Morning Person or Not?
I am not a morning person. Never have been. But that being said, I do some of my best work in the morning. Morning is when I’m my most alert and fresh, the time when I am the most productive and given that the majority of the business world works between 9:00 am to 5:00 p.m., I needed to be available to clients during these times.
Since the first of this year, I have written between 2000 – 2,500 words every day without fail, beginning at 7:45 a.m. every morning. But it wasn’t always this way.I used to find getting up early in the morning to be an unbearable, agonizing chore.
(Not)Getting Up in the Morning
Throughout the years, I have tried every trick in the book to force myself to get up in the morning. I’ve tried setting my alarm for 15 minutes earlier every day. I’ve tried keeping my alarm across the room so I had to physically get out of bed to turn it off. I’ve tried alarms that are so jarring that you shoot out of bed like a rocket the second it goes off. I’ve tried progressive alarms that bring you out of sleep slowly, gently and lazily. They all worked – but only for a short while. Then it was back to my normal routine. That is to say, turning off the alarm and jumping back into bed until my body (and not some stupid alarm) decided that it was time for me to get up.
Coffee was the Answer
In order to understand my solution, you first need to know that I love coffee and I admit that I am more than a tad bit fussy when it comes to my coffee. I don’t like weak coffee, shitty coffee, cheap coffee, cold coffee, old coffee, bitter coffee, stale coffee or coffee that has been sitting around in a pot for more than fifteen minutes. I’m not particularly fussy about most things, with coffee being the one exception. There’s nothing I look forward to more than my morning cup of java.
So How Does This All Fit In?
Awhile ago, I purchased a coffee pot with a timer. The idea is that the night before, you prepare the grounds, add the necessary water and set the timer for when you want the coffee to begin brewing the next morning. So I did it. I followed the instructions, plugged in the pot, set my alarm (it plays the sound of a waterfall along with gentle chimes, if you must know) and went to bed.
The next morning, I awoke to the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting throughout the house. But moreover, I knew that if I didn’t get out of bed right then and there, the coffee would grow bitter from sitting in the pot and become (at least, according to me) undrinkable. Moreover, I didn’t have to sit around and wait for my coffee to finish brewing. It was done by the time my feet hit the floor.
A Combination of Tricks
So for the past several months, I have gotten out of bed immediately when my alarm goes off. Automating my morning coffee routine was the one trick I needed to turn myself into a morning person (as much as one can turn oneself into a morning person).
Now at the time I began this little experiment, I was sleeping until about 10:30 or 11:00 a.m. It’s important to note that I just didn’t set my alarm one day for 7:30 a.m. and simply bound out of bed with a squeal of delight.
No, what I did was to combine my coffee trick with setting my alarm fifteen minutes earlier each week. For example, week 1 the alarm (and my coffee timer) was set for 10:15; week 2: 10:00; week 3: 9:45 and so on. And if you fee the need to spend an extra week or two without changing your alarm time, by all means do so. I think I spent three weeks at 9:00 before I moved on to 8:45.
But I Don’t Like Coffee
I admit, this trick is aimed at coffee connoisseurs who simply can’t bear the thought of allowing a pot of expensive coffee go to waste. If you don’t drink coffee, try the experiment with your favorite tea. Or perhaps, schedule something you really enjoy doing early first thing in the morning. But whatever it is, it needs to be something that will get you out of bed – something pleasurable.
Give it a try and see what happens. Like I said, I’ve tried numerous methods until I finally found one that works. If you are trying to become a morning person – or a forced to become one – then keep trying various tricks until you find the one that works. Often, the simplest thing – such as a cup of coffee – is the one that works the best.