Problems Getting Up In the Morning?

Filed Under: ADHD Time Management

Q:

Sure-fire strategies for getting out of the house on time in the morning.

Sandy Maynard
A:

First, if your main problem is whacking the snooze button until your hand goes numb, you need to buy a second alarm clock that is really loud and annoying and put it on the other side of the room.

If you are particularly adamant about crawling back in bed, take a look at the flip side of getting up. Do you go to bed at a reasonable hour? You may need to begin working on going to bed rather than waking up.

Next, take a look at what you need to do each morning (i.e. brush teeth, shower, dress, eat, let out the dog, etc.). Estimate how long each of those things actually takes. Also, consider the things you do each morning that aren't necessary (i.e. check e-mail, watch TV, make phone calls).

Design a morning routine with estimated times and write it down. Make copies of the routine and post it in several places where you will see it in the morning, such as the bathroom mirror, the closet door, and the refrigerator. Every time you find yourself doing something that doesn't need to be done, remind yourself that your goal is to get to work on time and those things can be done later.

Also determine things that can be done the night before to make the morning run smoother, such as packing your briefcase or bookbag and putting it by the door. Choosing what to wear the night before and laying it out can save a great deal of time in the morning. If you make your lunch to bring to school or work, make it the previous night.

Wanting to be to work on time because it is important and valuable to you, and not just to your boss, is probably one of the most important factors in helping you maintain the motivation needed to be diligent about following your morning routine. If you are successful in sticking with your routine for 21 consecutive days, it will become a habit in stead of a struggle. The key word is consecutive.

If your weekend routine is different, you will not be able to establish the habit of getting up and following the routine. Most of us like to "sleep in" on the weekends, but don't vary bedtime and wake up time more than 90 minutes from your weekday schedule, otherwise it will be harder to maintain your weekday schedule.

One last suggestion that may or may not be obvious is to have clocks where you can see them while you get ready in the morning. If you don't know what time it is, you can't really stick to your schedule. The other advantage of checking the clock frequently is to know if the routine you have designed is reasonable or if you need to adjust parts of it. Good luck with your efforts!

Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.

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