After watching one too many “a productive day in my life” videos on YouTube, a friend of mine, Lisa, and I decided to maximise our productivity ourselves. Almost every video or article will tell you that the only way to get the most out of a day is to get up as early as possible – which how this experiment came to be.
Over the span of 5 days, Lisa and I got up at 5:30 to see just how much would change in our lives. We both documented our days and wrote a little conclusion which you can find at the end of this post.
I would like to point out that in preparation of this experiment, I used two days in advance to gradually get up earlier, just so 5:30 wouldn’t be too much of a shock. ……..but did it help?……..
MONDAY, April 1st
Fiona: My alarm went of at 5:30 and for about 10 minutes I just stayed in bed, contemplating why I had exactly agreed to do this. I then got up, did a 10 minute yoga session (yup, I was surprised myself) and after that I found myself being a little bored and unsere of what to do. Did I want breakfast? Was I even hungry yet? Or should I start working on assignments? SO MUCH FREE TIME. In the end, I made myself some coffee and finished my book (The Cruel Pince by Holly Black – which is AMAZING btw), answered some emails, spent some time in the garden, went grocery shopping with my brother and cooked some lunch, held some tutoring lessons, had some more coffee, finished writing some blog posts in the garden (even got a sunburn ugh), meal prepped some lunch for the next day and ended the day by starting to watch the Lizzy McGuire movie (lol) but passed out during the film. Monday was one hell of a productive day for me and I was actually surprised I was able to stay awake.
Lisa: Getting up at 5.30 a.m. wasn’t as bad as I thought. Of course I was tired but I just jumped out of bed and went for a long shower. Because I didm’t have university on that day, I enjoyed a rather slow morning. In the afternoon, I kind of got tired and also got a bad headache. But after a while, that went away and till the evening I was fine and surprisingly not tired.
TUESDAY, April 2nd
Fiona: On Tuesday I found it harder to get up than on the first day. In fact, I was dead inside for a good 30 minutes. I then journalled for a while in bed, made myself a humongous cup of coffee and was just about to enjoy a morning walk when my brother came back home and asked my to drive him to school because he had missed his train. The drive to his school was actually a lot of fun and woke me up quite a bit, as we had a little dance party. I decided to run some errands on the way back (petrol station, post office, drug store) and finally came back home and made myself a big breakfast. The rest of the day was pretty unremarkable, I was just Doing some blog / assignment work. In the evening I still had a lot of energy for some reason, so I tidied up my room before going to bed. It took a while for me to fall asleep.
Lisa: On Tuesday I couldn’t get up until 5.45a.m. and I was way more tired then on Monday. The rest of the day was rather ok. I got through it pretty well. But I was very awake in the evening and I think the last time I looked at the time was at around 11p.m. And that’s kinda weird for me because I try to get to bed as early as possible during the week.
WEDNESDAY, April 3rd
Fiona: “Dead.” That’s the only thing I put in my notes for Wednesday. It was my first uni day of the week and I was absolutely wrecked. The drive home was the absolute worst. After coming home I napped for a few hours and wasn’t really capable of doing anything productive.
Lisa: I got up between 5.30 and 5.40 a.m. and went straight for a shower. The day went quite well. I needed a little time in the morning to really start functioning. I had class in the morning and when I came home I was a little bit tired but that went away quite quickly. The evening was fine. I wasn’t really tired but also not really awake. It was a perfect mixture of both.
THURSDAY, April 4th
Fiona: The nap I had taken on Wednesday killed me the following day. I got up an hour later than I should have (6:30) because I couldn’t (for the life of me) get myself to move. I also had a slight headache that I was stuck with for the whole day. University was okay, the drive there woke me up a little and I just tried to keep myself busy. When I got home, I was definitely feeling exhausted though.
Lisa: This day started really hard. I was soooo tired. I think I just laid in bed for around an hour, staring into the void of nothing. I was really afraid that this day is going to be hard because I had classes all day long. But during university, it was (surprisingly) quite ok. I wasn’t really tired. When I came home though, I kind of crashed a little bit. My parents were quite confused when I sat there and laughed about things that weren’t that funny just way too hard. That lasted for around 30 minutes and then I was fine again; but looking forward to going to sleep (because on Friday I had another full dayof classes).
FRIDAY, April 5th
Fiona: I dragged myself out of bed, looking forward to a FULL.DAY.OF.CLASSES (hah). I was definitely feeling tired throughout the day but nothing I couldn’t manage. The drive back was definitely the worst part of the day, I DO NOT recommend driving longer distances when exhausted. I had some dinner when I got home which gave me some energy for the rest of the evening. I stayed up past midnight (yeah I know, I’m a rebel) and went to sleep feeling tired, but good.
Lisa: I got up at 5.30 a.m. The day went quite well and I didn’t feel any tiredness. But when I got home from university at around 6 pm I was sooo freaking tired. But I still hat to go to an appointment (I was close to cancelling it and just staying at home) BUT when I was there and talked to friends the tiredness kind of just went away. And despite the fact that I had planned on going home as soon as possible, I only ended up getting home at around 4 am.
Fiona: All in all, I am glad that I did this experiment. It definitely helped to do it with a friend at the same time, as I had someone who understood what I was going through. 5:30 and I will likely never be friends, but I do like the idea of 6:00-6:30. I think that if you build up a routine, getting up earlier can definitely help A LOT in maximising your productivity and in general just getting shit done. The days felt longer and I felt as though I had more freetime as well, even though I definitely did a lot more than on an average day.
Lisa: Waking up a 5.30 a.m. wasn’t as hard as I thought. I had a lot of time in the morning to do things that I know I didn’t want to do in the evening. I also wasn’t as tired as expected during the day and that really surprised me. But I have to say that 5.30 a.m. is freaking early if classes start at 9.30 a.m. So what I will try now is to get up at around 6 – 6.30 a.m. That way I still have enough time to be productive in the morning but I don’t have to get up so early.