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Finding time for All The Things

Before I moved to my current home, I lived in one of Victoria, British Columbia’s (slightly) less expensive bedroom communities, about a 20-minute drive outside of the city. I worked full time at an office in downtown Victoria, so my morning routine began with a 6:00 a.m. alarm, included a 40- to 50-minute (depending on traffic) bus ride into the city, and concluded with picking up coffee and breakfast from the Starbucks around the corner from my office before starting work at 8:30 a.m.

clockI am most definitely NOT a morning person… I don’t think I ever have been… so not one weekday went by when I didn’t mentally curse the alarm clock, whimperingly drag myself out of bed, and fight off jaw-splitting yawns until the caffeine had worked its magic.

Then I moved to Windsor, Ontario (two years ago now, can you believe it?!). While I continued to work for the same employer (part time), my home office now doubled as my office office. Because I now live a couple of time zones ahead of the company, my work day doesn’t even start until 11:00 a.m. – and because I work from home, I no longer have a time-consuming daily commute.

Ahem. Did you catch the fact that I mentioned that I am NOT a morning person?

I’m sure you can see where this is going.

I started off two years ago with the greatest of intentions. While there was no WAY I was setting my alarm for 6:00 a.m. anymore (hey, there has to be SOME benefit associated with a significant pay cut!), I planned to wake myself up at a reasonable hour every day and do All The Things I never had time to do in the morning back in my commuting days – write, blog, exercise, read – before my work day began.


Unsurprisingly, that hasn’t worked out so well. Things were pretty good at the beginning, but gradually my natural non-morning-personness began to assert itself, and these days while I might wake up at a reasonable time (mostly due to the antics of three cats), getting up and getting on with my day is another matter entirely. (Sidebar: I blame my iPad. When it’s THAT easy to grab it from my night table to check e-mail, read Facebook, look at pictures on Instagram, etc. before my eyes have even fully opened, there’s not much incentive for me to get up right away! Besides, it’s easier to put the blame on something else than to accept that it might actually be YOUR fault, right?!)

But you know, against all odds, I really don’t like it. While it was a novelty at the start (and while I’m still not prepared to go back to a 6:00 a.m. alarm!), I am getting tired of losing so many of those precious pre-work hours to time-wasting when they could be spent and enjoyed so much more profitably.

So this week I’ve started making some changes. Though it may not seem like much to those of you who actually get up early every day, I’m starting by setting my alarm for 8:00 a.m. For now I’m allowing myself a bit of wake-up time on my iPad, but then I’m getting up and putting in as many minutes as I can stand (which are few at the moment, but will improve as I become more fit) on the stationary bike before showering and getting ready. I’m enjoying a leisurely, distraction-free breakfast and coffee at the dining room table (à la The Beck Diet Solution) instead of in front of my computer, and am even managing to squeeze in some writing time. Eventually I’m planning to replace my iPad wake-up time by re-introducing Morning Pages, but for now I figure baby steps are a good way to start so I don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged.

I’ve only been following this new routine for a couple of days, but already I’m feeling a whole lot more satisfied with what I’m managing to accomplish each day. Imagine how I’ll feel when this becomes normal and I’m ready to carve out even more time for getting stuff done!

Soon there’ll be no stopping me.

Are you a morning person?
How to you manage to fit in All The Things?
Please share!


Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.