There are two camps in my house.

The first camp is up early, and ready for the day with a spring in their step. The second camp can’t wait for night to fall so they can get going creatively. I was of the latter camp my entire life. I mean all 37, or 38 years of it (will someone please ask my husband to tattoo my age to my forehead?!). It was only recently, coinciding with Lent, that I sacrificed my beloved nighttime and defected to the early bird camp. Gabriel, my partner in crime may or may not be completely devastated.

Are you a night owl or an early bird? What time of day are you  more productive? I include productivity apps, books and business podcasts that I use to get my day started by @faithfulsocial

My husband was not convinced it would last. Not even I was convinced. Gabriel, is still holding out hope that I will come back to the dark side. Every morning, I wake up between 5:30AM and 6AM depending on when my Sleep Cycle App says I should. I click on the face that best represents how I am feeling when I wake up (part of the app). I like to click on the angry sad face when I am especially tired as my way of telling the app where to go with its morning chirp alarm (like it’s a person!).

Prepare the night before

I head over to the bench in my bedroom where I have laid out my workout clothes the night before. That’s right people. Cristina works out now! I brush my teeth and head downstairs. Can you imagine if I had to rummage through my completely unorganized drawers for an exercise bra in the dark? I would just head back to bed and call it a day. I’m telling you, don’t waste precious, percolating brain power on these silly decisions. You know, the ones where you have to decide whether you’re bra is on backwards or not. Preparing for your day, the night before tells you that morning that you thought of yourself – and isn’t that nice? [Tweet This]

Keep everything you need in one spot for a morning routine home base

On my love seat, I have a mobile office. It’s not what you think, just a little lap desk for me to blog on with my tablet or work from home with my laptop. What’s so great about it, is that it’s become my morning home base. As you open up the main compartment, inside is my Five Minute Journal, a rosary, my head phones and my Marian Consecration book. Everything I need to get my morning going, all in one place. I always start with the Five Minute Journal. It’s a gratitude journal that’s simple, effective and can literally be done in 5 minutes. There are also weekly challenges that you complete as well, that are more intentional around people, connection, and wellness. I love it. I then choose whether I want to work out first, or pray. I usually choose one or the other and stick with it for a few days and then switch it up. Today for example, I prayed the rosary first, read the Marian Consecration prayers and then finished off with the Lenten Magnificat reading for the day.

Just 15 minutes and be sure to double up

My husband got me an elliptical/stairclimber death machine because I just can’t do a gym. Gym peeps, you get all the props. I am too self-conscious to go to a gym. It’s not what you think, either. I am such a clutz that the last thing I need, is to be known as that girl that pushes all the buttons and goes all crazy horse on the elliptical because she can’t remember what to do. The machine calls for 15 minutes / 3 times a week. I can do that.

Well, I couldn’t actually when I first got on it. Instead I hyperventilated over the course of three minutes and my husband had to walk me back up the stairs so I could sit for 3 hours and get my strength back. I know. Totally out of shape. I have worked my way up to 15 minutes now and that’s perfect for me. I do double duty by listening to empowering podcasts like Hack the Entrepreneur, In Demand Brand, Brilliant Business Moms or TED Radio Hour. I stop the podcast at 15 minutes and pick it back up in my car ride to work.

Take time to think

We all know about shower thoughts. You know, when you’re in the shower and all these ideas just come to you? That’s my time to think, strategize, come up with blog post ideas, freebies for subscribers, guest post outlines, you name it. I also let what I’ve learned in those podcasts sink in and energize me throughout the day. Granted, I jump out of the shower 3 or 4 times to jot ideas down on a post-it. But you get the idea – and so do I, all in the shower!

Here’s the kicker

All of that? Done by 7:15AM. All that me time. And it’s really me time. I’m not in front of a computer, drowning on social media, or getting distracted by shiny things. It’s me. My time to frame the day in such a way that I’ve given to myself first spiritually, mentally and physically before I get out of the house and have to start the work day.

Nighttime routine 2.0

I go to bed at the same time night. Before I “shut it down” I finish up the nighttime portion of The Five Minute Journal, set out my work out clothes for the next day (unless it’s a rest day), brush my teeth, plop and watch the tube with the family or read until it’s 10PM and turn out the light.

I have to say, I like this new schedule, routine, or shift. Yeah, let’s say that. I love this shift. I’m more positive, focused, productive and just feel better. 

Are you a nightowl or an earlybird? [Tweet This]

So how about you? Are you making the shift? Got any tips? Tell me in the comments!

Are you a night owl or an early bird? What time of day are you  more productive? I include productivity apps, books and business podcasts that I use to get my day started by @faithfulsocial

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10 Comments on Team Early Bird

  1. Girl, you really made me giggle with this post. :0 I used to be a night owl. You know, before I had kids. 😉 I used to stay up uptil midnight or later writing papers and watching "The Golden Girls" on Lifetime. Now? It’s been a decade since I stayed up that late. Though I wouldn’t say I’m a morning person. I get up earlier because I have to, I would still rather stay in bed. But I’m trying to be more cheerful about it!

    • I am not even giving myself the option to decide whether I like it (the morning of). Would I love to sleep in and smack that sleep cycle app off the nightstand? OH YEAH. But I think about all I get done, and how I feel throughout the day and I stare at the phone app and say "FINE! YOU WIN…again" I love "The Golden Girls". That’s my show!

  2. I am on Team Early Bird. I take a nap everyday just in case I want to stay up late. Or is it because I’m up so early that I need a nap every day? I don’t know. All I know is, I absolutely must have some time to myself in the morning with God, my coffee, and my quiet house. Ahhhhhh.

  3. The dark side. LOL (ME!!!)

    Matt and I just had this convo this morning. He was up before the sun because he’s read all this stuff about the routines of successful people. Looks like we’re joining you on #teamearlybird! Oh, and I still need to get that app. On my way now.

    • I think we’re listening to the same stuff, for sure. Let me know who and what he’s reading and I’ll share who and what I’m listening to. I bet they overlap! xo

  4. I am a night owl, but I’ve had to fight against that tendency ever since I left college. I NEED at lest 9 hours of sleep a night, so that means being in BED a little after 10:00. Normally, that’s when I’d be revving up ideas, writing, or binge watching Outlander. Yeah, can’t do that anymore. So now I’m trying to get up at 8:00. That’s my new goal. When I’m well-rested, this is when I get up naturally. The time change really screwed with my progress here. In the morning I go downstairs, have coffee, say lauds, and then check in with blogs, email, the workshop I’m currently doing, etc. I scan the headlines of the local paper.
    Working out, for me, is an afternoon/evening thing. Since it’s warmer I’m doing after-dinner walks, which I really like, and that’s when I get my mail so I can bring it in and do that post-walk.

    • When it gets warmer I’ll go back to after dinner walks. I loved when we all did that last year (as a family) and want to get us doing that again this year. But you know, first day of Spring on Friday and it’s supposed to snow. So, there’s that.

  5. You know I’m right there with ya! The sleep cycle app has been life changing. So thanks!! I was doing pretty good until this week. I’m trying to get back on the wagon tomorrow. I don’t know why I’ve been waking up so tired lately. I’m so happy your new shift is working out so great for you!

  6. We had this discussion a bit on IG, but I still have to say it here: I’m kind of both.

    For example, I woke up at 6:30, but wasn’t necessarily happy about it. (I just have a lot of work to do). But I went to bed around 11, after working all night after dinner. So really I went to bed fairly early. I know some authors that write from 1am-5am because that’s their best time. Definitely night owls!

    At any rate, when I’m desperately trying to finish edits and what not, I’m definitely both. Outside of that, I’m more of a morning person.

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