Caylee Grey
Fairy art mother


Why I've Been Waking Up at 04.30 - the beauty of mornings and how it gets you to be excited about creating and create MORE

Short answer:

I’ve been making things. Lots of things.

365 Crafting Time ‚ô• Caylee Grey

Long answer:

I’ve been hearing a lot about the beauty of mornings.

The first ba-bam was from Laura Vanderkam who wrote an entire book about how the morning is the most important ingredient in productivity.

Second boom from Leo Babauta and his views on mornings (a plethora of resources of his graciously forwarded to me from Andrea).

Then Andrea created the habit of waking up early. She’s already onto her second habit (which I’ve also taken on). I don’t know, Andrea’s pretty much a machine.

And then I heard this podcast by seanwes. Here’s the thing. I¬†love Sean McCabe. His podcast has come into my life at the exact right time. Right now I’m longing for the things that he’s longing for. ¬†So when he said that he had turned himself into a “morning person”¬†from a “night owl” I was bitten. I decided to just give it a try.

I didn’t wake up five minutes earlier every day and do a gradual change. That night¬†I set my alarm for¬†5am and the next morning that’s what time I woke up. I did not hit the snooze button, I didn’t lie in bed going through Instagram. I said “okay!” to Griffin and to myself and I sprung¬†out of bed. Seriously. I pretended that I wasn’t exhausted and that I wasn’t super unkeen about the fact that it was still dark and T was still in bed. And I’ve been doing this every day for a while now. Some days I set the alarm for 05.30, and some for 04.30. If I’m excited about making something in particular, then I will go for the earlier option.

And you know what? It’s just as great as the proponents make it out to be. It sucks during¬†the minutes between eyes opening and getting to the kettle, but¬†after that I’m wide awake and crazy productive. The amount of stuff I used to make during a “productive” night that I’d stay up until 4am (six hours) cannot be compared to how much stuff I make in the mornings in three hours. It’s¬†at least triple each time. Creativity has a snowball effect.¬†And I’m going to¬†keep making making making until I burn out. In fact, I’m on day ten of a 30 day creating challenge I made for myself.

365 Crafting Time ‚ô• Caylee Grey

I’m tired of the huge list of ideas I have, it’s not getting me anywhere. And so my goal is getting those ideas out of my Moleskines and into my hands. So far so good. And then I saw¬†Sabine’s post yesterday (right in the middle of my first draft of this post). So now my challenge is for 365 days and will have a lot less pressure. The 30 meant 30 completed projects. The 365 is for working on something creative every day; 365 mini projects. I’m keeping a track of everything in a Flickr album. That way I can upload straight from my phone and not spend too long taking the photo.¬†I’ve chosen to take photos of the process, especially because most of my projects will be for design teams and I won’t be able to show. The completed projects will pitch up in their own albums.

I’ll be chatting about waking up early, as well as the #365craftingtime¬†challenge in future blog posts, but for now¬†I’d love it if you joined us all. It’s easier with a community.

365 Crafting Time ‚ô• Caylee Grey

The world just looks so much prettier at 04.30.


  • I just saw your new post pop up in my email and had to come and check it out. I just did a post about it as well as I saw Lauren’s instagram pic. I think it is a fabulous idea and I too am in. Can’t wait to see what loveliness you come up with x

    19 Sep 2014
  • I adjust the time I get up depending on whether it’s summer or winter; I usually get up at 7am and in winter it’s an hour later. I’d love to get up earlier than 7am but it’s a struggle and I get quite a bit done in the mornings anyway.

    I’m definitely all for rising early!

    19 Sep 2014
  • The mornings seriously are THE BEST.

    I’m both a morning person AND a night person, which can make life really difficult sometimes, but overall I absolutely, hands-down prefer the mornings.

    My weekday routine requires that I’m up early — if I workout at home at the beginning of my day I’m up between 3:00 am and 3:30am; if I save my workout for after work and opt to get the kids and myself ready right away then I’m up between 4:30 am and 5:00 am — and I love it. I rarely get to MAKE during weekday mornings, but I’m almost always out of bed before 6:00 am on the weekends, just to get my hands a little dirty before the kids get up.

    Starting the day off by dedicating time to being productive in relation to a “passion project” — be in working out, journaling, editing photos, WHATEVER — is the way to go for sure

    19 Sep 2014
  • Meg

    I tried to turn myself into a morning person – but I found I still didn’t have any motivation until 3pm :p I wanted to be a morning person because I find the morning is the most beautiful time of day (if I can see it through my puffy eyes…) and I heard that productivity comes to those who get up early. After reading this, I might give it another go :)

    I’m glad it’s working out for you and that you’re getting so much creating done!

    Meg | Optical Intake

    19 Sep 2014
  • Lea

    I love this idea. I suppose it’s easier though to get up this early if you have something that you look forward to doing, instead of getting up early for chores and all sorts of other exhausting responsibilities. Until now I tried motivating myself to do all the stuff I hate early in the day so I get the evenings off to do stuff I want to, but by then I’m usually already too exhausted. Might have to work out a schedule where I get up freakishly early in the morning to do something I actually want to do, and move all the hate stuff to lunch time, and return to nice things in the evening. :0

    19 Sep 2014
  • I would love to be a morning person.
    And the idea that you can turn yourself into one intrigues me..

    The biggest thing that is holding me back is sleep.
    I love sleep and , due to my fybromyalgia I need sleep. Enough of it.
    So if I would structurally get up at 5.30 and still kept my normal bed time ( 10.30) that would lead to a shortage in sleep…
    How do you deal with that?
    Or do you just simply go to bed earlier?
    And how does you other half deal with it?

    19 Sep 2014
  • I haven’t been able to break earlier than 7:00am consistently. I work outside the home 2 nights a week until midnight though, so it makes it hard to go to bed early. I used to be a night owl too. Now I’m up and ready to go earlier than I ever though I’d be. [Yes 7:00am is early to my previous night owl self] I’m glad it’s working so well for you! A part of me enjoys being able to say that I love mornings…

    19 Sep 2014
  • Love LOVE this post so much. You are so right about the mornings. They are made of magic & creativity if only one lets it in. Ever since doing my productivity habit building in June, I’ve been getting up early in the morning and haven’t snoozed my alarm to this day, no matter how tempted.
    And big YAY to crafting 365!!! I’m in too and I’ve been ever so excited since last night when read about it on Sabine’s blog. It’s gonna be AMAZING.

    19 Sep 2014
  • Annoesjka

    You made me think about waking up that early myself, because I’m also a morning person, especially when it comes to work and study. I think I’m going to give this a try next week!

    19 Sep 2014
  • I’ve never been a morning person since for me, getting up means going to work. I don’t spring out of bed for that. However, the case that you have made here sounds pretty intriguing. You have given me food for thought that for sure! How do you feel, say around 2pm after getting up so early?

    19 Sep 2014
  • Since going back to work I have less time to do a lot of the things I love. I’ve been considering waking up at 5-5:30 so that I can have an hour to an hour and a half of silence to get things done. We’ll see :)

    20 Sep 2014
  • Lea

    Hey, this has nothing to do with your actual post, I’m just adding this comment under your most recent (sorry about that):
    In your “Intentions” series two of your goals were to learn Illustrator and InDesign basics. How did you go about doing that? Because I’ve set myself the same goals and I’m a bit overwhelmed about everything. I’m familiar with the basics of InDesign but there’s all sorts of YouTube tutorials and websites and whatnots, I’m not sure where to start. Can you recommend any websites or did you take a class? I need to start figuring out these programs to try and make a change in the general direction my life is headed, so your input would be greatly appreciated! :)

    20 Sep 2014
      • Lea

        Thank you!! I know my way around Photoshop and InDesign (the basics at least), it’s Illustrator I couldn’t for the life of me figure out (but I hear it’s really important). I’ll check out the site as soon as I know whether I’ll be able to make some free time to really go through the courses. Thank you again :)

        22 Sep 2014
  • I think I’m going to give this a whirl. I think one of the things hurting my good life at present is a very unstructured, chaotic non-schedule (yay unemployment!). I feel like I spend half my mental energy just trying to keep track of what time it is, not overfocus, not procrastinate, and not be blindsided by chores and life maintenance shit that becomes automatic when you have the structure of a job outside the home. I think waking up a bit earlier and using the time to plan my day, and get a physical headstart with a workout of some kind, would be really helpful. I’m gonna aim for between 5-6am every day.

    21 Sep 2014
  • I’m definitely a morning person. Not sure I could commit to this but even if I did some days it still achieves something. I love the silence of the early hours and I might even get to the beach at sunrise for the magic photo I’ve been after!

    21 Sep 2014
  • Now, I can’t imagine waking up at 4:30am, but I am definitely becoming a morning person, too. I get up at 6am most days to get to work at 8am, and on the days I’m off, I don’t sleep later than 8 or 9am. I find I am so much more productive if I get up around 8am and go to bed by 11pm.

    22 Sep 2014
  • 4.30 is so early. Totally awesome!

    22 Sep 2014
  • wow, caylee, i’m really impressed! i’ve tried waking up before my family for years, but our kids are insane early risers, and our youngest still wakes up between 5 and 5.30am. i’ve had this stubborn view that if there’s a 4 in front, it’s not morning :) maybe i should try it, though. i’m way more focused in the mornings than in the evenings, and watching the sunrise always starts my day right!

    23 Sep 2014
  • I was so thrilled when you mentioned Seanwes! I just joined the community and love all the podcasts. I keep meaning to go back to the podcast about waking early. I might join you and start on monday! A fresh new week. Thank you :)

    25 Sep 2014

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