3 Secrets to Getting Up Early (even on the weekend)

Need help being productive in the mornings? Read more at The Fruitful Blog.

On weekday mornings, my alarm goes off at 4:45.

I know.

I guess I should be more specific: Grant’s alarm goes off at 4:45. He has to be at work by 6 a.m., so the early alarm is a must.

When his work schedule changed, and he started getting up this early, I decided to embrace the change with him. Falling back asleep for an hour or two is rarely restful for me, especially since G is getting ready for his day in a bathroom that is five feet from our bed.

Before this change, I got out of bed at 5:30 a few mornings a week to work out, so 4:45 didn’t seem too bad.

And I was right — for the most part. Some mornings, 4:45 feels like 6. Early, but not terrible. Some mornings, 4:45 feels terrible. It just does. But I push through because the added hours in the day are worth it to me.

The secrets to getting up this early are simple, I promise. By keeping these habits, it seems almost easy to wake up way before dawn.


SECRETS TO GETTING UP AT 4:45 A.M.

  1. Just put your feet on the floor.

This tip is the easiest and the hardest all at once. But just do it. Don’t hit snooze, don’t roll over for a quick snuggle. Just get up.

My feet hit the floor within literally five seconds of the alarm ringing. I may walk to the bathroom and then the kitchen with my eyes closed, but I am doing it.

The secret to getting up early? Planning. Read more at The Fruitful Blog.

  1. Plan, plan, and plan some more.Have a plan for your morning before your feet hit the floor. When you know what you’re supposed to be doing once you get out of bed, you can do it without thinking and while you’re waking up. My morning schedule changes from day-to-day, but the basic structure is the same. Every weekday morning, I want to get ready, pack lunches, water my plants, write, exercise, and leave for work on time.

    Getting up at 4:45 means I have three and half hours between the time my feet hit the floor and when I need to leave for work. That’s so much time. Planning out how I’ll spend this time means that I can make the most of it, instead of accidentally looking at Snapchat (👻: @cait326) for an hour.

I love being productive in the morning because it means that I can truly clock out at 5 P.M. Not only am I leaving my day job, I’m leaving behind many of my daily responsibilities. I can go home, cook dinner, relax with a book (or Bachelor in Paradise), and not stress out about fitting a workout in. Because it’s already done.

3 Secrets to Getting Up Really Early (even on the weekends)

On a weekend morning, my schedule is more relaxed, and my wakeup time is a little later, but I still plan in out. I get up relatively early, too, like 6 or 7. I do sometimes sleep in, but it throws off my body clock and makes it harder to get up at 4:45 that coming Monday.

On Sunday, I woke up at 7 and did laundry, cleaning, writing, and exercise, all before noon.

Getting these chores done in the morning means that I have time in the afternoon to relax (maybe even take a 30-minute nap) or hang with my family. Frontloading chores lets me have long, unstructured afternoon hours, which feels like a vacation.

  1. Go to bed, dummy!

This one is the most important — find a bedtime that works for you and stick to it. The “dummy” in the tip above is me. At least twice a month, I find myself scrolling, scrolling, scrolling on my phone way past my bedtime. There is no reason to do this — I’m not learning anything and I’m certainly not really enjoying myself. It’s just mindless distraction that ensures that I’ll be tired tomorrow.

I turn the lights out around 9:30 every night. Hopefully, I read for like 45 minutes first. It’s true what they say about books before bed — even the most intense and stressful thriller of a novel winds me down for sleep better than iPhone time.

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Sometimes, this early bedtime doesn’t happen. Sometimes, there’s a great T.V. show on (um, Bachelor in Paradise), and I don’t go to bed until 10. Sometimes, I’m out with friends on a weeknight, and I don’t make it to bed until even later. I brush it off and get back to my schedule the next day.


While these are my habits, I am sure as hell not perfect. The Wednesday morning after my monthly book club (and the wine and cheese that goes with our discussion), I will often go back to sleep after G leaves for work. And that’s okay.

What’s not okay is allowing one day of sleeping in to backslide into a whole week of it. Because that leads to lunches purchased in the cafeteria, skipped workouts, and no time to write.

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of giving up on a habit because you screwed up once, but — MAJOR KEY ALERT 🔑 — if you *start from scratch each day* that trap can be dodged. Yesterday sucked? Fine. Today will be better.

I know the saying is “the road to hell is littered with good intentions,” and I do think that’s true, to a point. A plan with no follow through is worthless. But a positive habit that you keep 85% of the time is worth a lot. Even if you do hit that snooze button from time to time.

What time do you get up? How many cups of coffee do you drink? How many times do you press snooze? 

If you’re a night owl, teach me your ways. 

Caitlin

Caitlin

Hi, I’m Caitlin! Thanks for reading. If you're new, here's a little about me: I'm a writer, editor, eater, and reader living in the Kansas City area. When I'm not working my 9-to-5, I'm cooking without a recipe, exploring the city, and probably procrastinating. I start from scratch each morning: progress is way more important to me than perfection.

Connect with me on Instagram and Pinterest, and subscribe to The Fruitful Blog for tips on intentional living, meal planning, and more.
Caitlin

Author: Caitlin

Hi, I’m Caitlin! Thanks for reading. If you're new, here's a little about me: I'm a writer, editor, eater, and reader living in the Kansas City area. When I'm not working my 9-to-5, I'm cooking without a recipe, exploring the city, and probably procrastinating. I start from scratch each morning: progress is way more important to me than perfection. Connect with me on Instagram and Pinterest, and subscribe to The Fruitful Blog for tips on intentional living, meal planning, and more.

10 thoughts on “3 Secrets to Getting Up Early (even on the weekend)”

  1. YES! All great points. My biggest problem is the sleep/bed thing. I need to get better about no screen before going to sleep.

    1. My friend Kathryn commented on the FB post for this blog post and said she plugs her phone in in the guest room across the hall. That way she can’t look at it before bed, and she has to get up when her alarm goes off.

  2. Good job Caitlin!! I struggle with this. I am NOT a morning person. I’m a NIGHT person and I stay up and stay up, and then the alarm goes off and UGGH. I don’t want to get up. The snooze button is my friend. I need to take on this habit!!!!! You go girl!!!

  3. Ooh, girl! I am SUCH a night owl, so the idea of getting up at 4:45 for any reason other than catching an essential flight or, you know, helping someone who needs me to call 911 or something sounds IMPOSSIBLE. Bedtime (for the grown-ups only, of course) is midnight at the earliest at our house!

    I really hope that someday I’ll get better at that whole “morning routine” thing. Maybe I should try literally putting my feet on the floor when I hear my alarm – I haven’t heard that one before and it might be helpful! I know it’s bad, but I’m notorious with the snooze button.

    We shall see! Thanks for the tips 🙂

    xoxo
    Grady

    http://www.gradybirdblog.com

  4. Caitlin, I loved this post. I think it’s great that you talked about starting fresh everyday. Sometimes when I “fall off of the wagon” I don’t get back on because I think that if I can’t do it every day I can’t do it at all. Black and white thinking never helped anyone! Great tips.

  5. This is so great! For probably three years now, I’ve been trying to become a morning person. I’ve gone in spurts where I get up at 5:30 every weekday to workout, but I have never been able to carry this over on weekends. The thing is I LOVE my days that I get up early and get stuff done before work, but sometimes I cannot convince myself to put my feet on the floor…. You’ve inspired me to keep trying though!

    1. I think trying to commit to it every day before you’re ready can be a dealbreaker. Maybe getting up 3 days a week at 5:30 for workouts would go more smoothly?

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