Two years ago I decided that I needed to gain academic recognition to compliment the years of practical knowledge, experience and evidence that I had learnt on my journey thus far.
It would be 19 years since leaving formal education in the form of secondary school, no A-Levels, no undergraduate degree; just a mediocre set of GCSE’s to my name. I had learnt that if I am not passionate about a subject, then I will coast through and do the bare minimum that was required. With this in mind, I was apprehensive about entering into formal academia again, especially at Postgraduate level. Would I be clever enough to complete the course or would I reinforce the long-held belief that I just wasn’t clever enough?
Personal circumstances at the time were pretty hectic to say the least. Each 30 credit module that I was doing would be taking roughly 6 months to complete. This was going to have to fit in to my schedule of full-time work during the week, family time on the weekends and trying to start three separate business ventures at the same time. Time, therefore, became a very precious commodity and I was forced to analyse how I spent it.
This inquiry let me onto a journey of guided discovery into what schedule would work for me. Personally, I love to be awake whilst everyone is sleeping, but that routine doesn’t always fit into the perceived ‘normal’ day routine that is prevalent in society. So for the next couple of years, I woke up at 0530 every morning, did a few hours of study before the rest of the World woke up and began to erode away my time. I was adamant that my family time would not suffer because of my choices so I stuck to my early routine on weekends too. I would get up early with my books and a coffee and study until the family woke up and we could have breakfast together. I really enjoyed my routine and felt that I was getting a lot achieved in my own 24 hours.
This routine worked really well for me and I have now just completed the second year of study. I was left with a gap of a few months before beginning the final year research module and felt at a loss with so much time now on my hands. I began to research routines more in-depth as it interested me from my own experiences and wanted to have more data in preparation for the final year.
Sadly though, I fell into a trap. The abundance of subjective material on morning routines that exists is astronomical. I spent the next few weeks trying out various ‘guarantees of success’ and other bullshit fads that were available online. Having tried a few routines and not had much fun with them, I took time to reflect objectively.
I realised a few important issues. For the abundance of ‘success’ stories of early risers, there are just as many contradictory stories. It is not important how early or late you get up, or what your ‘5-step must not change’ routine is when you do get up. The most important thing is what you do with your time. If you have goals, ambitions or objectives that you want to achieve, then simply getting out of bed early just won’t cut it. You need an actionable plan. Most importantly, you need an actionable plan that suits you and your lifestyle. If you don’t, then it will become a pain in the ass, you won’t enjoy it anymore and who the hell wants to do something they don’t enjoy. Life is for living!
Everyone is different, you are an individual and only you know what is truly best for yourself. So instead of wasting time learning about other people and their routines, make time to learn about yourself and what works for you. Self-awareness is fundamental to success. The better you know and understand yourself, the better decision you can make to improve your situation.
Take the time to learn about you, and be you.