But now that I need to wake up at 5:30am to commute into London during the week, I now think they’re INCREDIBLE. People think I’m crazy for choosing to do this, and for my own sanity, from September I’m going to find a new job much closer to home so I can wake up later.
But if you want to wake up and stay awake, here are all the things I’ve been doing for the last three weeks. And they really work. The only time I was late was because of tube delays, not me.
1) Make the most of the night before. It’ll mean you can get up later the next morning. Use it to shower, wash your hair, plan your outfit, make your packed lunch, and (mostly importantly) check your transport route in case there are any delays.
2) Get to bed early at the same time every night. It’s boring, and it’ll make you feel like you’re back at school again. But it’s REALLY awkward when your colleagues think you’re hungover, when you’re really not – you just stayed up late watching Youtube videos the night before.
3) Set at least two alarms to wake up to: one five minutes before the time you need to wake up to, and one for five minutes later.
4) Place your alarm clock(s)/mobile phone on the opposite side of your room, so you have to get yourself out of bed and stagger a few paces to switch it off. NOT within arm’s reach.
5) After you’re upright and wandering around, make your bed. It makes you feel like you’ve achieved at least one thing before leaving the house. It’ll also dissuade you from getting back into bed, because it instantly feels like you’re undoing all your hard work.
6) Eat breakfast, but keep it simple. My favourite is two Weetabix with milk and a banana. It literally takes two minutes to eat, and it’s good for me. Save fancy time-consuming breakfasts for when you’re alert enough to appreciate them.
7) Have a gentle caffeine dose. Don’t go wild (i.e. Red Bull), but a cup of tea with milk (and sugar if you like that sort of thing) will help you feel more awake by the time you leave the house.
8) If you’re tempted to go back to bed, remind yourself of all the bad things which will befall you if you do. i.e. being late for work, being put on your boss’s naughty list, getting fired, getting no money etc…
9) Save checking your emails and Facebook for when you’ve successfully left the house and are safely on the way to work. Even just scrolling through your Facebook feeds wastes valuable minutes.
10) Stay awake whilst on your commute by reading, listening to uplifting and energetic music, or engaging audiobooks, checking your emails and Facebook, calling someone (who would also be awake at that time in the morning).
11) Repeat, and get into a routine you can race through.