For the past year, I have been devoting my early morning hours to getting work done in my side-business. Since I work full-time, those morning hours before leaving for work were perfect for meetings with east coast colleagues, podcast posting, writing blog posts, completing paperwork, and a range of other content creation and administrative tasks.

I’m a morning person, so those hours are also some of my best of the day and I didn’t want them to go to waste. Most mornings, I’m able to get in 1.5–2 hours of work before heading off to my day job.

Recently, however, I realized that these early morning hours are just never enough. They don’t set me up well for the day and I often find myself rushing around to get ready and leave my house on time because I try to squeeze in just one more thing.

These early morning work times have also always competed with my workouts. I love the feeling of starting the day with a workout already accomplished, but I was never able to do that because I was working instead. After hiring a personal trainer last month, I knew I needed to really re-commit to daily workouts.

So, I decided I’m taking back my mornings.

I now start every morning with a walk of between 40–60 minutes. Then, working off the schedule created by my personal trainer, I either do strength training or yoga. Some mornings, it’s just the walk.

I’m happy to report that, so far, it’s working.

This new schedule began the week that I took off work to finish my book, so I was a little concerned about keeping it up when I had to be out of the house early for my commute. I’ve found that it’s been completely do-able now that I’m back at my job full-time again as long as I make sure that I don’t get sucked into checking too much social media in the mornings. This next week, I get to test out the new schedule while traveling and I’m interested to see how it will go.

Re-assigning these morning hours means that I now primarily do my side business work on the evenings and weekends. I save the monotonous tasks for the evenings since that is when I’m most tired and try to do as much of the creative work as possible each weekend.

Compartmentalizing my time this way — mornings are for workouts, evenings are for administrative tasks, weekends are for creating — has been surprisingly helpful. I don’t have to think as much about when everything needs to get done and I feel like I’ve taken back some control over my time and re-prioritized my health and wellness to be more on the front-burner.

One of the things that helped me to make this decision was my vacation week re-set. I was able to have complete control over my schedule that week and it helped me to see that I really liked started each day with a walk.

At the end of the vacation, I asked myself, why don’t I do this all the time?

By removing a scheduling barrier, I now feel like I have more productive mornings that really set me up for a successful day.

To think on:

  • Are you happy with your current schedule?
  • What’s your ideal morning routine?