I’ve spent most of my life alternating between loving and hating routines and schedules. A recent thread from my sister reminded me of this fact and also inspired me to think about routines and productivity more closely. I propose that some of us need to flip the script on morning routines!
Scroll through FB, blogs and most productivity sites and you’ll see multiple variations of the following:
I get up before dark, give myself an hour (at least!) before the rest of the house stirs. I (insert personal spiritual practice here), then I have a huge glass of water, then I fill out my (insert personal planner product here) and review my notes or set my intentions for the day. After giving myself a healthy breakfast (insert personal food choice here) I (insert personal health routine here). Finally, I greet my family with a breakfast and they happily stroll out the door to greet the shining sun on the way to their school, work or activity of choice.
(Insert record scratch here.)
Am I the only one who DOESN’T have a morning like this? For years I struggled to fill in the blanks to those morning templates, striving to have that perfect morning which I was certain lead to a more perfect life. There was a key point that I was missing. The big secret to those successful routines is the average bedtime. My friends who follow routines like that are all asleep by 8:30-9:00…and they are HAPPY about this!!
What if we flipped that script? What if those of us who are night owls look at our own routines and see what works for us?
Asleep by 9pm? That’s when I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My creative juices start to stir, and my sacred alone time starts. I would miss those magical moments from 10-midnight when the house is quiet, those who are up don’t need something from me and even the cat is settled down to watch me in my studio. Barring any rogue stomach virus, the time between 10pm and 2am are the only times in my day I can reliably count on not being interrupted.
I am not, and have never been, a morning person. I’ve been a night owl since I was a baby and no matter what routine I use, I am happiest when allowed to stay up later and sleep in later. In addition I require at least seven (preferable 8) hours of uninterrupted sleep to be at my best. I’m friends with many people who thrive on four hours of sleep. I’m just not one of them.
I propose that those of us who are night owls look at what we do in those magical night hours. I believe those are as precious to us as the predawn hours of our morning sisters. That time is when I make sense of my day, untangle the knots of my mind and sort through what’s important and what I need to let go of. I process what happened and what’s to come. I dream, plan and create during those magical midnight hours. This is why my first business was called “Moonkissed Designs.” Everything that was created and sold was kissed by the moon during it’s creation.
I will continue to read and be impressed by my fellow entrepreneurs who share their early morning routines. However, I will not feel guilty for missing out. I’ve come to realize that my “morning” is really happening in the late hours of the day and that’s just fine with me.