How to get up early on a regular basis

I’m usually a pretty early riser; my alarm sounds at 5 am (5:30 on a good day) and I (almost) never hit snooze. Right now, I’m gearing up for a 4 am wake-up call on Friday to travel to a super awesome conference…which of course I’m almost simultaneously dreading and excited about.

alarm clock1

But here are a few tips to make getting up early a little bit less painful:

1. Don’t hit snooze! If I need to get up by a certain time, snoozing does not help. It just makes me feel more tired and grouchy at the fact that I do need to be up and getting ready to be productive. I usually lay in bed for a minute and look at my phone, just to get my brain up and at ’em.

2. Turn on all the lights. Even if it’s not super dark. Daylight Savings has given us the privilege of *needing* a million lights in the morning but even before DS I was still cranking up the electricity.

3. Have a routine. I look at email on my phone while laying in bed, get up and shower/brush my teeth, eat breakfast, and then drink tea/blog. I do the same exact thing every single morning, which is helpful in knowing how long I need to get ready and keeps me from making dumb early morning mistakes.

4. Set out your clothes and make your lunch the night before. Doing this makes me feel like a mom but it’s ever so helpful. Trying to decide what to wear in a dark bedroom or making sure you have enough time to rush to make lunch has never worked for me.

5. Eat breakfast. I’m addicted to caffeine so I drink it all. the. time. but I usually feel leaps and bounds more awake after I fill myself up with delicious goodness.

6. Have a super warm robe and slippers next to your bed. I hate being cold so knowing that, when I throw off the covers, I am only 30 seconds away from being cozy again is helpful.

7. Have a daily to-do list. I make one online and have it emailed to my phone every morning (via Sunrise) so I know what to prep for.

8. Do it every day. Some mornings I have the chance to sleep in until a “normal” hour of 7:30. Unless I’ve been extremely sleep deprived or it’s the weekend, I’ll rarely switch my wake-up time. That way I get sleepy at around the same time every night and get used to the earlier wake-up call.

9. Sometimes it sucks. Some mornings I wake up and all I want to do is skip class or clinicals and sleep for the next month. Sometimes I burn my toast or make my tea to hot. Sometimes I start doing something and end up running late. Knowing that it sucks is half the battle.

10. But know that you have to do it. The boy always asks me how I manage to get up before the sun. Well, it’s easy…I have to. If I didn’t need to be  up at 5, I’d probably sleep until a cozy 8:00 am and start my day from there. But knowing I don’t have a choice in the matter…that’s the other half of the battle.

What early morning tips do you have?

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Leaving on a jet plane

Yeah, I’m leaving on a jet plane, I don’t know when I’ll be back again…

Well, alright, I do know when I’ll be back.

Next weekend to be precise.

I always look forward to going home, mostly because it’s an excuse to lounge around in my pajamas all day and drink tea and watch mindless television. I always wish the boy were coming with me, but time out of town tends to be spectacular.

Especially since I’ve gotten so good at traveling.

Enter, Maria’s travel tips:

  • Clean your apartment/house/room. It may be the last thing you want to do before a trip but coming home to cleanliness is a wonderful, wonderful thing.
  • Pack more food than you think you need. Airport snacks are ridiculously expensive so it’s better to have more than expected so that way, when you’re starving and ready to eat a limb you can just reach into your back for a snack instead of spending $5 for an apple
  • Pack food you love but won’t get at home. I always bring my own peanut butter. It seems odd but my parents eat peanut butter that I detest and bringing my own is better than having to go out to the store and stock up. (Also, pack food that is just about to expire or would go bad over the trip…I always bring excess bread or fruit because I know it will get eaten by my family or me).
  • Check in and pay for your luggage before you go to airport. It’ll make the lines that much more bearable and save lots of time.
  • Also, don’t lock your suitcase. Security generally searches them so it’ll just make more of a hassle than anything
  • When it comes to carry-ons, a backpack is truly the best. You can have all of your personal items close to you (wallet, etc) and it fits under the seat. Wrestling with roller bags and overhead compartments sucks and is annoying to other people flying.
  • Also related to carry-ons, carry as few bags as possible. Keeping track of and carrying a million tiny bags is just awful and some airlines won’t let you bring them onto the plane until they are all in your larger carry-on back.
  • Most importantly, relax. Things can (and probably will) get hectic but freaking out over travel dilemmas truly make them worse than they already are. You can’t control an airplane or whether your flight is on time, so just sit back and relax and be super happy/polite because you’ll totally get better service!

What are your travel tips? Do you like flying?