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13 September 2010

What's your wakeup ritual? How do you go about waking up? [More:] Drink a cup of coffee and roll out of bed and into your work clothes and off you go, or do you just have to leisurely read the paper before work?

I'm also looking for suggestions to cut down on my time, because it takes me about 1 1/2 hours to really fully wake up (that includes breakfast, shower, getting dressed, taking my meds & smoking a couple cigarettes).
Good morning, sunshine. First thing I do is look outside. If the sun is out I make quick plans to shoot some things in natural light for a shop I sell from online. After setting up photos I walk to the WaWa on the corner for coffee, come back, shoot stuff, and get ready for work.

If it's cloudy out I roll over and go back to sleep. I'm at least an hour late for work every day, and I make up for it by leaving early. I do merchandising and web stuff for a small company so I can come and go whenever I please. While I'm there I blog and twitter and fb for them. It's a cake job.

So...yeah. Suggestions to cut down. Take a shower at night. Prep your breakfast at night and do last min things to it when you wake. Quit smoking. Read the paper at lunch ;)
posted by iconomy 13 September | 08:29
Alarm #1 will go off. (Although as of late, I've been up wayyyyyyyy before my alarm.)

I'll lie under the covers and do my back stretches (which I'm supposed to do on the floor, but it hurts my head, so I do them lying in bed which helps get some blood moving).

Then I make some breakfast, sit in front of the computer until alarm #2 goes off and then put away breakfast dishes, do sun salutations, check out my to-do list, read AskMe, pull out my work clothes (which have been set aside the night before), make sure my purse is packed with whatever I need for the day (bills to mail, receipts for drycleaning, etc), and just check to make sure that I am ready to go for the day.

About 15 minutes before alarm #3 goes off (which is the GET OUT OF THE HOUSE alarm), I'll get dressed, sit at my vanity, and do my makeup.

One last check to make sure I have everything and that all devices are unplugged and out the door I go.
posted by sperose 13 September | 08:37
Much to Mrs Agogo's frustration, I go from a deep sleep to fully awake and energetic (and talkative) in a matter of seconds. When I used to work in an office it was usually only about 25 minutes from the alarm going off to me being in the car. I would jump out of bed, grab a cup of coffee, take a quick shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, grab a yogurt and some granola for breakfast when I got to work, and then get in the car. I had a 45 minute drive which is where I'd mentally plan my day and listen to the news. Since I started working at home I've toned down the rush and have a bit more of a relaxed start, which is probably more healthy than the bullet train approach I used to take.

We have a coffee maker with a timer, so the coffee is ready when I wake up. I grab a cup of coffee and sit down and watch the morning news for half an hour or so with a cat on my lap. Then I usually spend 45 minutes or so going through work email and setting up my to-do list for the day. That's about when Mrs Agogo leaves for work, so I get her coffee and walk her out to the car. After that I take a shower and get dressed (even though I work at home I still get dressed as if I'm going to an office), make a breakfast shake and then start working. I miss listening to NPR on the ride into work, but I like drinking coffee and watching the morning news with the Mrs. and cats much more. It's going to kill me when the day comes that I have to get another job and go back to an office.
posted by Slack-a-gogo 13 September | 08:48
First alarm goes off at 4:55 AM. I hit snooze once, maybe twice, rarely three times. Sit up, turn on a light, check email on my phone for about 5 minutes. Hit the shower, feed the cats, get a Lean Cuisine out of the freezer for lunch, and head to the train station. If I catch the 6 AM or 6:10 AM train, I'll be at work on time (by 7 AM). I drink tea and sometimes have breakfast while I'm setting up my project for the day and reading the news and blogs.

So basically, I bolt out of the house under cover of darkness most mornings while even the cats are still asleep. And I am NOT a morning person by nature.
posted by BoringPostcards 13 September | 09:12
Fortunately, I live in a modified railroad apartment. So in the morning, I am awakened by a hydraulic piston under my bed which catapults me forward, first through a curtain of water, then a curtain of hot, dry air. Finally, I fly into my clothes and out the front door with a warm buttered bagel in my hand.

It took forever to set up and time everything just right, but now I can't imagine it any other way. Still have no idea how the bagel got there, though. I don't remember building that mechanism.
posted by Eideteker 13 September | 09:40
Coffee automatically gets made at 6:30. I wake up before that, not because of the alarm (which is really for everyone else) but because of insomnia and anticipatory anxiety, and because the cat wants to be fed.
Sometimes I'll meditate until 6:30. Sometimes I'll go online. Not much of a ritual, I know.
posted by Obscure Reference 13 September | 09:41
Most mornings. . .wake up between 4:55 and 5:20. I have never used an alarm clock, er, the few times I have, I have stayed awake all night in anticipation of it going off.

Anyway, wake the dog up (to get her out of our bedroom), give her a dog bisguit (we have a good handoff as she goes by me), let her out to pee, feed the cats, do bathroom stuff, then make a small breakfast and feed the dog, then maybe read or check email, then, most mornings, get on my bike for the gym just a bit before 6 to get on the volleyball court around 6:20. There are usually only 4 of us, maybe 5, so there is a bit of pressure to show up regularly so as not to leave the others without enough to field two teams.

On non-volleyball mornings, up at 6, same routine except for coffee at home instead of the free, excellent coffee at the gym.
posted by danf 13 September | 09:46
My phone alarm goes at 6:30 and again at 6:40 and again at 6:50, I usually roll out of bed around 7:00. Coffee and news on the laptop for twenty minutes or so and then a 1/2 hour run if I'm feeling up for it. After my run, cereal and more coffee, shower, pack lunch and walk down the hill to work.
posted by octothorpe 13 September | 09:48
When I'm employed, which I'm currently not, the routine is this:

No alarm, I'm almost always awake with an hour or more to spare. Stumble directly from bed to the coffee maker, and thence to couch to read the news, check email, etc. Several cigarettes are smoked, the cat is patted (if she's awake), and then like magic, every single morning I suddenly realise that I'm going to be late, again. At this point, as a result of extensive practice, I can complete the three Ss, get dressed and be ready to leave in around 10 minutes. I then leave, walk down to the corner, then walk back home again to get whatever it was that I left behind this time, then leave again.

Every now and then I get to work on time, and have to stifle an entirely unjustified sense of accomplishment.
posted by Rembrandt Q. Einstein 13 September | 09:54
I would love to live in a carwash with bagels like Eideteker.
posted by iconomy 13 September | 09:54
I'm making an effort to transition away from my long-standing morning routine (wake to NPR on clock radio, listen to news/get stressed, shower, dress, spend an hour swilling coffee and wandering around on-line news sources and discussion fora, get stressed anew, head off to work in a state of GRAR) to a new one that subtracts the news-listening, internet-wandering, and coffee, replacing them with time spent meditating, exercising, and doing yoga. It is an amazingly difficult change to make, but also feels ... kind of good.

And to be more responsive to the OP's question -- I do find that the most effective things in getting me to wake up quickly, on sluggish mornings, are stepping outside for a quick blast of fresh air, and some kind of physical activity. Doesn't have to be organized exercise, just random flailing is fine if it kicks your heartrate up a bit.
posted by kat allison 13 September | 10:12
The kid is our alarm clock, and we take turns getting up with her. She usually wakes between 7.15 and 7.45, so I get up and play with her and give her a small pre-breakfast snack (she has another breakfast at preschool). We get dressed, wake daddy at 8ish, and leave the apartment at 8.30. I drop her off at preschool, am home by 9ish and make a cup of tea and sit in front of my computer for the day.
posted by gaspode 13 September | 10:59
I get up at 7. I leave my house between 8 and 8:10. Between the getting up and the leaving, I do the following things in different order:

*Get dressed (hopefully in clothes I laid out the night before)
*Put together my lunch (which was hopefully prepared the night before)
*Put on makeup
*Check e-mail
*Look at blogs
*Torture pets
*Pack all gadgets in purse
*Take a nap (yes, I take a nap in the morning. This morning I took two naps).
*Blowdry hair, if necessary.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 13 September | 11:12
I'm a slow starter. Begin waking up to radio alarm, then to regular alarm. Let dog out/get coffee/take meds. Shower/brush teeth/hair, makeup/dress. Feed dog, round up dog toys, put up dog gate. Out the door, ideally w/ phone, laptop, wallet.

It helps a lot if I decide what to wear, prep the coffee (it's on a timer) and look at my calendar the night before. On preview, I could prep dog toys the night before, too. My commute is 30 mins., and I can drink coffee and listen to NPR, which is nice.

Living in a carwash with hot buttered bagels?
Being walked to the car and given coffee (and affection)?

You people are making way better life choices.

posted by theora55 13 September | 11:13
I wake up when I hear this loud hydraulic pump whining. I get up and make a bagel, and every damned morning, something flashes by me and grabs it just after I butter it.
posted by pjern 13 September | 11:42
So not a morning person, living in an early morning part of the world. Also work out AMs. So here is the routine:

Alarm goes off at 5. One snooze allowed. Then my Aussie stretches out beside me and gets a tummy rub while he licks my face. (This is an awesome way to come to.)

Next, tooth brushing and flossing. Workout clothes are laid out, put 'em on. Grab leash, dog treats, etc, head out door for walk or run with the dog at 5:30.

Back at 6:30, kiss my hubby, feed the dog, clean the cat boxes, put together some cereal and fruit, eat breakfast while chatting with husband and reading news magazine.

At 7 pm, make coffee for thermos mug, wash breakfast dishes, stow lunch and coffee in bag, hop in shower, get clothes and jewelry and perfume on. Put the dog in his fenced yard with a frozen bone or Kong.

Off to work with my husband around 7:30-7:45, arrival around 8-8:15. (In the car, check news on the phone, put on makeup, drink my coffee. It is good to be a passenger.)
posted by bearwife 13 September | 11:42
1. At 6:45, sit bolt upright with a half-scream.
2. Fall back over.
3. Wake up at 6:50, bound out of bed and into the shower.
4. Out of the shower by seven, into my work clothes, which I thoughtfully laid out the night before.
5. Style and half-dry my hair, and put on my makeup.
6. Grab my lunch from the refrigerator, and I'm out the door by 7:10.

I'm not even half-awake for this; I use the bus ride to fully wake myself up. There's coffee and food at the office.

Occasionally I wake up earlier because I'm a crazy sleeper, and I spend a couple of minutes doing dishes or cleaning. But mostly I treat mornings like a race, and I'm in it to win it.
posted by punchtothehead 13 September | 12:01
Now that I'm unemployed, my mornings are leisurely. The dogs wake me up around 8. I brush my teeth and go into the kitchen where I feed the dogs some dog food and the cat some cat food. If I don't do this quickly enough the cat goes for my ankles. Then I feed the cat some dog food of her very own so she won't eat the dogs' food and then I apologize to the dogs because the cat gets special treatment and then I feel ridiculous for apologizing and by that time the kettle is boiling so I make coffee and leave it to steep while I make myself some people food. I have an emergen-C with seltzer and 6 fish oil capsules every morning with breakfast, which varies but is always less than 5 weight watchers points, sigh. Than it's time for coffee and a cigarette on the porch and then I stroll into the computer time where I wile away my unemployed minutes doing the lameass jigsaw puzzle of the day because that's just the way I roll.
posted by mygothlaundry 13 September | 12:15
Alarm clocks are evil; I never use them. I've trained myself to wake up about 20 minutes before the proper time. During that 20 minutes, I lie there fighting not to fall back asleep again, noting how miserable life is because I haven't had enough sleep.

At the proper time, I continue to feel miserable, and become convinced that I will never ever ever feel awake again, that my limbs are permanently immobile, that life is horrible, that the only thing that matters is the wonderful feeling of the pillow, and that if I could sleep for 30 more minutes everything would be just fine.

5-30 minutes after the proper time I force myself up, still convinced my limbs will weigh 1000 pounds for the rest of the day. I sit there, on the verge of tears, when suddenly my limbs feel fine, I bounce out of bed, wonder why in Hades I couldn't get up 5-30 minutes earlier because now I'm running late, and energetically begin the business of the day. No coffee required, am completely alert from the get-go. But oh, how miserable those first minutes are, it's like the world is coming to an end. You'd think I'd have figured it out by now, but it happens this way every. fucking. day.
posted by Melismata 13 September | 12:51
Employed: Get up with the alarm, no snoozes. Shower. Dress. Leave the apartment and pick up breakfast on the way to work. When I worked I woke up ready to go, fully awake. Funny how that changes.

Unemployed: I wake between 9 and noon, depending on how late I got to bed. Cereal for breakfast. Then I grab a soda and plop in front of my computer until the mister gets home. Eat dinner, maybe watch TV/movie. Back to the computer until all hours. I'd totally switch to night hours except the mister has made it clear that is not an option.
posted by deborah 13 September | 12:55
I like this "laying your clothes out the night before" thing...doesn't work for me, the weather is way too unpredictable. Not to mention the snags/wrinkles/stains/this doesn't fit me even though it fit me last week issues that you don't necessarily notice until you actually put the clothes on.
posted by serena 13 September | 13:04
I'm more prone to making such outfit mistakes in the morning than the night before. I cannot think in the morning.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 13 September | 13:23
I find it helps me in the mornings if I plan out "what I've got to get done & in what order" the night before, and I run that through a few times before I go to sleep. "First I'll get breakfast, I'm going to have oatmeal and a yogurt, then I'll get dressed, and I'll make that phone call, and remember to bring that paper..." I plan how much time I'll have and how long everything should take; I decide by what time I must be out of bed and by what time I must be walking out the door. This really helps me stick to the schedule. If I don't think it through like so, I find I will run late and forget things. It maximizes how late I get to sleep in, too, without being harried. I really hate waking up too early and hitting snooze a few times because I'm tired and want to sneak in an extra ten minutes, and then ending up running late anyway.

And I also do anything I can get done in advance, like decide what I'm going to wear and make sure it's clean, pack bag, shower... I don't do well showering in the mornings (especially in the winter, I just hate to be cold with wet hair) so I do it the night before. I'm not a morning person at all, so I just try to make it less painful. Being rushed and stressy first thing can ruin my whole day.

I don't like to do anything when I wake up that isn't actively getting ready for the day and getting out the door, so I don't read email or websites or news before I leave. Once I'm awake I need to keep moving. Time to sit and do anything else just tempts me to go back to bed.
posted by flex 13 September | 13:58
Workday: Alarm goes off at 6. I grab my phone from across the room and take it back to bed with me, hitting snooze. Snooze goes off more times. I get up at times ranging from 6:10-6:50. If I have time (usually do)I make coffee and read stuff online. Then I get into the shower at 7, and then am out the door between 7:15 and 7:20.
posted by Stewriffic 13 September | 14:11
Absolute singlemindedness is the only thing that works for me; everything else is a pathway to distraction, lateness, and gnashing of teeth. I am pretty markedly affected by ADHD in terms of processes exactly like these, so the following is a result of experimentation and failure and compromise over years of constantly being unprepared and tardy.

Regardless of what time I need to wake up (every day is different and the schedule flips entirely on weekends), I lay out everything I need the night before, plus check over the table where I put my indispensible stuff (keys, cards, bookbag, etc) to make sure it's all there. If I'm going to be taking food with me the next day, it gets packaged up the night before. No tinkering allowed in the morning, or I'll leave it at home.

I set my cell phone alarm and put the phone down a minimum of ten feet away (so that I'm likely to fall over and wake myself if I try to turn it off in my sleep). When it goes off, it goes off once; I pretend that the snooze function does not exist. Phone then goes on the table. I get up, make the bed, feed and water the cat, use the toilet, weigh myself, get a mouthful of mouthwash and step into the shower. I stay there until mental clarity appears (about 15m, aided by a powerful mint bodywash). Then I get out, towel down, brush my teeth, apply deoderant/face/body lotion. Then I dress, dust on some face powder and apply lipgloss, scoop the contents of my indispensible table into my bag, and get out the door.

I don't eat, take my meds, consume any media, take care of any work or business, clean, or make any preparations before I leave, because I've learned over time that these things have a tendency to confuse and derail me when I try to attempt them without being fully awake. Instead, I do these things either when I've arrived at work, or on my first break at school, or when I get home.

Clothes-the-night-before works for me only because of minimizing and standardization. I have a couple of lighter-weight pants and a couple of heavier-weight pants. All of my work shirts match all of my pants, so it doesn't really matter which I pick. If it's above 45 degrees, I wear flip-flops; if under, I wear mary jane loafers. I have a cardigan and a coat and an umbrella for when the atmosphere throws a curveball. Anything that gets badly stained or torn or loses a button gets tossed into a drawer to be worked on when I have the time, and I check things over before I lay them out. Special occasion dressing is a different story, but no one at work or school cares how I look as long as I'm neat and presentable, so I save the deliberation and the fanciness for when it'll make a difference.
posted by notquitemaryann 13 September | 14:40
I forgot to mention that I shower in the morning, too. Didn't want you people think I go to work stinky!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 13 September | 15:58
I get kicked awake by small child at any time from 4am. I usually strangle him for a while then feed him breakfast and make myself a coffee. Pack his bag for daycare which is increasingly more complicated than it sounds.

Pfaff around online for a bit mostly on IRC, then take child to daycare come back and get stuck into work.

Breakfast happens at some stage as does showering and getting out of jammies.
posted by gomichild 13 September | 16:03
Pfaff around online for a bit mostly on IRC, then take child to daycare come back and get stuck into work.

I used to work with a Larry Pfaff. I am not making this up!
posted by danf 13 September | 16:25
Alarm goes at 5:00, which is actually 4:50, because my alarm clock is set 10 minutes fast and I still don't remember that when the alarm goes.
One snooze cycle (two if it's really cold) and I'm up.
Put the kettle on, set up two cups of coffee, lay out clothes while it boils.
Finish making coffee, take one cup to sleeping Mrs, poke her to wake her up.
Shave, shower, get dressed.
Poke Mrs again. Poke kids to wake them up.
Take a slurp of coffee every time I pass the cup.
Stumble out the door at 5:30, still half asleep. I have a `1 hour commute, which gives me a chance to wake up before getting to work (yes, apparently I drive up the M1 at 110 km/hr while still half asleep). I liked it better when I caught the train, because then I could relax while waking up.
Arrive at work 6:30 - 7:00, make another coffee while laptop gets itself logged in and synchronised, then alternate between work e-mail and MeCha.

This morning signalled a change in that Mrs is sick of the kids giving her such a hard time about getting ready for school, so the new rule is they have to be up and dressed before I leave. I left three very grumpy (but up and dressed) kids behind this morning ;-)
posted by dg 13 September | 16:54
First alarm goes off at 5:00 am. I almost always turn that off and then second alarm goes off at 6:00 am. My alarms are set to NPR, and I have this fantasy that I'll lay in bed and adjust to life listening to Morning Edition for 15 minutes, but usually I just shut it off. I leverage myself out of bed between 6:15 and 6:30 am, make coffee, take a shower, and then try to wedge my husband and child out of bed. Then it is get dressed, fix hair, put on makeup, make sure kid gets dressed, gets breakfast, takes medicine, brushes hair, has school bag, etc. I have to leave for reals by 7:20 or I'll be late for work. I prefer to leave around 7 because the traffic is lighter and I cruise into work with time to check email and feel generally cool and unrushed before the morning team meeting.

The dealing with the kid thing creates the most frustration and time-wasting, so we created a complicated incentive program this weekend to encourage her to get up and dressed herself. If she does this successfully for a month, she will receive either a zumbuddy or my retirement account.

Most mornings I don't eat breakfast, just have coffee. And I drink that coffee while doing other things and on the way to work. I also feel rushed most mornings, which I hate. But I also hate getting up, so I'm at an impasse there.

My husband can take FOREVER in the morning. He'll just sit around drinking coffee and reading electronics forums or fiddling with a diagram. It just takes him a while to feel ready to get moving in the morning. What has helped him is having to get my daughter to school by a certain time. I don't recommend having children for just this reason alone, though. The only thing that really works to get me going is knowing that I have to be somewhere by x time.
posted by jeoc 13 September | 18:02
I usually hear the train go by around 10:30 am which, depending on what time I went to sleep, is usually just about time to get up or time to roll over for another hour or so of sleep.

If I'm getting up, I take the pillow that I snuggle up with and flip it under my head and move the blankets off of me and stare out the window and see what the weather is like. If it's winter I usually turn the overhead light on to make my blinky moleman eyes think that it's morning.

Shuffle into bathroom, brush teeth, pee, weigh myself, moisturize my face and put my hair in a bun.

Coffee is now ready, grab cup of coffee [double espresso actually] add milk, walk into living room, turn on internet, load MeFi Recent Activity/Gmail/Admin page and cross fingers that the day is going to go okay.

This all takes about five minutes. There is no "getting dressed" stage unless you count putting on slippers.
posted by jessamyn 13 September | 18:03
I'm impressed with the laying out of clothes stuff. I just grab the first pair of jeans or shorts that I can find (depending on the season) and then grab a t-shirt/polo with some tech logo on it; Tevas if it's warm, New Balance if not. I realize that I'm 45 and still dress like I'm an undergrad CS major but I've never really figured out another scheme.
posted by octothorpe 13 September | 19:35
Wow, I feel like everyone is better at mornings than I am. My alarm goes off at 5AM. Snooze until 5:30 or 5:45 then Mr. Arkham gets up (cheerful and talkative) and turns on the lights and NPR. I can usually get out of bed by 6, maybe 6:10 if it's a bad morning. Half-hour on the treadmill, shower, brush teeth and get dressed. I don't do anything to my hair or bother with makeup for work. Throw lunch together and try to run out the door by 7 to get to work by 8.

I run late a lot. Getting out of bed is very traumatic for me.
posted by JoanArkham 13 September | 19:50
Late to this thread, but I love Eideteker and pjern's comments!

My routine:
1. Wake up
2. Switch on computer and make coffee
3. Surf Internet while drinking one cup of coffee
4. Do 5BX / Canadian Air Force exercises for 11 minutes
5. Shower, shave
6. Eat breakfast, usually a sandwich or toast, while drinking another cup of coffee
7. Brush teeth
8. Close and fasten all windows, wash breakfast stuff, leave house.
posted by TheophileEscargot 16 September | 06:22
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