Hello, I’m Holly and I’m a productivity busy-body. I like to know the ins and outs of every little hack to squeeze the absolute best out of every situation. I collect productivity hints and tips like stamps. When I hear someone decree a certain something as the key to their success, their happiness or their productivity, I take note. Literally, in a notebook for that very purpose. I love peeks into how people move through their lives. This isn’t new- my favourite magazine feature when I graduated from Dolly to Cleo (oh, such a sophisticated teenager I was) was a ‘what’s in her handbag’ feature, which is ironic, given I didn’t even have a handbag til my early twenties. I suppose, when I cut to the core, I’m nothing but a voyeur and a sticky beak…
Many of the hacks sit untested in my ‘try this’ notebook, but I’m a proud member of one of the strategies that research time and time again relate to success: a considered morning routine.
I call mine Holly-Hour and in a perfect world* it starts every day at 5.45am.
I haven’t always been a morning person, particularly with the sleep issues I’ve battled for almost thirty years. Being a Registered Nurse in my late teens and twenties meant I had to put on my game face at 6.45am regardless of how little I’d slept, and I basically transitioned to becoming an annoying and chirpy early bird AND a night owl. These days, I’m useless at nights.
My Holly-Hour was born from necessity. You see, I’m a much nicer personal all-round when I’ve started the day with an hour to myself. I hate feeling rushed and scattered. It makes me feel skittish, chaotic and overwhelmed, turns me into a screaming banshee, setting the tone for the rest of my day. I see it as very much putting on my own oxygen mask and as a way to (relatively easily) prioritise my own wellbeing. When I attend to myself first thing in the morning (apologies for the double entendre but actually not sorry) it stops (or delays!) the derailment of my day. Holly-hour stops me from feeling like I’m lurching through the days, weeks, months to feeling like I’m controlling and navigating, living my life by design rather than circumstance. That’s the ideal, anyway.
Speaking of ‘ideal’, here’s the general gist of it from my 5.45am wake up time:
- Drink like a camel- water, usually. I’ve had bouts of hot water with lemon but I’m too afraid of what that does to the enamel on my teeth and I’m too unco to use a straw and bypass my teeth
- Free association scribble/journal
- Move- either group training or a walk with Buddy my Aussie Shepherd
- Get cherubs to school
- Daily Pow-Wow with a coffee
*This is what happens in my perfect world of no pandemic and a great uninterrupted night’s sleep ie never. I’m a shocking sleeper from way back, so while my wake time never changes, the ticks I move through on my Holly-Hour checklist vary. And yes, I do have a checklist, and it’s laminated. #wildchild I’m not one who wings much of anything.
I completely get that a structured, regimented morning routine like this could seem oppressive and suffocating. Me? Even though I consider myself a creative, I love routine and rituals. They suit my control freak type A personality and my need to tick a box and give myself a gold star. As a new mother, I embraced quite strict routines for my cherubs, they ate, played and slept to the clock which suited me beautifully. If the babies thrive under a routine, why wouldn’t the mama? And so, I created a considered, tick-able morning routine that forces me to be more thoughtful about how I approach my time, particularly when balancing the competing priorities of motherhood and business life.
Tell me, are you a sucker for a productivity hack?
This is a post in my Holly’s Story blog category. Each month, I share some insights, thoughts and behind the scenes shenanigans from my communications and writing for business adventures as well as my life in general. If there’s something specific you’d like to know, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.