08/24/2012 08:21 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Get More Hours in the Day

by guest blogger Maya Rodale, writer of historical tales of true love and adventure
The dog made me do it. Every morning at precisely 6 a.m.--on the dot--little Penelope yipped in her crate, letting me know it was time to get out of bed and take her for a walk. Twenty minutes later the dog had been walked and the coffee was hot. Now what...? Wide-awake, and with nothing else to do, I got on with my work and discovered that there really was a way to get more hours in a day.

The key is productive hours. After I converted The Husband to my 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. sleep schedule, he noted that he got more done, even though he was awake for the same number of hours. The difference was that after 10 p.m., he wasn't doing much other than watching TV until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. These days, we're often up early to bike before work. I use the quiet time to write or make my to-do list for the day. It's my favorite time to reply to emails because no one writes back immediately.

Getting up wicked early basically feels like a head start. I've become hooked on the feeling of having accomplished something before 9:00 a.m. That way, no matter what the day throws at me, I've gotten something important done.

Here are my tips for turning yourself into a morning person, so you, too, can have a more useful day:

For lord's sake, go to bed early. Give yourself eight hours of sleeping time. Expect a few nights of tossing and turning as your body adjusts. If I have a late night, I can't get up early. (Well, I can, but it's ugly.)

Put your alarm on the far side of the room. Having to get out of bed to turn it off is a mean but effective trick. While you're up...

Pour some coffee and sit on the couch. Because you have time to wake up slowly and quietly. This is my necessary luxury.

How do you get yourself out of bed?


Maya Rodale is the author of multiple historical romance novels, as well as the nonfiction book Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained. She has a master's degree from New York University and lives in Manhattan with her darling dog and a rogue of her own. Her latest book is The Tattooed Duke. Learn more at


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