My alarm would ring at 8 AM, and I’d step out of bed with the determination to make it to the gym. I’d place both feet firmly on the ground, get that workout gear on, foam roll any stiff muscles and either walk or drive to the gym. Even with the start of a new job that required me to wake up earlier, I still tried to maintain the relatively same routine.
The gym and foam rolling session morphed into a 15 – 20 minute yoga session. Then it was straight to the shower to get ready for work, make a smoothie, and hit the road.
This routine lasted roughly a month, and not every morning was successful. To get the yoga in, I needed to wake up at 5 in the morning. After the first week, there were plenty of morning where I would sleep through that allotted time. Even then, I consistently didn’t have enough time to prepare my smoothie. Breakfast turned into grabbing a protein cookie as I ran out the door. (Delicious, but not real food.)
During this time, I often found myself sitting in an hour and a half of traffic getting to work. If I simply left a half hour earlier, however, it would shave 30 minutes off my commute. Waking up even earlier was not an option, though– I was already too tired.
Letting It Go
I had to let my morning routine go; I simply couldn’t sacrifice anymore sleep. Shortening my commute was a priority. Not only is time spent sitting in my car a waste of time, but that extra half hour would drive me crazy.
Getting to work at 7 AM vs 8 AM was also a great benefit. As you could imagine, if getting to work took 1.5 hours, getting back home during rush hour was utter hell. When you get through an entire podcast in one go, something just isn’t right. Therefore, one key benefit of starting work at 7 AM was being able to leave an hour earlier. It still took me an hour and half to get home, but getting in or getting to the gym at 5:30 was a lot a nicer than 6:45.
There is now more time for working out and working on my blog and YouTube channel. I have even been able to create a more consistent sleep schedule. Sleep is such an integral aspect to health and well-being. It is when the body heals and recuperates. I am an active person that likes to train brazilian jiu jitsu and go to the gym. I put my body through a lot, so that down time is essential. Not to mention that a lack of sleep always drives me to crave sugary treats and have a much higher appetite the next day.
Optimizing Your Time
Ultimately, optimizing my time meant foregoing a fancy and even ideal morning routine. I would much rather get some sort of movement in before my day even begins, but it’s just not realistic right now. The optimum way to alot my time is to get up early, getting going, and get home early enough so that I still have the time and energy to work on the things I love. This readjustment of my time highlights that sleep and effective time management are much more important than waking up early for any active routine.
How are you optimizing your time?