I’ve never been a morning person. At first I thought it was just my moody teenage ways, and then possibly my late nights during University but as I started my career and got into office life I realised that no matter the situation, I still struggled in the mornings. I spent years feeling guilty and disappointed in my lack of early productive mornings. It always seems like the most successful and productive people wake up at 6am and have most of their to-do list ticked off by 9am, so when I wake up at 9am feeling exhausted, I also feel like a bit of a failure.
Over the years I’ve trained my body to wake up around 8am so it’s hardly like I’m lying in all day but the difference between me and a morning person is that my brain doesn’t really get going until the afternoon. I’m at my most productive at about 4/5pm which is when most people feel a slump and have to finish working. People often say to me, well just work when you want to work, but life gets in the way… there are standard times when people are available on email, Rich gets home from work and I want to be able to make and eat dinner together, it’s also completely unsociable to work in the evenings.
So I’ve had to meet somewhere in the middle and it’s taken me years to try and find a daily routine that works for me. Here’s what a working day from home currently looks like…
First alarm goes off, snooze
Second alarm goes off, I squint at the window blind that Rich has left slightly open for me
After 15 minutes of bleary eyed social media browsing, I finally get up
I spend this time brushing my teeth, showering and doing my skincare routine
I then go back into my bedroom to get dressed and to do my hair and makeup. I find this makes me feel more productive so I get ready even if I have no plans to go out
I head downstairs to make a cup of tea and some breakfast. I’ve really been enjoying Special K Original with dried fruit and nuts sprinkled on top. It’s quick and easy to make (perfect for someone still half asleep) and tastes really good! Adding breakfast back into my routine has made a real positive change to my day and it definitely helps me to be more productive in those first few hours of the day. Special K want to educate women on the power of positive nutrition through their campaign #PoweringYou The cereal is made with Vitamin D which helps to support your immune system, B12 which helps to release energy from food and Iron which contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. I’m loving it at the moment.
By this point I’m at my desk and I use the first few hours of my day to do tasks that don’t require much brain power or creative thinking, so I’ll check my email and organise my inbox. If any admin needs doing I’ll use this time to do it. Everything I do in the morning is incredibly slow, I procrastinate a lot and get distracted easily.
I like to get an early lunch in as I usually have a lot to cram into the afternoons, I usually take about 30 mins for my lunch
After lunch it’s all systems go. If I’m filming that day I’ll use this time to start gathering everything I need to film downstairs and to set up. This can sometimes be the longest part so I gather all my lights, my camera, my notebook and any props or products I need to show. I’ll then get myself ready for filming, I’ll change my top or put on some lipstick.
I’ll start filming a video and this can take anything from 30 to 90 mins depending what it is and if it’s at home or on location. If I’m not filming I could potentially be doing a shoot during this time to get some photos.
When I’ve finished filming and packed everything away (my least favourite part), I usually head back to my office to import the footage and save everything. At this point I also catch up on any new emails that have come in.
I use this time when I’m feeling most inspired and awake to brainstorm new ideas for brand briefs or for my own video content. I’ll also write blog posts during this time or schedule future videos and social posts. It’s during this hour that I feel my most productive and so it goes by really quickly.
I usually find the afternoon flies by and before I know it it’s 6pm. I take a quick break, prep dinner, have a bit of chill time on the sofa and then Rich comes home and I try my best to spend some with him and not to creep my way back into the office.
It’s about this time that I get the itch and just have to get my laptop out. Whilst Rich watches something on TV, I sit next to him and tap away finishing my work from the afternoon and clearing my inbox. I always feel like I’m racing to catch up on the lost time from the morning. I know it makes my brain too active before bed, but I’ve had to just get used to it. I sometimes write blog posts in the evening as it’s definitely a less distracting time for me when I can hear my own thoughts better.
By this time the laptop has been put away and I’m ready to relax and wind down for the day.
I’m not going to lie, if I lived alone I would most likely stay up until midnight working and I’d probably come up with some of my best ideas then. But I know that at 9am when everyone else is at their desk and emailing me requests, I need to be there and it’s just not ok to lie in all morning. So this is how I’ve made my daily routine work for me and it seems to be ok for now.
Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, try to listen to your body and your mind and work out a routine that fits, although I know I’m lucky to have such flexible working hours.
I think it’s just important to arrange your tasks and to-do lists based on when you work more productively. I know it’s made a big difference to me and my day.
This post included a paid for advertisement by Special K. Check out their #PoweringYou campaign here
Photos by Lauren Shipley.