So, as I said in a previous post, I’m a morning person who doesn’t drink coffee. I know most of you are probably expecting a “but” statement to follow that up, saying that I drink tea or soda or some other stimulant to wake myself up. I don’t. Now, before you all start calling me a weirdo you may want to pause and think about that. Needing caffeine to function is not a normal thing and I’m sure most of you know that. Now, please don’t flip me off and go get another cup of coffee just yet. I’m sure many of you have even pondered giving it up at one time or another.
I’m not here to say that coffee or tea are a bad thing. If I could stand the taste, I would probably drink them just for the culture surrounding them. I wish I could say, “Hey, you wanna go out for coffee?” and actually mean it. It’s a great way to be social. Also, knowing someone’s coffee order is a sweet way to show you are paying attention and care about them. Even if I did drink coffee socially though, I wouldn’t drink it in the morning to wake myself up. Why, you ask? It becomes a crutch and an excuse.
How many times have you heard “Well, it’s because I haven’t had enough coffee yet.” Sometimes it’s a joke, but other times the person is dead serious. Whether they actually need the coffee is a matter for debate, but the worst part is that they think they do. I don’t want to become one of those people that blame a lack of coffee for my failures because if I do, then I have no reason to try to improve myself.
So, now that we’ve established that I don’t drink coffee, even though I’d like to be part of the culture and why I don’t drink it, lets get to some tips that help me wake up without it.
Eat breakfast- You’d be surprised how much eating breakfast right after you get up can do for your energy. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated. I usually just have a bowl of cereal or a piece of toast.
Set a regular sleep schedule- Go to bed at as close to the same time every night as you can. After a while of sleeping at the same time your body will adjust and be ready to get up on it’s own at your usual time.
Get enough sleep- I can function well on 7 hours of sleep. My wife needs more like 8 or 9. Every body is a little bit different, but not many can function well with 5 hours of sleep a night. If you get a bit more you’ll find that while you have less time in the day, the time you do have will be more productive.
Be excited to get up for something- I get excited to get up and blog, work on my novel, explore a new city, or read webcomics and tech news. It could be anything. Just save something you enjoy for doing right after you get up and it will be a motivator to get you out of bed. It also helps me start off the day with a smile on my face and that’s always nice.
Well, those are my tips. They allow me to get up at 7am and do things like write this blog post with a smile on my face. Do any of you coffee free people out there have any other tips? I’d love to hear them. I’m not inhuman, I do still have some days where I just don’t want to get out of bed.
I am a morning person. It took me quite a long time to realize this. Actually it took my wife pointing out to me for it to really click. Why is that? There’s such a culture in the US that says that “mornings suck” that it’s become one of the #trufax statements that everyone just agrees with when it’s mumbled into a cup of steaming coffee.
So how do I know I’m a morning person? Do I hop out of bed bright eyed and bushy tailed with a big smile on my face? No. I don’t. I wake up with messy hair and rub my eyes blearily for several minutes first. When I get out of bed I slump down in a chair or on the sofa and yawn my way through the morning’s tech news. After that morning routine is completed I start to concentrate on a project.
Right about now you’re probably saying I’m delusional and that I just want really badly to think I’m a morning person for some strange reason. I used to think that when my wife said anything of the sort. Then I realized that being a morning or night person is all about when you are most productive and creative. When do you find yourself getting the most accomplished. It’s not even about what time you get up!
All being a morning person means is that you are better at getting things done a few hours after you get up as opposed to a few hours before you go to sleep. I do tend to get up early in the morning, but that’s mostly out of a personal preference. If I sleep to late I feel like I must be missing out on something. I think it may also be a leftover from being totally addicted to Saturday morning cartoons. Back when they didn’t suck, that is.
So, why does it matter that I’m a morning person? Do I think it’s better than being a night person? No, I don’t think it’s better to be a morning person. It’s just harder to come to grips with in a culture that’s geared toward hating the morning. It DOES however, matter a great deal. If you are a morning person that is trying to live a night person’s life you won’t get nearly as much accomplished as you could. You also will tend to be a lot grumpier while doing it.
Do you find that when you try to do thought intensive or creative work in the evening it’s hard to focus or you get extremely irritable? You might just be a morning person. Your next thought might be that you are just as grumpy and unfocused in the morning and that it takes you 3 cups of coffee before you’re worth a damn. Just because you drink a lot of coffee in the morning that doesn’t mean you’re not a morning person. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and that you have something specific to work on first thing. Take a chance and try being a morning person. It might change your life.