At some point in life, I stopped enjoying waking up early. I would pop up from bed at 4 am and get on with my day. Along the way, however, my days started becoming mundane and I could no longer hop out of bed feeling ready for whatever the day had in store for me.
I remember some years ago when I commuted to work, for hours. On a good day it would take me four hours to get from my house to my job location -- on.a.good.day. Most days traffic was horrible and my commute would stretch to around 6 hours.
I spent more time traveling to and from work than I spent at home with my family. Waking up at 3 am was no longer exciting because I was doing it solely to get to work on time.
To be on time for the commuter bus, which wasn't close to my house, I had to wake up by 2:30 am and be at the bus stop by 3:15 am. I had to catch an express bus to the commuter bus and walk to my job.
This was the routine when I decided not to drive to work.
My job was okay but after a few years of doing the commute, it was time for a change.
I'd gotten to a point in life where I simply didn't want to do a lot of traveling for a job I wasn't all that interested in. Plus, things started happening at work that signaled to me it was time to leave.
So, all these things were happening in my life which ultimately made me loathe getting up early in the morning. And so it went, years later, I was waking up at 6, 7, and 8 a.m., scrambling to get to work by 8:30 am. My mornings were filled with coffee, rushing, and resentment.
These are not ways to start an awesome day, which is probably why a lot of my days didn't feel so awesome. My productiveness was at a low point and I needed to correct that.
Embrace tiny habits
One thing about me is that I thrive on systems. I'm not into trendy ways of living because eventually, for me, it'll fall through. I create systems that work for me and I stick to them.
The way I create systems is to do everything step-by-step. I don't try to make huge changes all at once. When I find a system that works for me, I keep at it until I achieve what I set out to do.
The one thing I've worked on lately has been getting back to waking up at 5 am. I'm able to wake up at 5 am but it's getting up and being productive thats' been the issue. When I wake up earlier in the morning I am much more productive more so than I am trying to get work done late at night.
I feel as if my days are more successful when I'm up at 5 in the morning versus getting up at 9 am.
Tiny habits can be any small thing that gets you closer to your goal during the day. Another small habit of mine was my eating schedule. I created a system to ensure I ate at certain times every day. Once my eating system was automated, it was second nature.
But I had to embrace the tiny habits first.
This is something I've always done but as my work and positions changed, I had to rethink how I prioritized my days. My email inbox is regularly filled with messages from people who think their needs are urgent.
And it could very well be urgent for them, but it's not urgent for me.
During my work day I receive many projects that all have pressing deadlines and it's usually on short notice. Without my ability to prioritize my work, I'd lose my mind and wouldn't be very successful in my position.
The main method I use to prioritize my work is the Priority Matrix. Using the matrix will help you understand what issues need to be addressed immediately, and which tasks you can delay.
Using a productivity system, such as the Priority Matrix, will help you address the right tasks at the right time. Pushing you to maximize your productivity for the day.