A few days ago I wrote about how I now wake up at 5am to start my day.
Those few hours of uninterrupted quiet time has really helped me to focus, remove distractions, and be more productive throughout my day.
An unexpected benefit of waking up early has been it has allowed me to be more present with what really matters to me later in the day, and that is time with my family.
Before I committed to waking up early, I would wake up with wife around 7am and lay in bed looking at my phone. I would check emails, get caught up on social media, read the news, maybe play a game or two, etc…
Before I knew it, 30 minutes or 60 minutes would elapse.
By this time the kids would be waking up and I would have to attend to their needs by getting breakfast ready, changing them, answer a million questions, and so on.
When I would finally sit down to actually begin working it would usually be 9 or 10am.
At this point my morning was practically half over and I had many other tasks that needed attending to throughout the day that would distract me from my work I needed to do.
Doing preschool lessons with the kids, making snacks and lunches, cleaning up the house, changing diapers, and a million other mundane tasks that kept me away from putting in the work that makes sure there is food on the table and a roof over our heads.
Because I was behind in my work, I struggled to be present with my wife and kids. My mind was always distracted by something I still needed to get done and I felt pulled in 2 different directions.
Do I go to the office and focus on work, or do I try to be present with my family even though my mind was distracted by other things?
As a result, my work suffered as did my relationships.
Something needed to change, so I started experimenting with getting up early to work while everyone else was asleep so I wasn’t faced with so many distractions.
I wasn’t always easy rolling out of a warm bed on a cold winter morning, but as I adjusted to my new routine it became easier, especially once I started seeing the results: increased productivity, increased energy, and increased motivation.
Most importantly, I am able to enjoy myself as I spend time with my family because I am no longer distracted or guilted by what I still need to do that day.
Getting up early now is no longer a struggle for me because I have a choice to make every morning, get up and get shit done, or sleep in and watch my work and relationships suffer again.