#InspiralizedBoss, Episode 8: Set the Pace For Your Day with This Simple Change

#InspiralizedBoss Episode 8: How Waking Up One Hour Earlier Can Impact your Productivity
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Every Friday, we’ll be posting short and quick business stories, tips and resources that have helped us grow Inspiralized. The series will be called #InspiralizedBoss and we hope they inspire others!


Whenever you read stories about successful entrepreneurs and their daily schedules, 9 times out of 10, their mornings begin at the crack of dawn – or before! I’m always amazed by it – the 4am wakeup call or the boss that makes it to the 5am spin class and then is at their desk by 6am.

To be honest, it’s a bit intimidating! The thought of waking up before 6:00am alone terrifies me – let alone before 5am!

However, the more and more I read about business owners and what they do to make their dream a reality, the more and more I see that they harness the power of the early morning wakeup call. I’m instantly envious of the successful entrepreneur who gets their workout done and Inbox cleared by 7am. I want to be part of this elite group of super productive people who make use of every possible moment of the day!

This is the year that I become a morning person! I told myself that on January 1, 2016 and I’ve steadily worked on becoming an early riser. After all, those are the ones that catch the worm, right?!

Well, let’s get one thing straight: I’m not waking up at 4:45am to make any 5am spin classes. Instead, I have made one simple change that totally sets the pace for my work day and has profoundly impacted my productivity levels.

I have made one simple change that totally sets the pace for my work day. #InspiralizedBoss via @Inspiralized Click To Tweet

I wake up at 7am and I’m at my desk by 7:15am. In those 15 minutes, I wake up, kiss my husband, brush my teeth, wash my face, apply moisturizer, get dressed, and turn my computer on. By that time, the coffee is ready (I have a coffee machine with a timer – best wedding gift ever!) That time from 7:15 – 9am sets the pace for the rest of my day. If I snooze until 7:30/8 with Lu, I’m never as productive as those days when I wake up at 7am. On some days, I do wake up at 6am and make it to the gym – but those are only on the days when I have an evening commitment that will interfere with me making it to the gym.

Now 7am may not seem that early for those of you who work in corporate America, but remember – I work from home, so it’s a 5 second walk to work! It would be like you getting to your desk at 7:15am every day, over an hour before most of your team arrives, right?

So why does the 7:15am start make such a difference? During the next hour and a half, I start with the following: spend 30 minutes on personal stuff. As I read my coffee, I take personal time to read the news (just the Skimm if I’m in a rush) and all of my favorite blogs. I take this time for myself and then, throughout the day, I don’t get sidetracked, because I already satisfied that need to “procrastinate.”

After those initial 30 minutes (which sometimes also include tidying up the house or starting my laundry), I:

  • Go over my to-do list from yesterday and tie up any loose ends
  • Build and/or refine that day’s to-do list
  • Schedule my priorities (a Marie Forleo trick!)
  • Get through urgent and pending e-mails before the 9am-5pm-ers start flooding my Inbox

After that, I build a timeframe for the day that I try to stick to, ensuring that my priorities will be conquered first. By having that extra hour in your day, I’m able to better organize myself and set the pace for a more productive day.

For now, this one hour change is working for me. And who knows… maybe by next year, I’ll be waking up at 4:30am with the best of ‘em!

What time do you wake up in the morning? When are you most productive during the day?

Thank you for tuning in, and I hope you learned something new from this week’s #InspiralizedBoss post.

#InspiralizedBoss - Business success and failure stories from the founder of Inspiralized

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  1. I hear what you’re saying- but the delivery isn’t coming off like I think you hope. Parents are up at the crack of dawn out of necessity, normal working Joes are usually up early to commute (high level CEOs or just regular punch the clock workers) You are an extreme minority of people who are fortunate enough to have a business and work from home. Nothing wrong with that, but that’s how that read to me- you getting up at 7 is nice, but that mother of 3 kids has been up since 5 just to manage a shower, getting kids ready for the day and food into their mouths. God forbid they add working out to that. Hello, 4am wakeup call (and I can name more friends who get up in the 4 region out of necessity than not. And it’s not for work, or productivity- its to get basic day to day requirements done with so little free time)
    Be mindful most of your readers aren’t able to enjoy the luxury of snoozing and lounging in bed til 8 so that a 7am seems like a big deal. If my kids let me sleep til 6:30 on a saturday I’m thanking my lucky stars.

    • I get up at 5:30am to work out and has made a world of difference in my mood and the way the day is set.

    • What was the point of your comment, lady? Did you just need somewhere to vent your frustrations with your life and your choice to have kids? You sound pretty bitter that you made different choices than her.

      Ali is saying what has made a world of difference in her world. She’s not telling everyone to change their lifestyle ASAP.

      Again, you sound really bitter. Maybe you need make some different changes to your life. Working out in the morning, as tough as it may seem, might make a world of difference in your attitude for starters.

    • Thanks for your comment, but please keep in mind that these posts aren’t intended to be preachy, but instead, to share some insight into what I’ve found successful – and hopefully, even those who aren’t in my situation, can adapt my stories and take something from each one. Hope that helps shed some light on why I share my own personal stories!

  2. I guess it is all about where you are in life. I raised 2 kids, one is serving in the Army after graduating college and the other a senior in high school. You’re time is not your own when you have young kids. I get that. Ali is young and just starting to build her career. This is from her perspective as a young woman without children, trying to make the most productive use of her time. Young, career minded adults without children will get it. Do it while you can because kids change everything. I am at the point in my life where I can determine what time I get up. I work part time late into the evening as a nurse. I wake up when I want, no alarm clock. Husband and son leave for work and school by 730am. My day is my own. I like Ali’s advice because I do tend to procrastinate and I need to try and organize my time better, so in my life, I will take to heart her advice. Remember everyone, where you are in life depends on how you view her perspective.

  3. Weekdays I’m the crazy one up at 3.45am to start work at 4.45 am – HR for Health Region – one time zone to east so have to be there for the night staff if they need help. But to me it is the best time of the day. No traffic jams and get so much work done without interruptions. Best thing is I’m finished at 12.45 and can then do what I want to do. My children are both at university so not tied to school runs, getting them to rowing/soccer etc. I love to walk, hike, catch up with friends, bake, spirailze – making spiralized turnip spagettie tonight with a pasta sauce – fooled the family with this last week.

    Ali, I love the Spiralizer. Our family is getting so healthy with it and losing weight. I got one for my parent’s caregiver in England – they are 88 and 91 – and she has been producing great recipes and their energy levels have really improved. I also gave them to my sister in law for Christmas too. I’m slowly converting my friends when they ask how I’m losing weight. The secret is out. Can’t wait for your new book to come out – that will be Christmas sorted for all them all as well.

    Have a great weekend and always excited to open my email box to find a new recipe posted each day.


  4. I think this is all great advice. Everyone has their routine and challenges (kids or no kids) and at the end of the day if you can look back and say, “I did the absolute best I could,” then that’s all that matters! On a side note, I stumbled across your blog and YouTube channel last week and have quickly become obsessed. I eat pretty healthy for the most part but am really challenging myself to increase my veggie intake day to day. I love how approachable your recipes are and just ordered my Inspiralizer. I think sometimes I tend to over complicate eating healthy. Meal prepping multiple complicated recipes all on Sundays, buying way too many groceries that sometimes go to waste, etc. I binge watched your “What I Eat in a Day” series and found it very helpful and eye opening. It wasn’t complicated at all. I made a BBQ chickpea quinoa bowl for lunch and it was simple and delicious. I’m super excited to get my Inspiralizer and get going!

  5. Ali,Thank you for this post. I did learn something new. I watch my husband get up in the morning and check fb and sports websites then move on to work ( he has his own business out of the house) and I always thought he was being kinda lazy now I know he is doing exactly what your doing taking his “me” time and setting up his day. I am going to try the 1 hour thing and see if I can benefit from it as well, I often feel like I can’t find the time for me. I am very excited, and look forward to the next inspiralizedboss post

  6. from the sugar nerd: You are doing everything right for your business; you keep on doing what you are doing and you will be very successful. I am a retired R,N, for 46 years; due to finicial issues I worked 16 hour days 7 days a week 365 days a year in order to make ends meet. I averaged 6 -7 hours of sleep. I still have to plan my day as I use an electric scooter due to my osteo arthritis and depend on public transportation. Except on my Farmers Market day which is currently two days a week. One Sat. last year I got up one hour late and got there 15 min. later and all my veggies and fruits sold out. Moral – early bird does catch his organic food before it is sold out. I have not been up late to my Farmers Market ever again. the reason I am a nerd about sugar is I used to weigh 212 pounds and in one year of spiralizing zuccini for my pasta and avoiding sugar; I now weigh 175 pounds. My goal is to get to 160 pounds as this will help to decrease my osteoarthritis pain. My hardest goal was giving up the sugar and pasta; I just took it one day at a time and it has paid off. One of my well meaning senior citizen neighbor gave me a veggie lazana with real pasta and I suffered bloating and stomach upset for two days. I have eaten any pasta for over a year and it wrecked havoc with me. I had to tell her no more pasta. She did not think eating a little pasta would hurt. She knew I was no longer eating pasta; I had to tell her do no give me pasta ever again. The real reason I am a sugar nerd is about six months ago I stared to notice I could tell if a product had sugar 2 grams or more. That is now why I make my own tomato sauce on top of the fact cans that state bpa free is only a marketing scam to get you to buy their product. I belong to the Cornucopia Institute(www.Cornucopia Institute.org) they put out score cards on what is organic what is not, even for pets. JJ Virgin has a sugar impact diet blog that lists all the names of sugar that market scammers put in food.Once you learn all the different names for sugar you will be more aware of all the harmful sugars. The other thing you have to avoid is GMO wheat – read Dr. Davis book on” Wheat Belly” and you will never eat wheat again(pasta,bread;pizza;cereal); oatmeal raw non GMO is the only cereal you should eat. Now you know why I am on sugar like the horseflys and nats that sting and bite you on any Cape Cod beach in the summer. The information I have provided is only to help you become a knowledegeable spiralize blogger. You are another major superhero that can help decrease obesity and diabetes in America. One person at a time, one day at a time the only way to win this war on Americans. You can do this, never forget. allan

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