December 15

Waking Up In the Morning, A Love Story


morning callMorning time can really be a pain in the ass for a lot of people.  Each day the challenge of waking up in the morning starts anew with one more bleary eyed tribute to sleeping less.  The really damning thing about mornings is how important they really are.  In fact, they are often an overlooked piece to being more productive in your life.  Today's productivity tip is all about getting your ass out of bed in the morning.

Tell me if this sounds familiar to you.  You have a 9:00am job that you go to Monday-Friday.  Your morning routine starts with your alarm going off at 7:00am  (if you're a guy move that to 7:30am).  You snooze at least 3x maybe even more depending on if you went out and had cocktails the night before.  You finally get up, stare at yourself in the mirror for a couple of minutes and then decide to get ready for the day which includes picking out your clothes, showering, grabbing any work materials that you need and maybe if you have time, you grab something to eat (half the time you forget this step.)

You don't have a garage and when you get to your car during the cold months you realize that you have to scrape your windows.  You think to yourself, “damn, why didn't I give myself some time to scrape my windows.”  The reality is that you don't have time so you do the ever popular move of scraping a little bar of ice off of the front window so that you have a little slit to see out of.  If you were driving a tank to work this might be acceptable except you are actually driving a 1998 Honda Accord and it's actually pretty dangerous.  You get in the car and head to work.

During your commute, you pray to God that you don't hit any bad traffic, a train crossing etc.  Your commute should take 30 minutes but you continue to plan as if it takes 20 minutes and hope that you hit traffic perfectly and hit some spots where you can drive really fast.  By the time you arrive at work, it's either time to start or it was time to start 5 minutes ago.  You have no plan for your day because you didn't have time and now you need to start working.  The whole day passes with the day running you vs you running the day.  During the course of the day you forget about meetings, you forget to do things that you reminded yourself needed to be done the day before, projects are late, the boss is on you about a past due project.  In short your personal productivity is terrible.

The funny thing about this story is that it has semi-autobiographical overtones.  This was me at the beginning of my career, except I drove a '99 Nissan Altima, correction, still drive a '99 Nissan Altima.  The problem for me was that I couldn't get my ass out of bed in the morning and it was killing my ability to be as effective at my job as I wanted to be.  My productivity was completely tied to luck most days.  I hoped every day that the stars would align perfectly so that things would work out.

I was notorious for not being a morning person.  Friends would joke about it and tell their favorite, “That one time that I woke Brandon up in the morning”, stories.  Then a funnier thing happened, I decided to grow up a little (just a little) and change the way I approached the mornings.   It has dramatically changed the way my day is executed and has significantly increased my personal productivity in all areas of my life, mentally, spiritually, socially etc.

There are still a lot of people who will read this and relate to this story because they had this same experience just this morning.  These same people will also wonder why they don't get to places on time and why they always seem to be frantically running around trying to get things accomplished.  In some cases, a reputation may be damaged by this behavior.  I know because I have been there.

If your day is not going the way you want it to, the good news is that you have control over that situation.  One of the best ways to get a good start on your day is to start it at the right time.  In many cases, this means getting up earlier.  It will suck at first and you wont like it but once you get yourself in the routine, it will get easier.  So start tomorrow morning by committing to getting up a half hour earlier than normal and see what it does for your day and who knows maybe over time you can become the morning person that everyone else wants to punch in the face.

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About the Author

Brandon is the Founder & CEO of New Work Revolution, a noted speaker and strategic thinker. After working in corporate America for 10 years and experiencing the good, bad, and ugly of it, New Work Revolution was created to assist business owners in stepping into their power as a leader so they can build teams and grow their business the RIGHT way.

Brandon Allen

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  1. I love every second of this post. This morning was one of the few mornings where I did not do that and it’s been amazing so far. Now it’s keeping on it and on it and on it. I’d love to be so great at mornings that I want to punch myself in the face.

    Here’s to 2010.

    Onward & Upward…


  2. That was me several years ago! I even slept in and was late for my own graduation; it was a perfect summing up of my first college experience. When I uncovered my real passions, the thought of being late to classes the second time around or being late for an appointment is unfathomable. I suspect my tardiness was my silent rebel saying, “Why are you even doing this, you don’t care about it, it’s not important to you.” I am now that annoying ten minute early person because what I’m doing has value to me.


    1. Regan,

      It certainly feels a lot better to get out of the morning when there is passion attached to it. The other thing is that we often miss opportunities or learn the lesson the hard way. Thanks for the comment.


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