You’ve probably seen the tiles on YouTube.

My productive 5 AM morning routine,

Waking up at 5 AM for a week *lifechanging*

I tried waking up at 5 AM for 30 days and it changed my life.

Well, so did we. When deciding on goals for the year of 2024, a friend of mine and I decided to create a 2024 Bingo card, with things we wanted to achieve together. We have a full set of challenges for this year, and one of the first things we decided to do, was to attempt to wake up at 5 AM every day for an entire week. We rose before the sun between the 4th and the 10th of March. But did it make us more productive, like every influencer would suggest?

Our expectations:

As much as I would like to be a morning person, my sleeping schedule suggests otherwise. Before this challenge, my average bedtime would probably be midnight, and if I didn’t have a lecture early, I would sleep until 09 or 10 AM, sometimes even longer. So, I expected to struggle with this challenge, and was even prepared to drink the one Red Bull I’ve had in my refrigerator since Buddy Week. We knew we had to keep ourselves motivated, so my friend and I planned activities like going to the gym, going on walks, and reading at the university together. After all, we had promised to try to be productive, because why else would we do this voluntarily?

Monday 4th of March: What did we get ourselves into?

When my alarm went off on Monday, my first instinct was to throw my alarm clock into the wall and go back to sleep. My room was pitch black, and I had this strong sense that this was a terrible idea. However, I had promised my friend to pull apart the curtain and wave to her in the morning (to make sure neither of us cheated and went back to sleep), so I turned on the lights and stood up before I had a chance to decide against it. This morning ritual would take place throughout the entire week. After getting up I quickly realised that it wasn’t as horrible as expected. What you need to understand about me is that I am an extremely busy person, known for taking on too much, and feeling incredibly restless when I do not have anything to do. So, giving myself a few extra hours in the morning could both be a blessing and a curse. Monday was mostly spent on catching up on readings and tasks, I had missed due to working the previous weekend. I did laundry, cleaned my apartment, had a lecture and group work, and had an editorial meeting with Unikum. Cooked myself a nice dinner and hung out with friends before going to bed at 23 (a little later than planned).

Foto: Privat

Tuesday 5th of March: Who needs rest anyway?

By far my busiest day, but also the easiest to handle was Tuesday. Started our day with 45 minutes of strength work, and then an hour of yoga. I’ve learned that as a restless person, yoga is absolutely not for me, because when the instructor tells us to relax and don’t think about anything, I do the opposite. My mind travels everywhere, and I forget everything about breathing techniques. After leaving Spicheren, I went home to bake muffins and read for class. Did a three-hour stand with Unikum in Vrimle, had a nice waffle at waffle hour (thank you ESN), and went home to an European Student Assembly meeting (more on that next month). For some reason, I was not tired at all today, even though I went to bed late.  A solid day, but I was wondering when the consequences would start to hit.

Wednesday 6th of March: Starting to feel it

Although waking up early is hard, there’s something wonderful about being up before anyone else. I got to see the sunrise every single day, and spent a few moments in solitude during a rather hectic week. Around Wednesday I also realised that there was a sort of unity between the people who are up before the sun. More people greeted each other in the morning, I saw the same people at the Gym, and it made it easier to start my day with a positive mindset. This day I felt the toll of waking up early, but not before the end of the day. Did a running class, bought groceries, did readings in Vrimle, and had a workshop for the European Student Assembly, which I will be attending in April. At the end of the day, I was rather tired, and I must admit that I had to rewatch the workshop. I went to bed at 20:45, which is probably the earliest I’ve gone to bed since before I was 12.

Thursday 7th of March: I didn’t die

At the start of the week, I told my friends Thursday would probably be the hardest day of the week. We would have gone through three days before it, yet still have three long days after it. Surprisingly, it was the easiest day, probably because I spent a lot of time with friends. I started my morning by completing my readings for the week (finally) and finishing my part of a group project. The sun was shining, and as a true Norwegian, that meant I had to be outside. Luckily, I already had plans to do so. A friend and I went to Bølgane Frisbee Golf and played a game, which I sadly lost brutally. I’ll get my revenge sooner or later. After that, I was encouraged by my friends to try skateboarding for the first time. Terrified of dying, I spent most of my time adjusting my helmet. After two hours at the park, my friends can testify that I am now able to not fall on my face immediately. Through and through a very productive day, where I definitely went out of my comfort zone.

Foto: Privat

Friday 8th of March: So close yet so far

I wake up early on Fridays for lectures anyway, so this wasn’t too bad. The lecture was spent cursing the weather for being so good when I had to be inside, and dreading the next hour of groupwork. After my time at the university, I sat outside in the sun and did some readings, before going for a swim in the lake with a few of my friends. It was cold, but the sun made up for it. Later that night my friends and I were supposed to have a game night, but we decided to have a campfire by the lake instead. We grilled and talked, but I had to leave early for another ESA meeting. Luckily, I was not kidnapped on my walk back from the lake in the dark, and the meeting was fine.

Saturday 9th of March: Restless and bored

Waking up early on a Saturday is kind of boring, and that’s why I decided to go for an 8k walk by myself in the morning. You heard me, 8k. I got to listen to some good music, shake out my legs before handball practice, and it was nice but windy. Went to the library after practice, got a few groceries (candy), and jumped happily around because I did not have to cook dinner myself this weekend. One weekend a month the student newspaper has desk weekend, where we have dinner together. So we hung around the offices for a few hours, and then I called my folks at home later.

Sunday 10th of March: The Final Homestretch

Sundays for me are always the same routine, with laundry and cleaning, so the only thing that changed this weekend was that I was done hours before I usually was. Also, I spent quite some time wondering when it’s socially acceptable to vacuum in the morning. Throughout the day I also became more restless, and I realised that I was only missing 11k steps to have walked 100k steps in a week. So, I recruited company and did a walk in the forest, before heading to day two of desk weekend. I ended the week with a tired gymnastics practice, before going to bed a 23, with no alarm set for the morning.

Only to wake up at 7 AM anyway.

So how was it?

Honestly? Surprisingly easy. Of course, this will vary from person to person, and I am someone who sometimes enjoys waking up early (although my sleeping schedule would suggest otherwise), and I also don’t take naps. If you’re someone who is a night owl, and snoozes their alarm fifty times in the morning, waking up at 5 AM is probably not for you. All the YouTubers who claim that waking up early is life-changing aren’t telling the whole truth. You need to be disciplined enough to get tasks done, and most of us aren’t going to be productive 24/7. For me waking up at 5 AM was nice, and I did enjoy it, but I disliked having to go to bed super early, in order to not be dead in the mornings. I was more productive in the mornings than usual, but the evenings looked the same. However, I did find more time to do readings, but you do run out of readings and the will to read them after a while as well. A consequence of the 5 AM week is that I now find myself unable to not wake up before 10 AM. Which kind of sucks, when I’m looking forward to a good night of sleep, and wake up at 8:30 AM anyway.

I’ll rate the week an 8/10, mostly because of the people I spent time with. Without good company, I would have been bored and restless. Feel free to try it yourself if you dare, but my alarm won’t be set for 5 AM for a long time unless I have a flight to catch.

Foto: Privat


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