“I am not a morning person.”
“I have, like, 8 alarms set on my phone”
“I know exactly how long my snooze is set for…”
I have said them all and I have done them all. I spent 29 years of telling myself not to worry because I am a night owl; mornings aren’t for me! But two weeks ago, everything changed.
It’s no secret that I am busy. When I respond with “busy” after you ask how I am doing, I don’t mean it negatively. I keep a jammed pack schedule because I THRIVE off of it! I have been that way my whole life and it will probably never change.
In elementary school my grandmother let me open my wings and sore. I would have counseling and dance class 3 nights a week, sports almost every night, and 4-H club meetings every Tuesday. Keeping a busy schedule didn’t allow me to fall into a depression on the deep stuff going on in my life. After-school activities were the best form of therapy any parent could ask for!
High school and college were about the same. Sports, clubs, organizations, and (despite my determination not to be) I was in 2 sororities/fraternities. Weekends were spent at tournaments or the cleverly-themed frat party.
Today, I consider myself a #girlboss. I make my own hours and work when I want to work. Each day brings something different and I am never bored. Sounds amazing, right?
What’s that famous line from Spider Man?… “With great power comes great responsibility.”
I have the power to do whatever my heart desires because I am the boss. I don’t have a superior breathing down my neck with deadlines and to-do lists. I don’t have corporate mantras and mottos motivating me to keep in line with the business values. I have my little home-office and some big goals keeping me on track. Or so I thought.
My schedule was very inconsistent. I typically woke up around 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning, snuck a workout in, and then answered emails and messages before heading out into the world. I would check in with the office to see if anything new came up. Hit up a few meetings or appearances (Mrs. America duties), and head home for open office hours until 9 or 10pm. The only consistency I had in my life was working out and making dinner.
Here is the problem with that schedule: Not once did I mention my husband.
Chris has a great job that he loves and he travels a lot. It works out for us because I am also busy or traveling on the weekends, however, Chris usually has a consistent schedule. He wakes up and comes home the same time every day. But sitting down together for a 30-minute dinner every night isn’t exactly sparking any fires, if you know what I mean.
For lent, instead of giving up something I loved I decided to add in a daily activity: reading. In less than a month I read three different books and two of them changed my life.
Just by reading these two books and applying one of their suggestions to my life, my LIFE got better. Here it is:
STOP HITTING SNOOZE
I tried it for a few days and failed miserably. That little voice inside of me is so convincing. To fix this problem, I plugged my phone in across the room so I had to physically get up every day at the same time just to shut off my alarm. Crazy-simple idea but for someone who has hit the snooze button for 20 years, it’s a challenge. I am two weeks into this and I have noticed a change in almost every area of my life.
1.) You get a lot done in the morning!
In the two books I read, they both suggest setting a routine once you are out of bed. Every morning I brush my teeth, pee, and make the bed. Seem silly but when I used to hit the snooze button, I wouldn’t have time to do those things right away because I was usually running behind. In addition to that, I get things done that I didn’t to the night before. I clean up the kitchen, start laundry, play with my puppy, or knock out things on my to-do list! For once in my life, my house doesn’t look like the aftermath of a tornado.
2.) My health has improved.
Not just physically but mentally, emotionally, and financially! My eating schedule has become more normal and I have time to plan my meals before storming out of the house. I am not a fast-food kind of girl so I would spend a lot of money at high-end fast-ish food places like Starbucks, Panera Bread, or local health food joints. Also, the sense of accomplishment I would feel from getting so much done in the mornings felt like the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I have gotten rid of unnecessary worry and can finally think clearly because my life isn’t a cluttered mess.
3.) I flirt with my husband.
Overall, our relationship has improved because I have time to focus on it. We still have dinner together but instead of me going back into my office to finish up emails or cleaning up the trail of messes I left behind, I get to be with him. Sometimes we take Harry on a walk or we pick a movie and snuggle on the couch. Some nights I have consultations or videoconferences but I have learned to keep those on consistent days.
The biggest change for me is the fact that we go to bed at the same time. We brush our teeth together, wash our face together, and tuck Harry into bed together. Then, guess what… I plug my phone in across the room and don’t pick it up until my alarm goes off at 7:30am.
Instead of scrolling thru my newsfeed, answering emails I didn’t get to, or looking at my calendar, I focus on my husband. Sometimes we just lay in bed and talk, some nights end with a movie and snuggling. Either way, our intimacy levels are off the charts and I look forward to going to bed every night just to do it all over again.
Give this a try in your life. Figure out what mindless acts you are spending your spare minutes and remove them! Ditching the snooze gives you untapped potential to prioritize your day and relationships. Remember, we all have the same hours in the day as Beyoncé.