If anyone saw my Bucket List post, which you can read here if not, it was on my list to wake up every day before 6AM for two weeks. For some people this wouldn’t really be a challenge but I’m someone who really enjoys sleep and long lie-ins at the weekend. On a weekday I often skip breakfast just so I can get more sleep so I knew this would be a bit of a challenge. I’m not really sure why I wanted to do it, I had ideas that my mornings would be really productive and I’d feel at one with the world. It didn’t quite work out like that.
The first morning was sort of productive. I almost gave up on day one because I switched off my alarm, reset it for 7:30 and tried to go back to sleep. But I felt such a pang of guilt that it got me out of bed and I got ready to go for a walk. To be fair it was a nice walk, the air is always nice and fresh in the morning which is welcome during the summer months but unfortunately I ended up with a massive blister even though I hadn’t walked any further than usual and I had to put up with that for the rest of the week which put a stop to my morning walks.
After that the mornings slipped away into doing… Pretty much nothing productive. I’d been planning to use that time to work on my novel but I didn’t look at it once. Instead I started watching ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and Achievement Hunter videos. The only productive thing I would do was write in my journal because I’d usually been too tired the night before.
On the bright side my 5AM wake-ups meant that I generally got ready for work quicker and got in a little bit earlier. I could’ve been a lot earlier but since me and my Mom work in the same building she drives me in and she wasn’t doing 5AM wake-ups so I had to wait for her. One morning my Mom was looking after my brother at 8AM so I ended up at work at 7:50AM. I was the first one in the office and I’ve never been there so early in my life ever. Usually I only just make it for 9AM.
As the weekend started approaching I had a massive internal debate about whether or not the weekend should count and in the end I decided that it did. Not only did my list specifically say ‘every day’ I also knew that I’d completely fuck up my sleeping schedule if I had a massive lie-in at the weekend.
Weekends were the worst because for those weekends I didn’t really have any plans so it was a case of sitting at home by myself and it felt endless with the 5 o’clock wake-ups. Usually at the weekend I wake up late, start to feel a bit bored but then regain my energy and enthusiasm at night time but since I was barely making it to 9PM without wanting to collapse I just felt bored and drained.
On the last weekend I did cheat a bit – I went out to see a movie with my friends on Friday and I got back at about 11:30PM so by the time I’d nodded off and my alarm went off at 5AM I really hadn’t had much sleep. I tried to push through it but by 7:30AM I was back in bed until 10:30AM. And then the next day I only made it until 6AM. So technically I cheated a little but God I was so tired!
I don’t think my lifestyle really suited the 5AM wake-ups. I felt like I couldn’t truly relax because obviously I had to get ready and go to work so I couldn’t truly chill out like I do in the evenings because I knew there was a time limit. It also meant I was getting burnt out at work because I was getting tired a lot quicker – not convenient because I was covering a colleague’s work that week and she is always extremely busy meaning I was extremely busy and exhausted pretty much all the time.
It also meant that my evening plans were cut. Let’s face it, no one wants to hang out at 5AM do they? You wanna hang out in the evenings. I don’t think I attempted much in the evenings, I went out for dinner with some friends but had to leave before long so I could get into bed and not feel exhausted the next morning. It was a bit of an inconvenience.
Also in our house we have a routine and I feel like me getting up at 5AM kind of disrupted that. My step-dad gets up early and is out the house before 7AM which me and my Mum like because he’s not in the way when we’re getting ready for work so getting up at 5AM meant avoiding my step-dad as he tried to get ready for work. I then had to try and cram in having dinner and a little free time before forcing myself to go to bed early. It just wouldn’t have worked in the long run.
I’m glad I did it and I can officially tick it off my bucket list but I think if I could go back I would try to be a bit more productive with my time. Work on my novel, go for more walks/runs, take up yoga or something. The issue was that more often than not I was too tired to motivate myself to do anything productive. Although to be fair I have that issue after a full day at work so I’m not really sure how to work around that.
Ultimately I’d be open to the 5AM wake-up’s again to see if I could be more productive but I’m not in an absolute hurry at the moment.