For the past few months i’ve been waking up early. For those who don’t know I run my little creative design studio from a home office which means I can simply fall out of bed, grab a shower, make a cup of coffee and start working straight away. No commute, no problem! Most business operate from 8:30–9:00am which is when my phone usually starts ringing and my inbox starts to fill up with client queries. This means that mornings when I have a lot of work to do can get rather congested with a combination of emails, phone calls and of course the project i’m working on. Mornings like that are never good and set you up for a bad day. But I found a little solution.
For the past few months i’ve been waking up around 5:00–6:00am.
One morning I was rudely awaken by my cats who thought that 5am was a perfectly good time to demand breakfast. So, begrudgingly, I woke up, went downstairs and fed the little idiots. But, instead of going back to bed and struggling to get back to sleep I decided to fire up my Mac and do a bit of work. Being a ‘non-morning’ person I instantly hated it. Sitting there in the autumn moonlight, I nursed a hot cup of coffee and went through my morning tasks. I should have hated it but by waking up that little bit earlier I realised that I was able to get a fair few bits done that if done after 9:00am would probably take me 3 times as long. So I’ve started to get up a little early most days and my productivity has risen. I don’t get up early every day but I do it most days and it’s become a habit. Here are a few benefits i’ve found from waking up early.
First thing I do when I start my day? Go through my emails. I’ll spend a little while going through my inbox reading anything interesting, unsubscribing from nuisance emails and replying to clients. The beauty of replying to emails early is that my clients have response’s in their inbox when they get into the office at 9am.
I’m in the process of writing a book and a couple of ebooks (that will be given away free for newsletter subscribers) and i find the best time to write is in the mornings before the world wakes up. With a good cup of coffee in hand and my scribbled notes that I make during the previous day, I spend an hour or so writing. Being uninterrupted by phone calls means I can really keep my train of thought and get a fair bit of work done.
Get S–t Done
Quite simple, by getting a 2–3 hour jump on the world I’m able to spend an extra 2–3 hours a day on client projects or my side projects, if needs be.
Work Hard, Play Hard
Adding an extra 3 hours to the beginning of my day means I get an extra 3 hours during the day to do whatever I want. Whether that be taking an hour off to go for a walk or run, take a long lunch with my Fiancee or even finish work 3 hours early. I don’t always take the 3 hours off but it’s great to have that guilt-free option.
I firmly believe we should never stop learning. As a creative designer I personally feel I should keep myself educated on the latest design techniques or I should be learning new coding languages when I have a bit of spare time. I’ll sometimes spend a couple of hours in the morning on Treehouse (aff link)teaching myself a coding language when everyone else is fast asleep.