How a Later Start Time Improved My Life

As a morning person, I always thought the earlier I got to work the better

Kaitlyn Varin

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Sean Mullowney on Unsplash

I graduated with a job and a plan, or I was supposed to graduate with a job, and I had a plan for when that happened. Unforeseen circumstances acknowledged, I graduated, moved back home, and proceeded to be unemployed for over a year – patiently waiting for a start date that wouldn’t come until the end of 2021.

My plan, however, was to move to the city and commute with the rising sun, working 6:00-2:00 or 7:00–3:00, with long evenings to do whatever I wanted. It was one of the main perks of the job, flexible hours. I couldn’t wait to have quiet, productive mornings in a mostly empty office and leave long before everyone else, beating commuter traffic at both times. Early wake-ups have always come naturally to me, and here was an opportunity to take advantage of that.

Instead of being a year into a government job in late June of 2021, I started a retail job with a set schedule of 10:00–5:00 Tuesday-Thursday, and alternating weekends. After a year of being at home, I wasn’t looking forward to working until 5:00. In university, I’d always preferred the early morning shifts, and as a co-op student, I’d never worked later than 4:00. When I graduated, I celebrated the fact that I’d never have to work weekends again – silly, silly graduate, what were you thinking.

Little did I know, not working until 10:00 and finishing at 5:00 would be a godsend. I never realized how beneficial it would be, as a morning person, to have a later start time. Why should work get my most precious hours of the day?

What My Mornings Look Like

I still wake up at 6:00 or 6:30 even though I don’t have to leave for work until 9:30. Most mornings, I start with reading a book or stretching. For some reason, I can’t read at night anymore, it amps up my brain, and I get the worst anxiety dreams. If I’m not in the mood to read, I’ll roll out my yoga mat and stretch or do a few sun salutations while listening to an audiobook, podcast, or chill music. Really, I have to kill time before the coffee machine auto-starts at 6:30 (right in time for my parents' morning rush). Sometimes I scroll through social media or the news to see…

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Kaitlyn Varin

Kaitlyn Varin is an avid reader, who is passionate about health and wellness, personal improvement, and writing. RYT 200.