We all know that time is quite possibly the world’s most elusive and sought-after commodity. It’s that one thing we all desperately want more of, no matter who we are or what kind of a lifestyle we lead.
Whether our days are filled with a stressful, time-consuming job or our life is chill and lowkey, it doesn’t seem to matter because we all crave more time to do the things we either have to do or the things we just really want to do. (Like even just two extra hours in the day would be dynamite, right?)
And if you’re a mom or a dad or a husband or a wife or have any sort of relationship or career, even a tiny surplus of free time is pretty much non-existent. In fact, most of us with a family or a job barely have time to throw back a cup of coffee in the morning let alone scrape together any real time do anything meaningful. So we for sure don’t have the luxury of multiple extra hours to accomplish a lot of superfluous stuff. But we’d all love to, though, that’s for damn sure.
The reality is, we’re all stuck with the 24 hours we’ve got. No more, no less. So, the question then becomes, how do we stretch those hours even further to maximize every minute we have?
Not an easy answer, especially since no one’s figured out how to alter the space-time continuum. Yet, there are people out there who seem to get crazy amounts of stuff accomplished in the exact same time frame that the rest of us operates in every day. But how?
Well, I think deep down most of us already know the answer. These super-productive people are maximizing every second of their day by being creative with the time they do have. And one magical (and pretty easy) way to do that is to wake up earlier every day.
But you’re not a morning person. Right? You just can’t get your ass out of bed any earlier than you already do and even that’s a struggle. So being an earlier riser just isn’t an option for you. Well, to that I say, any of us can be anything that we want to be with a little conditioning. And to think otherwise is to be really, really shortsighted.
Look, the truth is, getting up earlier every day can make all the difference in the quality of your overall day and your overall life.
Unless you have a job that requires you to be someplace at 4 or 5 or 6 o’clock in the morning, or you work a nightshift, then the excuse of I’m not a morning person is b------t, because all it really takes to change our routine or our behavior is some dedication.
I mean, if you want to play the guitar, take lessons and you’ll learn. If you want to be more flexible, focus a little time every day on stretching and you’ll be more limber. You wanna flesh out a couple extra hours in your day, set your alarm earlier and get the hell up. This isn’t rocket science. This is straight-up common sense mixed with a little bit of effort, that’s all.
Now I know that sleep is also a big commodity for people, too. I get that. And it’s an important one. But if we’re smart about the choices we make — like what time we go to bed and what time we set our alarm for in the morning — then we absolutely have the ability to carve out some extra — potentially uninterrupted — time for ourselves that didn’t exist before. And even an hour or two of extra time can be a complete game-changer.
It’s really just about reconciling that we’re going to do it and then following through that allows us to do most of the things we think are impossible. And in the case of waking up earlier, it’s a no-brainer. It’s taking a small-but-worthwhile hit on the front end to allow us to enjoy a bonus pocket of time on the back end.
Me, I’ve woken up at 5 a.m. for decades and it’s one of the single best things I do for myself. Is it for everyone? Probably not. Although I don’t see why it can’t be with a teensy bit of effort.
Is it always effortless to haul myself out of a deliciously warm, cozy bed? Nah. Course not. But what I gain by making the decision to wake up early every day is invaluable and 200 percent worth the extra energy it takes to make it happen.
Having that solitary time for ourselves sets the tone and intention for our day. And we all need a little time that’s just for us. Plus, it’s daily validation to ourselves that we cherish our own mental and emotional well-being. It gives us just enough self-love and self-care and solitary time to keep our hearts and minds healthy. And it gives us the freedom to focus on a few important tasks or thoughts or rituals that matter most to us.
Not to mention that waking up before most of the rest of the world is just plain empowering. It’s a lot like being part of an elite club that only the most motivated and driven people belong to. And that’s inspiring stuff. Because it stimulates us to make the most of our day.
So, if you think it’s impossible for you to hoist yourself up that early every day, you’re wrong. It’s a simple case of rewiring. You just need to intentionally and actively modify your behavior. And like most things that are challenging when we first start them, getting up early will become routine quicker than you think. Because once you get a taste of what it’s like to have an empty space of time that’s all yours, you won’t want to give it up.
Bottom line … if you take nothing else from me, take this: This one simple change to your routine will unearth extra time you never knew existed. And I promise that you’ll be a happier, calmer, more organized and grounded version of yourself if you do. Because, in the simplest terms, it’s an easy way of getting and staying ahead of the game. And who doesn’t want that?
— Lisa Sugarman lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Read and discuss all her columns at lisasugarman.com. Or, find them on LittleThings.com, Hot Moms Club, BeingAMom.life, GrownandFlown.com, Mamalode, More Content Now, and Care.com. She is also the author of “LIFE: It Is What It Is” and “Untying Parent Anxiety: 18 Myths That Have You in Knots--And How to Get Free” available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble.