As I was sitting here thinking about what to post about tonight, I remembered that Elise suggested I share my secret to being alert and awake at 7 a.m. So here is what works for me:
1. Get a job that requires it.
I am not a morning person. In fact, I consider myself a night owl. This may seem contrary to presented evidence because for the past few years, I have had to get up early for work. And since I don’t function that well with very little sleep, I have been going to bed earlier. But that is all contrary to my nature. Left to my own devices, I would go to bed around 2 a.m. every night and wake up around 9 or 10.
However, I am required to be to work at 7 a.m. on Monday and Wednesday and 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, so I make it work.
2. Go to bed at a decent hour.
I try to do this most nights. I usually fail. But one thing that helps is setting an alarm on my phone that tells me it’s time to get ready for bed. Most of the time I ignore it, but at least I can’t act like I don’t know what time it is.
3. Shower in the morning.
This is crucial for me. Showering wakes me up. Even if I shower at night, I have to shower again in the morning, or I’m walking around like a zombie.
Minus the cigarette and coffee, this is a pretty accurate picture of how I look at 5:30 in the morning (source)
4. Eat breakfast.
You wouldn’t like me when I’m hangry.
5. Give myself enough time.
While I would like to sleep until the last possible minute, I have learned that rushing makes me cranky, and I get upset when I don’t give myself enough time to eat or get my stuff together for the day. That means I get up at 5, even though I probably could get up at 6.
6. Recognize that I’m still no good at 7, but better at 7:30.
I try really hard to be nice and wonderful at 7 a.m., but I usually don’t manage to get over my anger at being awake until around 7:30. I TRY REALLY HARD. But you know. Anyway, I then overcompensate at 7:30. I don’t think my students can tell the difference, though.
7. Remind myself that I’m really lucky.
I have had to get up this early (or earlier!) for jobs I hated or didn’t like. At least now I’m getting up early and doing a job I love.