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Do it earlier in the day. I will admit, I was more than a bit dubious about this one. I am a night owl. People who bound of out bed earlier than they have to, full of oomph and energy, make no sense to me – partners, parents, friends or coworkers. I just don’t get it.

For me, a perfect morning is one that starts with a stretch and a cuppa. And then proceeds with a long, luxurious lie in involving more sleep and/or a book. If I surface by 9.30 am I’m doing well. This is one of the reasons I’m aiming for full-time self-employment. So far I’ve found just one job, at a national newspaper, that allows me to come in at 11ish and go home at 7ish.

So my first task was to tackle getting up earlier, in order to do things earlier. As Annastasia will testify, otherwise my “I did it first thing” would be around midday…

Start the day

Enter my trusty sunrise alarm. I set it for an hour and a half earlier than I usually wake up and waited to see what would happen. (It has a snooze button, but a fairly basic one.)

So far, so good. Next up? Deciding what was going to be my thing to do earlier.

I tackled this by looking at an average day’s activities & tasks and seeing what I generally put off the most. As I’m currently juggling Ink Drops, the day job, my photography biz, my blog, launching the mermaid school and house/garden renovations, each day’s list is both exciting and scarily epic.

Things I routinely do at the end of the day: journalling, planning for the next day, email checking, Instagram posts, routine household chores like laundry.

Of these, I decided that journalling & planning belong at the end of the day (though I would quite like to get back into a morning pages habit as well), but everything else could benefit from being done earlier in the day.

And how did I get on?

Well, I started with the least palatable option and used my extra morning time to hang out the previous night’s washing, load the machine up again, and empty & re-stack the dishwasher. My washing machine is on its way out, so I can’t leave it to run when I’m not here. And much to my surprise, this switch on at night and hang out in the morning routine has actually made my laundry pile shrink to previously unknown proportions!

The dishwasher running at night and emptied in the morning is also lovely, as it means I come home to clean pots, pans & dishes ready to cook. Not entirely sure why I have resisted this for so long.

And Instagram? That’s always a pleasure, but one I was putting off during the day for no discernible reason. I’ve now given myself permission to post whenever I feel like it, and it’s working beautifully 🙂

Tackling my inboxes

Emails were a mixed bag. Ink Drops and my business ones were fine to open earlier and reply to before I went to work. I then created tasks to do in my lunch break or in the evenings. I felt nicely organised and ready to attack the day.

My day job emails were less successful this way around. I’m generally in the office between 9ish and 6ish. I usually check them at 12ish and 4ish and have Outlook closed in between. Opening them between 9 and 10, seeing more jobs come in before I had a chance to do some actual work and clear my tasklist made me panicky and stressed before the day had really properly got going. So I’ve scrapped that and am back to my usual 12 and 4 routines.

I still have mixed feelings about mornings. I won’t be setting the alarm for 6.03 am now the experiment’s over. But I might get up just half an hour earlier than usual, to continue my useful household chores routine…