How to get more hours in the day

Navy Hornet aircraft on a carrier at dawn (courtesy San Diego Air and Space Museum on Flickr Commons)How do you make time to get things done?

Get up earlier.

Really, I’m afraid that’s the answer.

On mornings when I get up by 5:30 or 6 a.m., work out, shower, dress, eat breakfast, scan the news, straighten up the house, give the diabetic cat her shot and hit work hard at 8:30 or 9 a.m., I am a productivity monster for the rest of the day.

There’s even time to clear clutter and work on my book.

On mornings when I drag ass out of bed a little after 7, barely get dressed enough to be presentable as I kiss my husband and school-age son goodbye on the driveway, then wander into the house in a fog and piddle around until the first cup of coffee hits, the day is often shot before it even starts.

Here’s the deal with getting up earlier – you have to go to bed earlier. Duh.

You have to stop drinking coffee after about 2 pm in the afternoon, unplug from electronics, maybe go for a short evening walk after dinner, take a minute to review your schedule and To Do list for the next day and get lights out by around 9:30 p.m.

Yes, 9:30. I wouldn’t even know what Letterman or Conan look like if I hadn’t seen pictures – no late night staring at the boob tube for me.

The Navy tried to make me a morning person for almost 23 years, but reveille never came easily to me. Now, as a freelancer and entrepreneur, I am “getting religion” about early to bed, early to rise….

How about you?

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7 Responses to How to get more hours in the day

  1. Jody says:

    I totally agree. I am always more productive when I am up early with determination and focus. (and get the kids out the door!)
    Jody´s last [post] ..Scott Stratten On Using Social Media the Right Way

  2. Sheila says:

    Thanks, Jody.

    Just goes to show, though – today I overslept and now I’m answering you instead of getting out the door for my run. 🙂

  3. Paul Merrill says:

    Love it, Sheila!

    Health is key to this working. Your highlighting an evening stroll is perfect – just that little bit of getting the blood flowing and taking our eyes off the screen is essential.
    Paul Merrill´s last [post] ..Listen to Your Employees

  4. Sheila says:

    Thanks, Paul – I could use more work on that “eyes off the screen….” bit!

  5. This is so true! I work from home and when I sleep in a bit later, I end up working at the computer all day long and I feel like I get a lot less done. I love the evening walk suggestion (and the morning exercise – I have an infant though so that’s a little tougher). Thanks for the great advice!

  6. Sheila says:

    Glad it helped, Alison. I used a front carrier, a baby sling and then a baby backpack with each of my kids, and that allowed hands-free (weight-assisted!) walks all over the world. They both hated strollers, so it took awhile before they bought off on the baby jogger, though. 🙂

    Love what y’all do at RIPPLE Northwest for rural advocacy….

  7. Unfortunately we’re not to the hands-free point yet, because little one doesn’t like the carriers. She loves naps in the stroller so that lets us get out for walks every day (perfect for getting me out of the house!), but now that we’re getting into the rainy season we’re going to have to figure out something else. I think we’ll be getting a rain cover for the stroller and donning all of our rain gear – maybe early morning runs through the rain drops will help me get working in the morning!

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