You’ve heard it before: “Want to get more done? Wake up two hours earlier than normal!”
All I hear when I hear that statement is this: Say goodbye to getting a good sleep! Survive off caffeine and your dwindling (is it really, though?) to-do list!
This piece of advice just doesn’t seem like a good idea for me. If you’re like me and are weirdly protective of your beauty sleep, here’s what you should do instead of waking up earlier to get stuff done.
Before I go on, if waking up earlier has proven to be a good strategy for you, then power to you! Everybody is different, so different things are going to work for us. Now onto my list…
Go to bed earlier.
“But Heather, if I go to bed earlier, I’m losing even more time in my day!” I hear you, but bear with me. There was a stretch where I was regularly asleep between 9:00 and 10:30 pm and it did wonders for me! I felt more rested and therefore more energetic, giving me the boost I needed to get more done during the day. Maybe if you give the early bedtime a shot, you’ll too have more energy to get more stuff done.
- Why I Hate the Phrase “You Can Sleep When You’re Dead”
- 4 Ways to Wake Up Without Using That Little Blue Light
Do a time audit.
What’s a time audit? It’s when you track everything you do every 15 minutes of the day for a week. Or you can track every half hour for five days or whatever works for you, but the point is you’re figuring just how you spend your days. Do you spend hours on social media? Are you spending more time on Netflix than you’d like? Are you spending enough time recharging with friends and family? A time audit is a really great way to get a clearer picture of what you spend your time on.
Recognize that there will always be more to do.
The to-do list doesn’t go away! There are multiple projects you want to try in your spare time. But there are only 24 hours in a day and just because you cram that day with as much stuff as you can doesn’t mean that there won’t be more items on your to-do list or more projects you want to try. Having been the person who tried to cram days of work into one 24-hour period, I’d rather take the slower pace.
Ask for help.
If you legitimately don’t have time to clean your house, or do your job, or go out on a hot date, ask for help! Hire someone to clean or babysit or walk your dog or any number of things! Ask a family member if they would be willing to help you out.
Learn how to take breaks.
Even when you know you could be doing something “productive.” This is one I’ve been working on lately. One of my 2019 goals, in fact, is to schedule at least 1 hour a week to do nothing. It’s hard, but it helps. How? I’ve rested my body and mind by doing something low stakes. I’m not worrying about consequences and time lines. I’m doing something purely for me. I’ve mentioned in another post that I think our society needs to take a chill pill on the whole being productive 100% of the time. But if that’s something you’re worried about, I find my taking breaks ends up helping my productivity game in the long run.
Have you tried any of these techniques for getting stuff done? Have you tried waking up earlier to get stuff done? How did that go? You can let me know in the comments!
Want more tips on living a more positive life? Try my free email course!