Embracing Early Starts

early riser 1

I’m not a naturally organised person. In fact, if you asked those who know me well, you’d probably hear words like ‘mess’ and ‘scattered’ being used to describe my life in general, and I’d be inclined to agree. It’s just not something that comes straightforwardly to me or happens automatically. I am also a busy person, and I like it that way. I can’t sit still for very long before starting new projects or finding things to occupy my time. Being quite busy can have it’s pitfalls, especially if you’re not naturally inclined to get everything done neatly and well organised. I have therefore developed strategies over the years to maximise my time and to stay on top of everything, and today I wanted to share what I think is the secret to my sort-of ‘success’.

early riser 7

I do busy rather well. Last year, I was finishing my degree, my dissertation, my final year placement as a primary school teacher, running a blog, a small business, and a part time job. I actually, somehow, miraculously, graduated with a 2:1, qualified teacher status, continued to grow the blog and the part time job turned into a full time one. This by no means makes me an expert, but has given me a bit of experience when it comes to time management.

Recently, my schedule has calmed down a little bit, but at the moment I do still have a full time job alongside this blog and my photography projects. I also have all the day to day roles of being a functioning member of society, I try and regularly visit my family who live just under a hundred miles away, spend time with my boyfriend and be a (semi) social human being. It’s all about balance really!

early riser 3

My trick to staying on top of things is a simple one, but one that took me a strangely long time to start doing. Just get up one hour earlier. Nothing drastic, just an hour. I shifted my schedule by one hour, going to bed a little earlier to compensate for getting up just a bit earlier, and it’s made a world of difference to my days.

My favourite things about earlier starts is that they always feel like your extending your day, rather than simply managing your time differently. I never miss that hour in the evenings, in fact I rarely do anything productive after 7pm anyway. Going to bed an hour early doesn’t feel like it’s shortening my evenings either, and I always feel more rested for doing so, irrespective of when I wake up. Pulling the end of my evenings an hour closer never particularly feels like a particular shortening of the day either, but makes all the difference when it’s added on in the mornings.

early riser 4

Getting up at 6.30 means I’m dressed and at my desk with breakfast and a coffee by 7am, leaving me with a full hour until 8am to work however I see fit. This usually includes planning, answering emails, writing posts and editing photographs. It’s a real concentrated hour, aside from a little bit of breakfast eating and coffee drinking, it’s undisturbed and focused. It’s quiet too. The early risers in my house leave by 7, and the others don’t get up till far later. My phone rarely goes, almost giving the illusion that you’re up before the rest of the world, giving yourself a really quiet and peaceful time to get things done. If my to-do list isn’t feeling too full, or on non-posting days, it’s a great time to start out the day slowly and gather my thoughts. Just sitting down for half an hour to plan makes my days feel far clearer, and planning ahead can make them far more productive than the days in which I just muddle through.

early riser 5

It’s the most simple of strategies but one that makes all the difference for me. That one little hour means I’ve had a decent breakfast, am ready and clean and made-up as well as having a whole hour to work on my own projects before heading out of the door into the real world. Obviously some people are more suited to evenings than mornings, so it’s all about finding what works for you, but for me, that little morning productivity session is the key to a great day!

early riser 8

  • I’m not a morning person AT ALL, but I’ve had to make prising myself out of bed earlier a priority in order to blog (and feed my Pinterest addiction). Yes, I love evenings and I’m a chronic night owl, but I don’t actually do anything productive. The TVs always on, Twitter’s always buzzing and once I’ve had my dinner I’m pretty much useless. First thing though, there’s just me and my laptop (and coffee. All the coffee). Also, why does anhour on a morning seems so much longer than an hour on a night?

  • missgetaway

    First of all, that breakfast looks DELICIOUS! And I absolutely agree with what you’re saying. Getting up earlier makes your day longer! I love getting up early and getting shit done in the a.m. so I can fully relax and just focus on netflix in the evening. This is a schedule that absolutely works for me 🙂

    Love, Kerstin
    http://www.missgetaway.com/

  • I’m really not a morning person but I love being up in the morning! Great post, I really like your photography too!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  • Love this post – I’ll definitely be trying this next week! I think you’re right, it gives you a whole new energy for the day! x
    Sophie Cliff

  • Ana

    You are so right! I will try to start my day earlier – now that I graduated from school and have a lot of time during the day I will have to organise my whole life better. Thank you so much for your tip – It’s good to hear that even naturally messy persons have a chance to have some structure in their day. xx Ana by http://www.disasterdiary.de

  • I love this! If I stay in bed past 8am I get flustered thinking I’m wasting my day away. I love, more than anything, getting up really early, having a long productive day with time for myself left at the end of it. I always think ‘I can lie in bed when I’m old’, not right now 🙂

    Katie | Words By Katie

  • I am trying to get up earlier lately too, I have trouble falling asleep at night, so whereas yesterday I managed to get up at 6:30am and eat breakfast, relax, do some blogging, reading and watch a tutorial or two, today I woke up ten minutes before having to leave the house. Hopefully, I can start making this part of my routine too. Great post x

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  • I’ve been trying to get back to early mornings ever since the clocks changed (which somehow knocked my sleeping pattern far more than it should have done!) I’ve managed lately, helped by the lovely morning sunshine and I love having that extra hour to get jobs done or sit and read the news! I even made it to the farmers market this morning before work! xxx
    Lucy @ la-lingua.co.uk

  • Getting up early works for me too! I am most productive in the morning, and I just like taking my time to get ready and have a nice breakfast, so I don’t mind getting out of bed a bit earlier for that.

  • I was never a morning person (or an organized person), but I’ve recently made that change and I’m in love with it! You are right on the money that “losing” that hour at the end of the day doesn’t feel like you’re shorting your day at all.

    http://kierstenchalhoub.blogspot.com

  • I am not a natural morning person, but I must admit I do find I get more done and feel a lot more productive when I am up earlier! I need to try and train myself to be more of a morning person!

    Hayley-Eszti | http://www.hayleyeszti.com

    • Carrie

      It’s hard when it doesn’t come naturally, but I find it’s so worth it when you get into a good routine 🙂 xx

  • I’ve just started doing the same thing a few weeks ago and it’s made a huge difference to my mornings, I couldn’t recommend it enough. Plus, it’s easier to wake up earlier now when the daytime starts around 6 am 🙂

    http://www.smilesnapsparkle.com

    • Carrie

      It’s definitely much easier in the summer! 🙂 xx

  • I find that when you have less on in your life its harder to get up and do those early morning. When you have something to aim for like a degree or job that takes up a lot of your time its so much easier to rise early because you get used to it everyday.

    Mel ♥ everyword.meljwills.com

    • Carrie

      That’s very true! When I had less to do I definitely found it harder to get up, but I definitely prefer being busy! 🙂 x

  • I loved reading this post and the beautiful photography to compliment it. Waking up that little bit earlier can do amazing things for productivity and mood, but thats when you definitely know you’re a grown up!

    rachel // Style Soup

    • Carrie

      Thank you Rachel! You’re right, I think voluntarily getting up early is the true sign of a grown up! x

  • Such a beautiful post! Getting up that little bit earlier really does make such a difference to my productivity levels xx

    weardaisywent.com

    • Carrie

      Thanks Daisy! 🙂 x

  • If I got up any earlier, I’d be getting up at two! No thanks! It’s hard enough getting enough sleep as it is. 🙂
    Kiersten @ Autumn Country Girl

    • Carrie

      YIKES! Now that’s a real early start, I definitely wouldn’t suggest getting up any earlier! xx

  • Very inspiring to get up early and enjoy and make the most of the day! If don’t get up early I don’t ever get alone time or time to ready. I also find getting up early makes me more tired at night.

    Chelsley | http://www.chelseythornton.com

    • Carrie

      Yes! I find it helps me sleep too! 🙂 x

  • I completely agree with you! I’m an early riser and I find that I get so much more done in my day when I do wake up early. I’m even usually up by 7:30/8 on a Sunday as my body clock is so used to it now.

    Lovely post and I adore the photos 🙂

    Peta x

    http://www.24hoursintoday.com

    • Carrie

      Thank you Peta! I agree, it’s so much easier to get more done when you wake up early! xx

  • This is just the post I needed to get back into my morning routine that I was doing so well with but then completely let slide last month! That extra hour really is bliss but I seem to have trouble remembering that when my alarm first goes off! I’ll be keeping this post in mind from now on though! Stephie x

    http://www.teainyourtwenties.com

    • Carrie

      Good luck, really hope the post helps! 🙂

  • This is something I wish I could do, but I struggle so much with waking up. It’s definitely about getting into a routine though, sounds like you’ve got it down!

    Hannah | Oh January

    • Carrie

      It’s definitely about the routine! I used to hate getting up early, but had to get used to it on a work placement, and it’s sort of stuck ever since. I actually enjoy it now which definitely helps xx

  • Nicole

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. I usually get up at around 6.15 and it makes such a huge difference having that little bit of extra time before going to work to actually get things done. I feel so much more awake and happier knowing I’ve been productive before work, and it’s so lovely feeling like you’re awake before everyone else is. Early mornings sometimes feel like a secret, one which only a few of us make the most of and really embrace 🙂
    Nicole xxx
    http://www.gingerkitchen.co.uk

    • Carrie

      I love the idea of a little early morning secret 🙂 It’s such a great time to add on to your day! xx

  • your breakfast looks good! ^_^ Great post! Here’s to more productive and organized days coming!

    http://www.theoccupiedoptimist.blogspot.com

  • Just come across your blog and your photography is beautiful! I wish i could get up a little earlier, but I’m such a night owl and mornings are never fun at the best of times! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

  • Sam

    I definitely agree with all of this! I get up at 6:20 most days for work, and then rise early at the weekend naturally – but honestly, I get so much more done! And then it’s so nice to have your evenings to relax in then too xxx

    Sam // What I Know Now

  • Lovely post! I get up between 6 and 6.30 most days, and while a lot of people think it’s strange (I’m a student, so I really don’t have to get up that early), I love it. Like you say, the day feels so much longer! And I can take my time eating breakfast and waking up before I have to get on with my day.

    Mimmi xx
    Muted Mornings

  • I usually do this when it’s school days so I won’t be in a hurry in preparing for the day and have time to surf the internet or read a book. And as what many have said, being an early riser is an indication of being a successful person since we have a long day to do a lot of things. 🙂

    Augustin Ra | Indie Spirit

  • Victoria

    Love this post! I feel the same when I get up early too!! 😀

    http://victorialouisekblogs.blogspot.fr/

    X