It’s 4:28am as I am typing this on my computer. Some people on instagram yesterday were asking me to post about how I manage to get up at the crack of dawn and so I thought I could talk about it now! I can do a full post with getting up early tips as well, but for now, here is what I do and how it works for me.
I progressively started getting up earlier and earlier in medical school because I study better in the morning. Late at night I am tired, there are SO many distractions, and I don’t retain as much. Early in the morning, there are ZERO distractions. No one is around to talk to. No one is awake to talk to. Nothing cool happens on facebook at 4am. In my opinion, it is the best time to get work done. Think about it: if you start studying at 5am and don’t stop or get interrupted until 9am, that is 4 HOURS of awesome studying or work you got in.
When I was a second year in med school, I would get up at 4 and study until noon and then be pretty much done for the day. I would have already studied for 8 hours and I then had the rest of the day to workout, run errands, etc.
Getting up early is self-perpetuating because the earlier you get up, the more tired you are earlier at night. Some people struggle to go to bed early because they aren’t tired. Well, if you get up at 4am I promise you will be tired by 8pm. I try to be in bed before 9pm and definitely have lights out by 9. That gives me a solid 7 hours. Sometimes (like 2 days ago) I need some catch-up sleep and I go to bed at 7:30pm LOL!!
But going to bed earlier doesn’t matter because you’ve already gotten the important stuff off your to-do list early in the morning. Plus, the only things you miss late at night are TV shows and facebook.
I reward myself for getting up early by watching my favorite TV shows on my computer while I workout or get ready.
So in summary- here is my exact routine:
- 4am- alarm goes off
- 4:10-4:15- officially out of bed- make coffee immediately
- 4:20-6am- get stuff done (blog/work out/study/check emails/take over the world)
- 6:00-7:00- get ready, pack lunch, have breakfast
- 7:00- leave the house for work
****THIS IS ALL SUBJECT TO CHANGE WHEN I’M ON SURGERY AND HAVE TO BE THERE AT 3:30 AM***
And here are my best tips for making this happen:
- Go to bed early- try to get to sleep early. I like to read before bed because it makes me tired. DO NOT watch TV in bed
- Set more than 1 alarm. Even though I’m getting enough sleep, I could still sleep until 6am or 7am no problem- so I set 4 or 5 alarms 3 minutes apart. I generally only need 3 of them (my own snooze button)
- Make coffee or breakfast when you first get up- there’s no use in being awake if you can’t be productive
- Reward yourself! Watch TV or tell yourself you get an extra 15 minutes to read the news.
- Lastly, procrastinate- leave something to do in the morning. If you have to do something, you will be forced to get up. I often leave certain assignments to do that morning because I know I will be more fresh and get them done faster rather than staying up all night working on something.
Hope this helps! Do you get up early? What are your tips?
And now onto recapping yesterday:
To my amazement, I actually got up and did 30min of yoga yesterday- go me! I always say I’m going to do yoga and then I never do, so that was a big step.
Then it was off to clinic!
We had yet another orientation yesterday. This orientation was for anesthesia and surgical subspecialty. As part of the surgery block, you do 2 weeks of a subspecialty (I’m doing ophthalmology) and 2 weeks of anesthesia. After that orientation I left with 2 other classmates to go to ophthalmology clinic. We spent the morning watching a video for ophtho and then seeing patients with the residents.
Lunch looked pretty similar to lunch the past few days: turkey muffins and veggie patties. I forgot to take a picture of it as I was eating with an attending physician and we were chatting about medical school…
The rest of the afternoon was pretty low-key. My classmate and I played with “Fundus Freddie”, a training man used to help you learn to look at the back of someone’s eyes. Freddie has a removable back side of his head. You can insert slides that mimic his retina. Each slide represents a different disease state.
Then you can practice using your ophthalmoscope to look into his eyes and diagnose his disease!
Once I arrived home I was starving (aren’t I always?) and so I made a HUGE plate of 1 turkey muffin, chicken, baby kale, 2 veggie patties, and lots of sriracha and ketchup. I know it looks like a mess, but it was good!!
During our orientation yesterday, we were inundated with information about all the stuff we have to do, all the quizzes and tests, how much goes into our grade, blah blah blah. Basically, I sat there with anxiety thinking about how much I need to study! Since I’m on a slightly ‘easy’ rotation (ophthalmology and anesthesia have great hours), I need to start studying for surgery when I will have NO free time. So, I had planned on doing a Jillian Michaels workout, but instead I strapped my computer to my treadmill and got some studying done while I jogged out 4 miles.
I have been so thirsty lately!
After that, it was bedtime!
What time do you wake up? Are you a morning worker-outer or evening?
Do you get studying anxiety like me?