Ever feel like you’re stuck in one of those rooms where the walls are closing in on you, and there’s nothing you can do but watch them inch closer and closer?
Yeah, that’s how I felt about a month ago.
Work had slowed down from the 120-mph pace I was running this past winter (thank you, Jesus), but only by about 20 mph or so (a little more help, Jesus). My blog was taking up most my nights and weekends, what with trying to keep up with my week-to-week requirements, grow my audience, AND work on a project I hope to launch in 2018. On top of that, my partner and I were house-hunting for rental properties, and officially moved him into my place at the end of July. Oy–freaking–vey.
It seemed like I had created a perfect storm of stress, and I had no idea what to do about it.
I follow my fair share of PF bloggers on Instagram (you know I need some inspo to keep on the straight & narrow myself), and one of them — Natalie Bacon (you all really should be following her) — kept posting about how in love she was with her 4:30 AM wake-up schedule. She, like me, has a full-time job, and getting in a few more hours before her 9-to-5 has completely amplified her productivity.
It was just the lightbulb moment I needed.
I am and always have been a huge proponent of getting a full eight hours of sleep — I think it’s important for your health to give your body time to rest & recharge, and I’ve always tried to stick to that schedule as much as I can. (I’m also not a mom. You all who can operate on two hours of sleep are freaking rockstars.)
To be 100% honest, though, I knew that I could operate on seven hours just fine, and giving up one hour of sleep to add to my day? That could be a complete game-changer.
However, if The Biggest Loser taught me anything (don’t pretend you didn’t love that show in its heyday), it’s that trying to completely overhaul my habits in one day, one week, or even one month will more than likely backfire. Hard. Thus, I decided that instead of rolling back my alarm clock by a full hour to begin my day initially, I would start small with just 15 minutes. And ladies, it’s worked WONDERS.
If you’ve been following along on my Instagram feed, then you know I’m already a month into my little #15MoreMin experiment, and it’s been a fantastic addition to my daily routine. I’m not perfect, and there have definitely been mornings where the snooze button has been pressed; however, those days where I start my day a little earlier tend to leave me feeling a little more positive on my way out the door.
Some mornings it’s something as simple as putting away laundry or cleaning out the dishwasher. Others I’m working on getting an Instagram post ready for the day, or checking out what new material other bloggers have put out that week. A few days I’ve just had a little “me” time where I’ve practiced gratitude or painted my nails (you know I’m cheap and hardly ever get mani/pedis).
Whatever it is, I’ve found that checking off those small tasks in the AM leave me feeling less stressed and more accomplished, and it lifts my attitude for the entire day.
No joke. My staff could probably chart out the days where I was lazy and hit snooze.
That’s exactly why I’m not stopping this train before it reaches its destination. This next month, I’ll be rolling my alarm back another 15 minutes, and will continue that trend until I hit my goal of gaining an extra hour in my day three months from now. And while I know it will only get harder from here (you all understand how wonderful it is to stay under the blankets when it’s cold out), I’m also really excited about what this could mean for me.
And for you.
I know that more than likely, you face the same struggles I do in having enough time in your day to accomplish everything you have on your to do list. Honey, I hear you loud and clear. And that’s exactly why I would love for you to join me in reclaiming your day, even if it’s in small 15 minute portions.
And ladies, it doesn’t have to be an alarm clock adjustment, either. Maybe you spend too much time scouring social media or vegging out in front of Netflix at night. Take back some of those minutes and use them to help you better manage all the badass things you’re doing with your day.
One word of advice, though?
Make a list of everything you could do with those extra 15 minutes that would bring more value and positivity to your day. Those mornings where I essentially failed at getting up early were those where I didn’t have a defined plan for how I was going to use my minutes, and once I made a list and determined that plan the night before, I found it much easier to find the motivation to get out of bed in the morning.
If an extra 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or hour in your day seems like something you need to do as well, I hope this acted as your little lightbulb moment and encouraged you to join me in the challenge. Use the hashtag #15MoreMin on Instagram and Twitter to let me know how you’re using your extra time. You can scour my feed to see how I’ll be using mine!
And for those of you who have conquered your morning wake-up routine, please share: What have you done to make it easier to get up early?
Brittney is a CPA in Indianapolis who loves any & all carbs and in her spare time runs the blog Britt & the Benjamins, which is focused on helping people, especially women, achieve financial independence and kill it in their careers.
Image via Unsplash