Weekly Woot & Grumble: Mornings Are For Winners

Woot

What time do you wake up?

I'd use a snooze button

I’d use a snooze button

I used to loathe mornings. I was a beastly, grump-filled, snooze button addict with a penchant for the passive aggressive before coffee. But then, I grew up. Not in a maturity sense per se, but more in an inevitable passage-of-time, another-year-older type of way. And now? I tentatively think I can be categorized as one of those horribly chipper, brown-nosing, obnoxiously peppy, disgustingly saccharine “morning people.” Ugh. I’m embarrassed to even admit it.

The Origin Of The Fabled Morning Person

In truth, our early schedule originated with Frugal Hound. For a dog who doesn’t even know how to eat properly, she has an uncanny knack for sensing when it’s 6am. She just nose.

I nose when it's 6am

I nose when it’s 6am

Her waking ritual commences with a low whimper that’ll escalate to a someone-is-torturing-me whine. Until of course, we rouse ourselves. She’s also not above running over to the side of the bed and sticking her perpetually damp snout on whatever body part she can access (fortunately for me, that’s usually Mr. Frugalwoods’ face).

Once we accepted the fact that our houndlet would be waking up promptly every morning, we decided we might as well too. Plus, we discovered that waking up early is our trick for squeeeeezing a few more hours out of the day.

Much like how I go out without money to trick myself into not spending, we wake up earlier to trick ourselves about the finite nature of 24 hours. Soon after Frugalwoods got off the ground, we realized we’d need more time to write things about money, take photos of greyhounds, and converse with you, dear reader. But from where would we fabricate more time?

Early To Bed = Early To Rise = Less TV!

Early to bed, humans!

Early to bed, humans!

The other side of this equation is, of course, the nighttime. To accommodate our 6am reveille, we go to bed earlier, which means we’ve drastically reduced the amount of TV we watch. Back in the day, we’d veg in front of a show for an hour or even two (gasp!) before bed, which we acknowledge is really just lost and wasted time. We’ve repurposed those squandered minutes of life into productive mornings. And the only thing that’s suffered is our TV queue.

Now, we watch maybe 30 minutes of TV a night, if that. Then on Friday nights, we indulge in a full hour or two. Along with our frozen pizza entree, Friday nights are our 100% laziest time of the week. I’m a big believer in balance and so Friday’s caloric and television binge is countered by our salads, hummus, and productivity the rest of the week.

Our Actual Morning Routine, Live and In Person

Where the magic happens

Where the magic happens

You know we love to put things on autopilot, and our mornings are autopilot-ed to the gills. 6am brings the chime of our alarm and the dulcet tones of a greyhound informing us she’s awake. We get up, make the bed, and give Frugal Hound scratches over on her bed. If you rub her ears in the morning, she lets out these grunts reminiscent of a cross between a wooly mammoth and a wildebeest. It’s borderline absurd.

Once the Hound is sufficiently patted, we put on our lounge clothing (these are actually just sweatpants and hoodies, but I feel like “lounge clothing” sounds vastly more exotic and possibly refined). Then, I take Frugal Hound out for her morning walk-of-relief while Mr. FW executes the vital tasks of coffee, oatmeal, and kibble* assembly. By the time Frugal Hound and I return, breakfast for hound and humans is served. You can see why I miss Mr. FW so much when he travels for business… I’m not gonna lie, the fact that I get coffee and oatmeal is pretty much all the motivation I need to roust myself. I’ll do a whole lot for a coffee and a meal.

*Foot note: Frugal Hound has learned how to high-five for her food, so this complicated little number is now an official part of the routine.

Coffee date at home!

Coffee for two!

Mr. FW and I then settle in at the kitchen table and devote ourselves to Frugalwoods. The insightful emails, comments, and tweets that we receive from you fine people are inspiring. We take great pleasure in hearing so many stories of people taking charge of their finances and their lives. Rock on, frugal weirdos!

At around 7:45am, we perform The Scientific Seven-Minute Workout together. I say “perform” because we both look certifiably ridiculous doing it. Let’s be honest, it takes more than seven minutes to get fit, but this workout is amazing! My arms especially are always sore afterwards, so I herald it a success. It’s a great supplement to our yoga, hiking, walking, and biking regimes. Plus, it has been especially useful amidst this winter’s snowpocalypse. Nothing like not leaving the house for three days in a row (#guilty). So yeah, it’s been good for me to continue doing at least this workout every day….

Grumble

And then, just like that, it’s 8am and I have to get ready for work. This is arguably the worst part of the day because it represents the end of what we love to do–work together on a project that’s meaningful and fulfilling–and the start of what we hate to do: work for other people.

Frugal Hound misses the point of mornings

Frugal Hound: can’t stay awake during a photo shoot

What’s so invigorating about this morning ritual is that it enables us to start every day in our perfect image. Even though we have to leave each other for our separate jobs once the clock strikes 8:30am, we’re able to internalize the joy that stems from our mornings together.

I find that I have more energy, I’m more positive, and I can better make it through the day. The simplicity of our mornings, and the satisfaction we derive from them, is in stark contrast to the often demanding complexities of other aspects of our lives.

Change It Up

Frugal Hound experiments with ridiculous sleeping positions

Frugal Hound experiments with bizarre sleeping positions

Our newly revamped mornings are a prime example of why it’s good to try new things. If something isn’t working optimally in your life, change it! If you’re always tired or always short on time, change it!

Experiment with your schedule, your habits, the food you eat, and–you knew this one was coming–your relationship with money. If you overspend every month, force yourself to alter your actions next month. Save more, spend less, and truly live more.

Be bold and get outside of your comforter zone. Yes, that’s right, I said comforter. Don’t do the same things and expect different results. Challenge yourself.

What time do you get up? What’s your morning routine?

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86 Responses

  1. Mrs. PoP says:

    Around 4am, Kitty PoP starts messing around with stuff in the bedroom to get Mr PoP’s attention. It works and Mr PoP lets Kitty PoP out on the lanai for his morning lizard hunt.
    Fitbit starts vibrating at 5 for me to start untangling myself from the knots of sheets I’ve managed to trap myself in overnight. Phone alarm goes at 5:02 to force me out of bed.
    I meander out and get myself something cold to drink and a little snack (piece of toast) if it’s a running day while petting Kitty PoP as he purrs and cuddles with me to get his breakfast. Between 5:15 and 5:20 I wake Mr PoP.
    By 5:35 or 5:40 we’re headed to our workouts (for me running 5 miles 3x per week, light weights/yoga at gym the other two, Mr PoP heavy weights at the gym most mornings).
    We’re back by 6:30 or so and spend the next 45-60 minutes eating breakfast (smoothie – ice, frozen banana, stevia, cocoa powder and non-dairy milk), showering, and getting ready for the day. When the school bus drives by the house at 7:15 we know we’re running short on time since we both need to be out of the house by 7:30 or so at the latest. Mr PoP drives away in the car after a goodbye kiss usually by 7:20, and I spend a few more minutes cuddling with Kitty PoP, pack up my bike, lock up, and am headed to work on my bike by 7:30 to arrive a little after 8.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Sounds like a pretty productive and awesome morning routine to me! I’m impressed you do your full workouts in the AM. I’ve tried that, but I seem to do better with my post-work yoga and weight lifting. Also, Frugal Hound reports that she too would like to go on morning lizard hunts ;).

  2. Mrs SSC says:

    5:07am. Or earlier. Wake up, shower & dressed, pack my bags and the kids bags, and drink my coffee in the car. I like to be at work by 6 or 6:10am (with a 30 minute commute). I am obviously a morning person.

    Before I had kids, I woke up at 4:40am to hit the gym, and be at work by 6:30. On weekends, I still wake up early (my 3 year old son also wakes around 5am) – and weekends drive me crazy because I can’t go-go-go because Mr SSC yells at me if I attempt to clean, or get the family out and about before 9am. It makes me tired to have such a slow start to the day!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I like the precision of 5:07am! Also, wow, you get to work early! Do you leave on the early side too?

      I’m with you–I’ve lost the knack for sleeping in. I’m usually up and moving at roughly the same time on weekends too. Sometimes we’ll sleep in til 7 or even 8, but usually not. Plus, Frugal Hound doesn’t know what a weekend is :).

      And, 4:40am to go to the gym is downright hardcore!!

  3. Amy says:

    I get up at 6:30 on work/school days, and whenever our daughter gets up on weekends, which is usually around 7:30. I’m not a chipper morning person, but I know what you mean about getting used to doing what you have to do, and just rolling with it. I’m definitely not a morning person, though. I’m most productive in the late afternoon and at night.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I used to be more of a night owl too. I’m not really sure how/why my body made the switch, but I’ll blame it on Frugal Hound ;).

  4. I’m usually up around between 7 and 8. If it’s closer to 8, I might do some blogging, general writing, or reading, then down my breakfast smoothie, get dressed, and leave the house by 9:30ish to get to work. If it’s closer to 7, I might also throw in an hour of morning exercise (usually doing body-weight workout videos).

  5. I get up at 6.45 but your post has motivated me and I will try to get up earlier…let’s say 6.20 as a start…I hope this will give me more time to dedicate to my family!

  6. I wake up with the Sun, summer or winter. Most of my days begin with a great cup of coffee and a 200-word writing session for my next blog post. I really like that I do that. It gets my day going the right way.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s an ideal way to start the day in my opinion! Writing while drinking coffee has to be one of my very favorite things 🙂

  7. Nice! Routines are the best. I wake up at 5, make the coffee (press the button since we get it ready the night before), eat my 4 eggs and drink a glass of water. I’ll get my eBay listing set up downstairs and then drink my coffee. Wife comes down and we talk about our plans for the day around the house till 6AM. She goes to shower and I photograph/list on eBay until 630 when I can switch and shower.

    Ideal state is the daughter is asleep during this whole routine. Non-ideal is me snuggling on the couch and no listing on eBay. This is a pretty awesome non-ideal state since she’s extra snuggly in the mornings. 🙂

    We also limit our TV (to an hour), but are in bed most nights by 930/10pm. Then repeat. I drool for the days where I don’t have to go into work though!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Nice! I love that you’re squeezing in some mad side hustling before dawn! I’m with you–can’t wait until we just don’t have to go to work 😉

  8. Tarynkay says:

    We just spent $12 on an alarm clock so that we could exile our phones from the bedroom at night. We’ve been reading actual books at night and thus falling asleep earlier and sleeping more soundly. No screens=no blue light=better sleep. I highly recommend this for people with sleep difficulty.

    I still don’t do mornings well. The alarm goes off at 7, but we usually lie in bed in a stupor until 7:30. This is when our three year old starts yelling, “MommyDaddyMommyDaddy! I’m in the bed! Come in my room!” I love how he assumes we will forget where we put him. Maybe he just knows we haven’t had coffee yet.

    Our son sleeps really well, reliably from 7 to 7:30. He is also the morningest of morning people. He does not get this from me. I need coffee before I do much of anything.

    The dog does this passive aggressive toenail clicking pacing around our room until we get up. He will also put his chin on the bed, with his nose an inch from my nose and just stare until I open my eyes. If I ignore him, he gives a deep, shuddering sigh. He is also really big on bedtime. If we stay up too late, he will go back and lie on his bed, coming out to look at us reproachfully from time to time.

    • The kindle paper white is a great device. Still all the variety of your kindle with a really soft backlight. Not at all like a cell phone! I usually fall right to sleep after reading a few pages…

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Hahah–I love that your son feels the need to remind you where he is! That’s too cute. And, great that he sleeps so well–a relief, I’m sure. Oh the sighs of dogs… it’s like the weight of the world is on their little houndy shoulders.

  9. I am not a morning person. Naturally I sleep for about 10 hours (when I was self-employed sans husband and kid, this was my actual amount of sleep when I stopped using an alarm clock). So I guess I’d like a 10:30-8:30 sleep.

    That being said, I have tried the morning thing lately to get more productive time into my day. It works as long as the Little Miss doesn’t decide to wake up at 6:30 and spoil my fun. She’s still in bed now at 8:45 and I’ve got so much done! I try to get up before 7 when the Mr. leaves and I’ve been crawling into bed earlier.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s great that she sleeps so late! What a nice boon of time for you! And, the early to bed piece is key–as I have to remind myself every night… because I’d just stay up late if I let myself.

  10. My morning routine is all over the place based on when the Little Miss wakes up (I generally try to wake up around 5/5:30 to get an hour or two of work done before she’s up for the day), but depending on how many times she woke up during the night, that doesn’t always happen. Lol! Sometimes sleep just needs to prevail for me.

    I’ve seriously limited the amount of time I’m spending watching tv this month and haven’t been watching it at all on weeknights…holy cow is it easier to go to bed early when I don’t have tv drawing me into its abyss! I’ve been getting much more sleep so far this week as a result 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      TV really is a dangerous abyss! I’m glad we’ve reduced how much we watch–I think it’s a good thing all around.

      And, I can totally understand how sleep is sometimes the priority!

  11. Alexandra says:

    The alarm has gone off at 5am for years now, regardless of schedule. We too feel sleeping in means we “Lose half of the day!”. My new job requires me to BE there at 6am. Since I bike in, i have to get up now at 4:40am. Who knew how delicious those 20 minutes were? Ah well. adjusting.
    The cat gets me up between 3 and 4am every night to go outside. Somehow that works. DH never hears him….
    We do our hot beverages(tea for me, coffee for him) and log onto computers to see what is happening in the world. Breakfast is one egg each, toast and ham or bacon. Every day. Just don’t like oatmeal.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Ooooo, you have to be at work at 6am? Ouch! Somehow I never hear Frugal Hound in the middle of the night… so I guess I can sympathize with your husband 😉

  12. Yeah, I’m a morning person. Always have and probably always will be. Sleep is wonderful. Although I do have kids so the alarm goes off at 7:15 so I can make sure they’re at school by 8-ish. I’m more of a stay up late, sleep late kind of person. It works well once you’re retired since you don’t have any real fixed constraints (other than caring for fur or human babies).

    The way I figure it, I get around 8 hours of sleep whether I sleep from 10 pm to 6 am or from 2 am to 9 am. Oh wait, I’m actually gaining an hour of consciousness by staying up till 2 am! 🙂

    I will admit to being able to get up easier now that I’m retired. I used to dread getting up because it meant I had to go to work. Now that I’m getting up for “me” stuff, it’s a lot easier to cajole my bones out of a warm comfy bed. I know I’ll have a nice leisurely walk to school with the kids, then a hot cup of coffee and a book or something else interesting to slowly ease me into consciousness.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Ahh, yes, you are living the dream :). I hate that feeling of dread before work. I look forward to the time when each new day is my own and I don’t have to be in a cubicle for 8 hours… blerg. And, agreed on sleep times–doesn’t matter if you don’t have to be anywhere at a specific time. Sadly for us, it’s all calibrated off of being to work by 9 :(.

  13. beth says:

    I hate dragging my lazy self out of bed on the dark cold winter mornings to head off to work in the dark. I prefer to wake up with the sun. One of my biggest FI goals is to be able to wake up when I want to instead of when I have to.

    The colder and darker it is the longer I stay in bed.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Totally agree! Being able to structure your own schedule and time will be a glorious benefit of financial independence!

  14. 5:30 AM for us. School bus for HS comes at 6:30 so our children need to be up early and ready. We are up early makes sure the kids and are pup (Mushu) have what then need. Then its packing breakfast and lunch for the work day. I get in the office early by 7:30 to catch up on all e-mail work and personal before the real work day begins.

  15. Mrs. Maroon says:

    Mornings are a bit all over the place for me. I am decidedly not a morning person. These days, Mini Maroon #2, at six months old, dictates the schedule. For example, this glorious morning, she started announcing her hunger at 4:30a. We satisfied her hunger and lounged in the recliner together for a little bit, and started with getting ready for the day around 5:15a… Nudge Mr. Maroon, start coffee, gently pat daddy, get dressed, poke the sleeping beast, make bottles, rub the head of the snoring man, put away the clean dishes drying on the counter, shake that sleeper, start a load of laundry, threaten to throw a glass of water… you get the idea. When Mr. Maroon did wake up, he asked “why are you two so happy this morning?” After a shower for Mr. Maroon, we woke Mini Maroon #1, who was still zonked out when I opened the door. Everyone was out the door at 7:15a while I made the commute to the home office to get down to work.

    It was definitely a departure from my normal snooze button. And quite refreshing. It’s a great feeling to get the day started by being productive. Sets the tone for the whole day. Now, just gotta turn it into a habit…

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I can imagine a baby probably does dictate the morning routine :). Sounds like an amazingly productive morning–I’m impressed!

  16. NOT a morning person. I’ve always enjoyed a lot of sleep and that doesn’t seem to be changing as I age. Somehow in law school, I got up at 5 and was out the door by 5:55. Now my alarm goes off at 6, I snooze it too many times and get out of the house by 8ish. I guess my drive to be at the top of my class was stronger than my love for sleep.
    I’m in a transition period right now morning wise. My goal is to get up, work out and read/write a little before work. I’ve been telling myself I need to switch gears for a while. Perhaps I’m just aggressively resisting it all because the bed is warm and the apartment/world is cold. Warm cozy bed wins every time. Come on Spring!!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh I hear ya on the warm bed… so hard to leave! Also, out the door by 5:55 is amazing–wow.

  17. Kids change everything! Our routine is a little different right now thanks to Little Brother’s broken leg, but here’s a typical morning around here (OK, not all of these happen every day). Maybe my routine needs work…

    5:15: Mr. FP’s alarm goes off
    5:45: Little Brother requests dry underpants
    6:15: Mr. FP turns on lamp to get dressed. I tell Big Brother to stop jumping on the bed. Do not bother getting back into mine.
    6:25: Repeat no-jumping-on-bed exhortations.
    6:30: Big Brother’s clock now says 7 (long story) and he is allowed out of bed. I move the whole travelling circus downstairs.
    6:40-7:00: Chores and breakfast preparation
    7:00-7:30: Develop minor indigestion while leaping up to fetch more toddler food mid-breakfast. Read news on computer.
    7:30-8:15: More chores (put away dishes, maybe start some laundry, make pizza dough for lunch, etc.)
    8:15: I get dressed.
    8:20: Realize it’s ALREADY 8:20 AND I FORGET TO DRESS LITTLE BROTHER! Be frantic for a few minutes and cajole Big Brother into putting on own shoes while I tend to LB. If this effort fails, he’s generally late for school. Install bike helmets and weather-appropriate gear.
    8:30: Buckle kids into bike trailer and depart for preschool, then YMCA and/or grocery store and/or library.
    8:45: Reach part of the drive where mountains visible in the distance. Ahhhhhh.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s an intense morning! I’m impressed you get everyone dressed, fed, and out of the house on time! And, I love that you get to see mountains 🙂

  18. Lia @ TechPF says:

    I get woken up by the sun, so I’m an early riser! That’s always been my “get stuff done” time, especially on the weekends. Nothing else is happening so I clean, do dishes, etc… It’s amazing how productive your day can be when you get all your chores done by noon!

  19. I really have tried to be a morning person, but finally came to accept my destiny to be a perpetual night owl. I like the night. I prefer to go jogging under the stars after the kids go to bed (when it’s a little warmer). The hubby is one too – we usually stay up until midnight. The other morning, I tried something different and woke up early to work on my blog. Granted, I’m very pregnant, but was so tired by the afternoon that I needed a nap. This is one of the many factors driving us to create a more-flexible life for ourselves: we want to work on our own time, when we’re most productive.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I agree–the ability to create your own schedule and control your own time is something we really look forward to as well. It’s nice that you and your husband are in sync on schedules, that makes life so much easier (and more fun!).

  20. Norm says:

    Frugalhound looks drunk on oats! I am so familiar with some of those greyhound sounds. Maeby only starts whimpering if either Marge or I has left the house, or are in separate rooms. She can’t decide which room to be in, and cries. Also, she cries if her bed isn’t fluffy enough! But never in the morning, and never to go to the bathroom, which worries me. If she wasn’t on a schedule, we’d just have to guess.

    It seems like the NY Times 7 minute workout is going around again. A friend of a friend of mine made a song and video for it, so you can sing your way through it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LezARmLDu6U

    I used to leave for work at 7:00 or more like 6:30-6:45 if biking in. But they’ve forced me to change my schedule and I can’t leave until 7:30 or 8:00 now, which feels wrong. I’m not a morning person, but I try to force myself to be one.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh poor Maeby! You know, Frugal Hound is also not a fan of Mr. FW and I being in different rooms. She’ll pace around and look at both of us–she definitely prefers for the pack to be together and on routine. I think it must have to do with the regimentation of track training–she is so unhappy without her routine! That’s too bad that Maeby never cries to go out. Frugal Hound doesn’t as long as we’re on schedule, but every now and then she will and we know she’s serious, so it’s a helpful little indicator.

      Hahah–that workout video is awesome! It would definitely be better with music, so I’ll have to try it out–thanks!

  21. For when the 7 minute workout needs a changeup…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6etLKswjq8

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Haha, thank you! I didn’t realize all these creative folks set the workout to music. Silly me, I’ve just been using the boring counter clock in the New York Times post… you’d think I could do it by memory, but I always forget what’s next… (selective memory perhaps?)

  22. GoodPinkSlip says:

    This has been one of my recent goals/challenges – from back when I was working with some flexibility in the morning hours, now when I’m unemployed and for the future when I hope to be FI. I find myself happier when I start my mornings earlier. I used to think I was just a night owl and never minded staying up late, but lately I’ve learned that while I can “function” fine at night, I’m more “productive” by far with more morning hours.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Same here! I can absolutely stay up late, but I won’t be doing anything productive. I also find I get grouchier late at night. But in the mornings, I’m all about getting stuff done!

  23. Michelle says:

    The time I wake up varies widely. Sometimes I’ll wake up and start working at 6 a.m., other days nothing will happen until 9 or 10. Before when I side hustled like crazy, I would often wake up at 5 a.m. and go to sleep at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. though.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh wow–4 hours of sleep is intense! I can’t function on less than 6 at the minimum. I used to be able to during grad school, but it wasn’t sustainable for me.

      I love that you’re able to set your own schedule now–I envy that!

  24. Nicki says:

    What an amazing morning ritual, it has provided you insight into the fact that you love collaborating with Mr. Frugalwoods as well as a peaceful foundation to start your day from. On a random note–on pizza night, something to try is a version of homemade pizza: Pillsbury whole wheat pizza dough crust, throwing on some pizza sauce & favorite cheese, then loading it with favorite toppings. It yields a lot more pizza at about the same price as frozen, but is even more delicious and perhaps a tad healthier. We eat it for dinner and then have a pizza lunch with a salad the next day.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thanks! We definitely do love working together :). Haha, I hear ya on the pizza. Mr. FW makes a delicious from-scratch pizza, but, the frozen pizza is our one cop out/cheat meal. Since we never eat out or get take out, it’s his one meal of the entire week off from cooking. And, at $3/pizza, it’s darn cheap!

  25. Shannon says:

    I get up at 6:00am and I usually head out the door for work by 9:00am (I just have to work 40 hours, so there is not real check in time, but I’m 9 to 5 roughly). Our dog likes to sleep in so I try to be quiet when I get up. She usually gets up about 30-60 minutes after me.

    How in the world do I have a 3 hour long morning routine (I ask myself)? I have lots of volunteer duties. I am the main email volunteer, the only webmaster, the social media manager and the volunteer coordinator for a local rescue group. Then all the fundraisers I seem to be organizing myself or have my hand in. I do it all from a computer. I took a long hard look at how much I’m doing and I’ve found people to train and relieve me on some duties. However, the training part is way more involved compared to me just doing it myself I’ve found (I thought this would be true). I’m holding out to hope that it will pay off later.

    In the mornings, we make breakfast around 7:30, coffee is on automatic so it’s ready when we wake up, shower, let the dog out twice, do some small chore (dishes, laundry, vacuum), then head out the door. It’s about a 7 minute drive. I don’t bike because it would honestly add too much to my day with the hills and all, plus how slow I am because I don’t want to get all sweaty. I will mountain bike after work for fun on trails though.

    I leave about ~2 hours for myself after I get home, which include going for a run or bike, or at home workout, then making/eating dinner while watching an Amazon Prime show (currently we’re on The Sapranos and Parks and Rec) Then I usually get back on the computer until 10:30pm with more volunteer stuff.

    With all your new found internet tasks along with the blog, do you find yourself on the computer way more than you desire? Do you curb yourself, or have a cut off time, or internet free night? We are strongly considering making an entire work day night internet free. We’ve gotten ourselves so tied down with volunteer work (via computer) that the routine is starting to wear on us. We just dream about the day when we’re retired early and don’t have work as part of the equation!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s awesome that you’re involved in so many different organizations in a volunteer capacity! Also, I think it’s funny your dog sleeps in… ours does not ;).

      Interesting question on the computer time. I’d say that right now, yes, I do find myself on the computer more than I’d like because I work at my job all day on a computer as well. However, it feels entirely different to work on Frugalwoods in the mornings, evenings, and weekends because I love it. If I wasn’t so passionate, it wouldn’t be worth the incredible amount of time.

      My ideal vision for the future is that I’ll be working outside on the homestead for a good portion of the day and then online/writing for another segment of each day. Having that diversity of work is what I really crave and what the homestead will hopefully provide! I like that you’re planning on an internet-free night, that sounds pretty ideal to me 🙂
      Also, Parks and Rec is hilarious. Hilarious.

  26. I rise and shine (that part is debatable) at 6:00am. I take one teenager to school at 6:55, return by 7:30 to take the second child to school and then hit the gym! The rest of the day I have many choices; clean house, iron, yard work, blogging … so many choices;0) It’s awesome that you Frugalwoods are on the same schedule and have productive mornings!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I’m with you–not sure I shine at 6am either ;). Sounds like you have very productive mornings over there! And, I agree, it definitely helps that Mr. FW and I are on the same schedule.

  27. I usually wake up between 7-8am but would like to start getting up earlier and hitting the gym. Finding time to exercise after work is a struggle for me due to unexpectedly long work hours, or plans with friends after 5pm, so my solution to that is going to be working out in the morning before I get my day started. When I get to the gym early, I also find I have a happier and peppier day too!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      I’m so impressed by people who do their full workouts in the AM. I find I’m much better at my full yoga/weights workout in the evenings. Something about being coordinated in the mornings does not work for me 😉

  28. Hubby and I try to get up during the week around 5:30am to work out before getting our day going. In the winter, it’s easy and tempting to hit snooze, but it’s funny because the days we do that, we both end up dragging our butts more than when we wake up earlier to work out. I have always been a morning person, though. I started working at a bagel store when I was 14 years old and I worked the 6am to 2pm shift, and my nickname was “Sunshine” because I always had a smile on my face first thing in the morning.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Sunshine! Love it. I can’t manage to do my full workout in the mornings, but I do find that even just the 7-minute one gives us more energy for the day. Also, super cute that you and the hubby workout together 🙂

  29. I could not agree more. Mornings are where the magic happens. I have been getting up at 5am for years now to work on things that I enjoy and are for myself. I get a full 4 hours in for myself before I ever step foot into the office of my corporate finance job.

    And like you guys, I have had to carve out some of my morning to write content for the blog, respond to comments, planning the future, and making forward progress towards financial freedom.

    This reminds me of the intro from the Side Hustle Nation podcast: “Your 9 to 5 will make you a living, but your 5 to 9 will make you alive”.

    Cheers!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh that is a perfect quote! Thank you for sharing! Mornings are definitely when the magic happens 🙂

  30. I’m up at 3 or 4 in the morning, sometimes even 1 or 2. I used to have trouble getting out of bed before 7, but rarely have I ever been able to sleep past that. So yeah, I’ve always been one of those irritatingly chipper morning people. While others were dragging themselves like zombies to the coffee maker, I’d be skipping around munching on my toast and water (or as my mom used to call it, “prison food”). 😛

  31. I have such a short period of time in the morning. My first alarm goes off at 6, I’m up at 630, out of the house by 7, into work at 7:30. I used to be a super morning person before college. Once in college, I got used to getting up later, so my body is still adjusting!

  32. Tawcan says:

    We’ve been getting up early in the morning (like 4 AM or earlier) because our son would wake up crying. Luckily he is getting better nowadays and wakes up at a more reasonable time. For work I have 2 early calls each week which require me getting up at 6 AM. I actually like getting up that early since I can go through my emails and the rest of my day ends up being super productive.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Oh wow, that’s an early wake-up! That’s good that at least you find the time productive–smart!

  33. Jessica says:

    My husband is definitely a morning person whereas I am quite the opposite. I definitely see the benefit of rising earlier and squeezing in some extra productivity, so with his encouragement, I’m in the process of waking up earlier. Right now, I’m just getting up at 7:00 and spending 30 reading and enjoying my coffee while cuddling my dog. Eventually, I’d like to be getting up at 6:00 and hopefully squeezing in an exercise and maybe some writing before having to head off to work. I like your point of spending more time together in the morning. It actually helps motivate me to get up earlier. Since my husband is at his best in the morning, I feel like it would be nice to spend a little extra time with him then as opposed to only having time in the evening after a thoroughly draining day at work.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s how we feel too–it’s nice to start the day together since we’re both so tired after work. Also, I love cuddling dogs in the morning, they’re just so happy to be awake :)!

  34. Fiby says:

    I’ve slipped out of my routine as of late, but I definitely get much more accomplished throughout the day if I get up early. By early I mean around 7:30.

    Because I don’t have to be in the lab at any specific time, once I fall off my routine it’s hard to get back on it =/

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s nice that you don’t have set hours! Though I can see how it’d be more challenging to create an ironclad routine.

  35. Katie says:

    The latest I can arrive at work is 7 am. I used to snooze my alarm until the last second and then rush around to get ready. Now I set my alarm for 4:55 so I can have a few minutes to read in the morning or to catch up on email. This also gets me to work a bit earlier which gets my workday started on the right foot. That being said, I hate getting up that early and have to head right into work. Once a week I work 12 pm – 8. I get up at 7 and do a workout and then cook myself a healthy breakfast. It’s my favorite day of the week 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      7am is an early start to the workday! I can definitely see how that’s not ideal. But props to you for getting up at 4:55 to make it work. A 12pm start sounds nice–lots of good AM time to yourself! Thanks for sharing!

  36. FWs,

    If the sun isn’t up, I’m not up. It’s job – heating the planet, giving life and light, photosynthesis – is way more important than mine. I jest, but not really.

    I tend to get up somewhere between 10 am and 11 am. I’ve always been a night owl, and being able to work from home on projects I enjoy has allowed me to go to bed when I want and get up when I want. The old agrarian schedule is outdated, but some people just love getting up in the morning. I couldn’t despise the idea more, and I’m quite productive. I guess the agrarian schedule works well for you guys, though, considering the homestead idea. But morning are yucky for me.

    Cheers!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Haha–I like your sun metric. Totally makes sense! And, it’s wonderful you’re able to design your own ideal schedule, that’s such a fabulous component of working for yourself! That’s definitely something we look forward to on the homestead :).

  37. Crazynoiia says:

    I have been working on ‘becoming’ a morning person since August. I have done pretty well and would like to improve a bit more. My current routine is: Up between 720-730 (except last week – I was up by 710 everyday). I start with a shower (my coffee starts brewing at 745) I get dressed, I have either oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast – I finish packing my lunch (placing my already made pb&j sandwich and smoothie into my lunch bag). I spend time with my cat and parakeet and get caught up on local news. I leave by 845 for work. I am slowly working to getting up at 645 so I have time to read in the morning and maybe do a few home chores earlier in the day instead of in the evening after work. In August I would wake up at 8 and leave at 845. I would skip breakfast, I’d feel stressed our, cranky and tired all day. All because that is how my day started.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      That’s wonderful that you’ve been able to train yourself to get up earlier over time–nicely done! I’m with you, I need my breakfast and coffee or I’m certain to be a mess all day 😉

  38. Sarah says:

    Great post! My mornings are much less productive than yours, but I’m working on a better routine. The one thing that has increased my morning energy by 1000x is my daily green smoothie. I gave up coffee about a year ago after being a complete addict (headaches for hours if I didn’t drink my morning Joe by 11am). Replacing coffee with a green smoothie has been the best thing to happen to my morning and my whole day. I would argue that it’s the perfect quick breakfast. My smoothies consist of: 2 handfuls of greens (kale, spinach, etc.), a piece of fruit (whatever is on sale), hemp seeds, flax seeds, spoonful of almond butter, water or nut milk, and ice. Delicious, full of vitamins, and super quick. Not quite as inexpensive as oatmeal, but worth it for the energy and health benefits.

  39. MandalayVA says:

    Back in the day my dad used to joke that “the only thing that gets (Mandalay) out of bed is the crack of noon.” Now I’m routinely up no later than five a.m. and often earlier thanks to Mr. Mandalay stomping through the condo. Since I’m not one of those get-up-and-go people I use the time to get my news and scores and read my blogs (including Frugalwoods!) before I’m sufficiently coherent enough to start the day. I put together my breakfast and lunch–I shower at night, it helps me sleep–get dressed, make sure no cats have sneaked behind closed doors, then it’s off to the cube farm at 7:40. Feel free to envy my exciting life at any time. 😀

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      5am–whew! That’s an early one for sure! I’m honored that you read us as part of your morning routine–thank you 🙂

  40. My alarm is set for 6:30 and I hit the snooze button twice (at least) before getting a shower, and getting out the door to work by 7:15am. Note: I don’t have to wrangle the kiddo most days, I’m gone before she wakes up. If I have to wrangle the kiddo, I’m lucky to get out the door before 8am. I don’t have space to workout at my mom’s and I’d wake everyone else in the house up if I tried, but once we finally get to our own house, I’m going back to waking up at 5:45am to do 30 minutes of P90x3 (or something) before showering and heading out to work.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Ahh yes, morning workouts are definitely best when everyone else is already awake :). There’s just always a lot of jumping around!

  41. Morning person here! I wake up at 5:30 so I can be at work by 7. Then I go home by 4 and have so much time for my side hustles 😉

  42. Mrs. Frugalista says:

    I really dislike all you “morning people” LOL. It takes me 20-25 minutes after the alarm goes off to finally make it out of the bed. My fur baby has learned to stay in bed while I shower. I’m off to work by 6:55 in time (sometimes not) to cross the railroad tracks and beat that darn 7:00 train headed to New York City. Oh, how I hate to be stock behind the train tracks!.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Well, I’m a recent covert to the morning people and I definitely used to hate us too ;). Oooo, I wouldn’t want to be stuck waiting for a train either.

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