In the past, when I had to get up early it was literally because if I didn’t, I’d be late to work. Because of the time crunch, I would wrench myself up way too early after not getting enough sleep, force myself to shuffle off to work while being upset about it the whole time.
Now, I work the closing shift and have found myself waking up an hour before my shift starts, working, and then staying up all night because I wasn’t tired yet and still had things to do. In turn, I’d sleep late into the morning, then do it all again the next day.
This wasn’t conducive to my loved one’s schedules and I began to feel left out. My homework wasn’t getting done on time, everything was closed so I couldn’t do errands and running things like the shower or the washer and dryer would wake everyone else up. I was neglecting my family and friends, my personal hygiene and school.
I needed to wake up earlier, but I’ve always struggled with forcing myself out of bed unless I’m in a time crunch.
So how do I motivate myself to get up earlier? After several months of trying to figure it out, I came up with a solution.
Every day, I aim to be awake and moving at 6:30 in the morning and asleep by 11:00 pm.
I’m never up exactly at 6:30, usually closer to 7:30, but aiming earlier means that I have the flexibility to wake up later and still have time to do things (if that makes sense)
Having this type of consistency lets me know exactly what to expect for myself and it makes it easier for the important people in my life to keep track of my schedule as well.
Instead of expecting myself to wake up early (because it’s so much easier to justify sleeping in for “just ten more minutes”), I asked others to expect me to wake up too, like my boyfriend who has a very similar schedule.
For others, this could also be feeding a pet at a certain time or having to wake someone else up. This works because if you fail to do these things, you’ll feel guilty. Pets especially will act as living alarm clocks. They will let you know when they’re hungry, and you can’t snooze your dog.
I made it a part of my routine to press snooze several times before waking up. Accepting that I press snooze too many times allows me to account for the extra time it takes up. If I avoided it (like most other articles suggest), I’d fall back asleep anyway, and then sleep all day without a second alarm going off.
After waking up, I take care of myself by showering, getting dressed brushing my teeth really well and fixing my eyebrows.
This helps me refreshed and aware. Changing out of last nights close also signals to my brain that it’s time to do other things.
This way, I can’t be tempted to go back to bed even though I’ve already technically started my day. I usually go for coffee and to study so when I come home, I can’t get back to bed anyway because of the caffeine that I’ve consumed.
Doing these things allows me to be awake at a decent hour and be asleep at one that I consider reasonable. It’s also helped me keep a consistent sleep schedule and I’ve been feeling more rested recently as well.