The Blog.

What wakes you up?

5 Nov 2012 | Personal Productivity

I am NOT a morning person. Night owl, yes. In fact I’ve been known to be more awake at 6am on the rare occasions that I’ve stayed up all night than if I’ve woken up at 6.

Throw into the mix two children, who have both had their fair share of broken nights, 4-5am starts and illnesses that have thrown all routine out of the water.

I admire people who are able to go to bed at 8.30pm in an attempt to get a full night’s sleep. But truth be told I’m far too attached to my evenings when I have my brain all to myself or when my husband and I can chill out and catch up on Dexter.

So, back to the mornings. How do you avoid being a zombie all morning then panicking in the afternoon wondering “where did the time go?”

Here are some things that I’ve found work for me:

Going for a run – sounds a bit extreme I know, and it is easier to do in the summer when there is actually daylight first thing in the morning, but boy does it wake me up and charge me up for the day! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it 🙂

Having something to wake up for – before my kids started school I used to leave the house at 6.30am on a Friday go to a breakfast networking meeting. Amazingly, I used to jump out of bed and get dressed much quicker because a) I would not be popular if the alarm kept going off at that time of the morning and b) I had somewhere to be. I didn’t want to miss it or turn up late. I couldn’t afford to faff around!

Making decisions beforehand to keep moving – If my brain is not awake in the morning, I am more likely to stall at decisions, even something as simple as what to wear. If I have clothes picked out already (by the radiator if it’s a particularly cold night) I can get up, get dressed and keep moving. Same principle goes for identifying your to-do list the day before.

Sensory stimulation – splash of water on my face, a breath of fresh air, the smell of fresh coffee, the taste of cold fresh orange juice, singing at the top of my voice to The Boo Radleys or New Radicals blaring at full volume (yes I am a product of the 90s!) – all help to wake me up!

Starting the day with a job that energises me – I’m a people person, so starting the day with a conversation, coaching call or networking meeting is one of my best ways to boost my energy, motivation and momentum for the rest of the day.

What about you? How do you wake up?

Let me know your thoughts and comments below – love to hear from you!


  1. Naomi Richards

    Going for a run works for me. It clears my mind and gets me focussed on the day.

    • Grace Marshall

      Doesn’t it just?! I’ve only started running this year – amazed at how good I feel afterwards 🙂

  2. Catherine Poole

    Hi Grace! I am no good in the morning until I’ve at least had a big cup of tea! It also helps if it’s a sunny morning, as the room where I work faces east, so on the two mornings a week I’m child-free, I feel more revitalised!

    • Grace Marshall

      Sunshine does make a big difference doesn’t it? I work in the kitchen and love it when the sun comes streaming in through the patio doors (even if I am wearing a wooly jumper and wrapping my hands round a hot cuppa! Thanks for your comment Catherine!

  3. Emma

    Having clothes picked out and ready the night before, including choice of shoes and coat, is a must. One less decision that feels too big to make when half awake. It also saves my reputation on these dark mornings when I run a high risk of running out the house looking like I’ve been dragged through a jumble sale! Mornings I am at my lowest energy, so I go for quick wins, all the little and quick tasks, lots of crossing things off the list and feeling like I’ve done lots. The more important and bigger things are to come later in the day, but I’ll have energy for those later on, and in the meantime I feel I have at least acheived something 🙂

    • Grace Marshall

      Love it – quick wins to generate momentum. And yes good point about making those dress decisions when you can actually see what you look like! Thanks for stopping by to comment Emma 🙂

  4. Amy Harrison

    I know it’s not the best of motivations, but sometimes I’ll treat myself to a big box of Crunch Nut Cornflakes to get me out of bed in the mornings (not the whole box in one go of course!) Great post Grace.

    • Grace Marshall

      I like it Amy! Simple pleasures can be so effective – and now I have an added mental picture of you reenacting one of those Crunchy Nut adverts 🙂

Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

Like what youre reading?

Subscribe and join me in  conversation!

I will never sell your data. You can unsubscribe at any time. Here’s our privacy policy.

Want to  Explore?

Related  Posts

Friends in the Arena

Theodore Roosevelt said, "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest