Seven years ago when I was working at FCNB, I was up at 4:30 every morning….out the door by 5:30am, working a 6am to 3pm shift…I loved it.  I was usually in bed around 9-9:30 and I never felt tired.  I realized that seven hours of sleep was my magic number.

Then I became unemployed, and we had more kids.  Once they were all sleeping through the night, I started sleeping in later and later…usually getting 9-10 hours of sleep every night!!   I know that was too much sleep- I was always tired.  I kept thinking I would feel better if I limited myself to seven hours, but I just wanted to stay in my cozy bed as long as I could!

Now that I’m working again, I’m up at 6:00 every morning.

Last week Jim started a new shift that requires him to be out the door at 5:00am.  I saw this as my opportunity to get up earlier, too.  The first reason was I wanted to be ‘supportive’ of him having to get up so early.   I felt guilty knowing that we went to bed at the same time but that I would get an extra hour and a half of sleep!

I also realized that if I got up an hour early, I would have an extra hour in my day- and better yet- an UNINTERRUPTED hour!  I could walk on the treadmill and watch the news- or do a Pilates video- or maybe use that time to work on my To-Do list!

I’m doing it!

And I am loving it!

It’s not just getting up an hour earlier….it’s doing it without changing my morning routine so that the extra hour is truly a BONUS hour!

This is how I make it work for me….

My alarm was previously set for 6:00am.  I would get up about 6:10am, hop in the shower, get dressed for work- including hair and make-up, do a quick check on the house to make sure it’s ready for daycare, get my kids up and ready for school, make my coffee, eat breakfast, and then the rest of my day continues from there.  I have not changed that morning routine.

But now my alarm is set for 5:00am.  I get up, make a cup of coffee, set an alarm in the kitchen to go off at 6:10am, then get started on my to-do list.  When the alarm sounds, it’s time to start my morning!  Fortunately, the timer I use also gives a 5-minute warning beep, so that really helps, too.

I feel great!

I really feel my best when I sleep for seven hours.  It really IS my magic number.

This is my second week of getting up early and I’m getting so much done!  Most of my bonus time has been spent sorting through our receipts and entering them for our budget and for my business bookkeeping.  Yesterday I spent my hour scanning photographs of my Great Uncle for his tribute birthday album.  Tomorrow will probably be receipts again.  Every night I choose the item I want to work on, so that I’m ready to tackle it in the morning.

No worries, I have a huge To-Do list.  In fact, because I’m always connected to the internet now, I posted my To-Do list online so I can access it from anywhere!  What is this world coming to?

Hopefully when I get caught up I can use the time to exercise- my goal is 3 days a week.

For now, this hour is just what I need to jumpstart my day and make me feel GOOD!