.
When I tell people I work for myself, I usually receive a similar response every time:
“Wow! It must be great being your own boss.”, “I’d love to work from home in my PJs all of the time.”
Or, “If I worked from home, I’d just end up watching TV all day.”
It’s true. It is great being in control of what I do and I do sometimes work from the comfort of my own sofa.
However, what people don’t realise is yes, it’s super hard to stay motivated all of the time.
In my time being a freelancer and a student (around the last five years of my life), I have managed to pick up some tips along the way.
Accept that you aren’t going to be motivated 100% of the time.
We live in a culture where being overworked and sleep deprived, running only on caffeine, is deemed as the norm and even something to aspire to.
But, this is really unhealthy for both your mind and body.
I’m the biggest one to fall into this trap, frequently punishing myself if I have an off day or don’t quite tick off everything on my overly-optimistic to-do list.
If you’re just starting out, learn to chill for a moment.
Of course, a productive spell is great, but face up to the reality that you’re only human and that you’re going to have days when you don’t feel up to it or days where you are just exhausted.
Have a workspace.
Setting aside a place where you do only do work allows you to focus when you need to and switch off at the end of the day.
This could be a designated area in your home, a coffee shop, your local library or even a co-working space.
I’ve worked in all sorts of environments. In fact, when I first started out, my desk was around two feet away from the bottom of my bed. Not the best way to go about it, but I still made sure I worked at that desk, rather than bringing the work stress to my bed.
Now, I have a room in my house where I head to do big pieces of work. I still do some work from my sofa, but this is usually quick tasks that I can get done whilst the tea is cooking.
Majority of my work day is actually spent in a co-working space. And, I’d really recommend that you look into renting a desk or even an office, if you can afford it.
Which leads me onto my next point…
Leave the house.
It’s great being able to work from your own house, especially if a key reason you became self-employed was to fit your job around a busy home and family life.
Nevertheless, I’d really recommend getting out every once and awhile – to stay sane, as well as motivated.
Again, a co-working space is a fantastic choice if you want to network without having to go to painfully-awkward networking sessions.
Meeting new people and getting to know individuals who are in the same boat as you can do wonders for inspiration and these people can offer amazing support when you’re first starting out.
Another option for those who can’t regularly leave their house is to become involved in online communities. There are a lot of these types of groups on Facebook, which basically act as a forum for discussion and support.
Plan, plan and plan some more.
If you arrive at your desk and have no idea where to start, it can take a while to get into the swing of things.
Plan out your days, weeks and even months in advance so you know exactly what tasks you’re supposed to be working on and when.
Of course, circumstances are going to change as things pop up – that’s life. But, by blocking out set time to complete your regular tasks, you can organise your time and stay on track.
It may sound counter-productive, but by taking time out to enjoy life can really do wonders for motivation.
I try to make sure I get two days a week off, where I completely switch off from work. If you can’t do this, just set out times in your calendar or diary where you can relax, meet with friends, see your family, play a sport or just be outside in nature – whatever floats your boat.
When I have time away from the desk, it really inspires me because it gives me a chance to think and gain clarity.
What do you do to stay motivated? Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter. Meanwhile, if you want to find out what I do when I work from home, please follow Bloom Creative.
Whether you noticed or not, I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front lately; I’ve not posted to my personal Instagram account since 17 May 2018 and my Twitter activity has been reduced to the odd RT here and there.
My explanation is that life happened.
It would be a little weird to return two months later with no explanation to my absence, so, here’s what I have been up to over the past month and a half.
I moved house.
Yes, it wasn’t that long ago since I moved house. In fact, it was around this time last year when I first got the keys to my own little place. Since then, my boyfriend moved in with me and we quickly outgrew the place. This is mainly down to me having a lot of crap!
We’re now settled in a lovely three-bed, which also boasts a small garden. It’s cool because I get to have a tiny but cute little office.
Moving in with Aaron wasn’t that much of a big deal – we lived together on and off as students. However, this home feels like a wonderful new chapter in our lives.
I’ve rebranded my business.
Most of my time has been taken up by my business. On top of my usual hectic schedule, I decided that Creative Alice needed a bit of a rebrand.
We are now Bloom Creative – or Bloom for short – and offer copywriting and social media solutions to a range of businesses and startups.
I visited Sweden.
Of course, on top of all this, I decided to take a trip to Sweden.
Whilst a little badly-timed, I had a wonderful time experiencing midsummer and the incredible celebrations.
In short, life is busy right now.
From now on, I hope to at least post once a month on this blog. I know it’s not as much as other content creators, however, when you create content for clients every day of the week, it’s nice to take a break from the screen when you do get some time off.
What have you been up to? Do you ever feel guilty for having time away from your blog/hobby?
I was recently invited to the Viking Arty Party, which involved an afternoon of crafts, great food and wonderful people. What’s not to love?
After the Easter event was rescheduled due to heavy snow, I was super excited to travel to Sheffield to spend a day immersed in arts and crafts, as well as catch up with old faces and meet some new bloggers, too.
Viking is an online stationery brand that sells everything from pens and paper to office furniture.
When you think of stationary shops, you may not automatically think of arts and crafts. However, it just goes to show that with a little creativity and some quality paper, you can produce some amazing pieces.
Before I get into the day, I just want to big up the venue.
The Chimney House was a stunning spot to host the event. Decorated beautifully and adorned with fresh flowers, potted plants and candles, it was a blogger’s heaven, to say the least.
The oak beams and exposed red brick walls added a brilliant industrial vibe and this was offset by vibrant artwork and retro signs. It provided us with many a photo opportunity, let’s just say.
My experience in Sheffield is quite limited as I’ve only travelled there for blogger events, the hospital and Meadow Hall. However, I’d love to see more of Kelham Island, which is where The Chimney House is located.
Anyway, onto the workshops…
There were three activities in total and we each got a coloured piece of card on arrival to denote the group we’d be spending time with.