How waking up at 5 am has made me into a more productive human

I always hear “there aren’t enough hours in a day” from the people around me. We all have the same 24 hours, and as the saying goes, we can choose what happens.

Now, let me preface this by saying I am not perfect at waking up at 5 am but I do try to wake up between 5 am and 6 am. I am not the type to wake up at 5 am and go do a workout although I know the crazy amount of benefits.

I did want to share with you how waking up early has made me feel more productive, more in-tune with myself, and how it’s impacted my day-to-day. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now and yes, I’ve had days, where I’ve slept in until 7 am and others where I have laid in bed until 8. I’m a human, I’m working on it.

I was inspired by this video from Casey Niestat. In the video, Casey brings up a good point. Between the hours of 4 am and 7 am most people are sleeping which means social media feeds are inactive, emails are from the day before, and the energy around you is pretty relaxed. Which is so true!!

Everyone is different, this works for me. I am an early bird, not a night owl. I’ve always kind of been this way. Even as a kid, I would wake up with my dad at like 7 am while most kids slept in until 10 am. I am someone who needs their sleep. I HAVE to get my 7-9 hours in every night otherwise, I feel extremely tired, I can’t focus, my energy is off, and I generally feel more anxious/depressed when I don’t get enough sleep.

What I’ve noticed that within the times of 5 am – 7 am, I have an extra 2 hours for myself.  Not only that, I just have an extra 2 hours to do whatever I want. I don’t check emails until around 8 am. That’s a personal rule of mine. I am trying to practice good work/life habits before work and life get REAL crazy. I feel like it’s important to build these habits while you are in college or your early 20s so you aren’t spending your energy trying to figure out what works for you when you’re starting a real 9-5 or whatever.

Since I work 2 jobs (remote and in-person) and am an online student, I try to be as routine as possible. This helps me stay disciplined and that’s something I am really trying to work on. 

Here’s what my day usually looks like (give or take meetings, how I am feeling, etc)

5 am – 7 am – Wake up “Me” Time.
I lay in my bed for like 30 minutes before I actually get up and go to the bathroom or do anything. I try not to be on my phone because I read somewhere that it’s really bad for you to wake up with your phone next to you. Also, that is a lot of extraness for that time of day. Instead, I will go on my headspace app and do a 15-minute meditation. Before I could only do 5 mins but now I am up to 15 of intentional, present meditation. I’ll put on some music or pray. Spending some quality time with myself before a busy day always makes me feel balanced and more confident throughout my day. My head is clear so I can fill it up with all the chaos the day will bring.

I like this time of day because the world is really quiet. You don’t have the noise of social media or anything like that. Everyone is asleep so you can get yourself organized earlier in the day so you aren’t scrambling a few hours before you have a meeting or class. This also encourages you to sleep earlier which is so good for your brain and overall health. I always feel productive when I wake up earlier to spend some time with myself or my plants. I’ll do laundry, clean my space, or sage it.

I like to make my environment as cozy and clear as possible since I work from home. My room and space is minimal but functional. I may do a post of how I set up my room with a list of where I got everything (let me know if you like that kind of stuff). I bought this new LED light for my room and I am SO obsessed with it. I put it on my Instagram stories and got a ton of questions about it. Best late-night purchase LOL. It changes colors automatically or can go from dim to bright. I love it in the morning because it’s a colorful way to wake up. I will light a candle or sage and try to be very present in those early hours. I love me a good wood wick candle because it sounds like a campfire and when it rains outside, it’s a perfect combo of cozy. There is something magical about it. I love this time because it’s just for me and it makes me feel like I am taking care of myself. I also do my extensive skincare routine in the morning too. 

7 am – 9 am
I make my coffee/detox drink, open my emails, go over my to-do list(s), and make breakfast. This is a pretty boring time of my day because I am still waking up. The coffee helps for sure. I don’t typically shower in the mornings but if I do, I do my whole skincare routine in the morning if I didn’t do it earlier.

I like getting my emails out of the way and try to communicate to people ASAP. I am the worst texter known to man and I try to respond to emails within 24 hours. I’m just super lazy, it’s nothing personal. I will mentally respond but won’t actually respond until I realize “oh crap, I need to get this info out”. I am trying to be better, I swear LOL. I know most people are asleep by then but I like to get it out of the way since I don’t really respond to emails or texts later in the evening.

9 am – 3 pm
This is when most of my work gets done. I schedule meetings during this time and do the hard/tedious work. I learned that this is my productivity hours. I block in school time too. M/W/F/Sunday I try to work on school work about a couple of hours within those days. Then the rest of the week/time is devoted to keeping up with my clients or working on INTech tasks. I know this is when most people respond to emails or even start checking.

The rest of the day is either work or leisure time. It’s pretty boring to be honest so I won’t go into detail about that.

It takes a lot of discipline to wake up early. When the alarm goes off I am so tempted to snooze it but making the decision to wake up will lead to other productive choices throughout the day. If you can choose to fight sleep and wake up early, you can choose to do anything positive throughout your day.  You also feel like you got the most out of your day and you can fit in other things that you want to do whether it be to do laundry, reorganize your calendar, calling your mom, whatever it is. You overall feel better about what you have done throughout your day. It also creates better habits like sleeping early or staying organized. I’ve felt less anxious and more in-tune because I allocate 2 hours of my day to just focus on me. I also have given myself more time to wake up so when I enter meetings or I start my day, my body has had time to adjust. I feel less tired throughout my day.

I hope you all try this out. Let me know how you feel about it!

💞Valentine’s Day Girls Night 💞

YASSS QUEEN! Get you and your girls together for the ultimate girls night!

I personally love hosting, entertaining, and brining people together. I’m a cancer so we are known for this sort of thing. Growing up my mom was very hospitable and was always super warm and welcoming. I think I’ve gotten a lot of that genuine love for hospitality from her. She really is just someone I look to when I need help with this sort of thing 💖

Valentine’s Day is a few days away and I am super excited to celebrate it with a special someone BUT if you do not have a Valentine get some of your girls together and celebrate love, empowerment, girl power, all of that amazingggg stuff.

Depending on how your friend group operates and how extra you want to be you can always opt for some really quick, easy, and cheap ways to add some extra love into this girls night. This is for a very relaxed girls night that I am hosting tomorrow night with some of my gal- friends. Since Valentine’s Day falls in the middle of the week on hump day ironically 

unnamed (2).jpgThis is a little DIY Instagram heart I made. Its so cute and so simple. You must have this!

What I did to make this: 

I took some construction paper I had in my desk, some tape, and a cardboard straw (LOL).

Fold the paper in half, draw a half a heart on the fold, then cut and tape!

I happened to have these items in my apartment so I just started making a couple! You can use pink or red or whatever color you want. It shouldn’t be super expensive!! Be creative as much as you want with them though ❤️

This is great for actual straw decorations, name settings, props for instagram pics!! Write your besties names on them and have them as glass charms or something!

Will you be my galentine? The Essentials.

  • keep it simple. It’s a girls night so do whatever you feel your girls will love and appreciate.
  • Cook one or two meals or appetizers then have your friends bring wine or food. A cheese plate, roasted veggies, chips/dip work just fine! I love me a good cheese platter or make it a potluck styled dinner. Have everyone bring a dish or a dessert so you aren’t super pressured to do it all yourself.
  • A good cheese board is an awesome option. The basics 🧀
    • 3-4 cheeses should be FINE for a group of 5-10 people. My go to’s are brie, white sharp cheddar, and smoked gouda. They’re different in taste and go with most wines.
    • Add other textured foods like pickles, grapes, dried fruits, or other fruits to make it pretty.
    • Crackers.. always
  • For alcohol drinks these are some of my festive favorites🍾
    • any clear liquor + pomegranate juice or cranberry juice + sprite + pomegranate seeds to make it cute
    • champagne
    • yay for rose am I lame? yes ok bet

Any excuse to spend the night with my girls, I am so here for! What do and your girl squad do together???





⭐5 Star Fridays⭐

I am super excited to kick off 5 Star Friday’s ⭐ with some of my friends, peers, and mentors that I am lucky enough to know. They range from the technology industry to the fashion industry and to the fitness industry. All these wonderful people have a strong voice and presence. They are fearless, badass, and frankly some of the coolest people I know. For this 5 Star Friday ⭐ the theme is around their come up into this space, social media, being authentic, and a lot more. KEEP READING TO SEE WHO MADE THE LIST THIS MONTH.

So ladies, let’s get in formation. Thank you to all of you who agreed to be apart of this and have been super supportive 😍


Sydney Nicole 

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Sydney has a vision to empower women of all colors, cultures and backgrounds to take back their power, raise their standards and not allow anyone or anything to lower them.  Sydney encourage women to truly value themselves, be unapologetic and fearless about who they are, and what they want out of this life.

You can find her at @thesydneynicole  or her business account @boujeegangclothing on Instagram!

Naomi Thomas 

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Naomi Thomas is an advocate for women in tech as well as the founder of BB Market, a platform that connects online business educators with entrepreneurs. She also helps business owners strategize and create profitable brands as a creative coach.

Find her on instagram @iamnaomithomas or connect with her on LinkedIn 

Priyanka aka PositivelyPri


Priyanka’s mission is live a healthy, fit, and balanced lifestyle both mentally and physically. She also is an body positivity advocate and her goal is to bring more curvy, petite, diverse models into the fashion and fitness space.

Follow her awesome fitness, lifestyle Instagram page @positivelypri

Criseida Rico 

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Founder of WhatSheTechs, WhatSheTechs is an online platform dedicated to the empowerment and advancement of women in tech through the curation and features of real stories of women in tech today.

Carlena Neely

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Carlena’s goal is to encourage everyone to become the best versions of themselves despite the box society tries to put them in. She is firm believer in that everyone who has the ability to dream, has the capability of utilizing their resources to make their vision, a reality. She says “we are all uniquely and wonderfully made, and should not conform to live a life that is expected of others, but one that is true to ourselves. Be #aberrant and break societies cage!”

Check out her blog on Medium, Twitter/Instagram @be_aberrant, or her personal instagram @_carlenanicole

We are spilling the tea on all things social media, being an influencer, and advice! ☕☕

What advice would you give someone who was hesitant on starting their platform? 

Carlena “The hardest part in having a vision is not only knowing where to start but just taking that leap of faith to actually begin. If you are hesitant in starting your platform, remember you don’t have anything to lose. You really do miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Never be afraid to fail, because that is your first attempt in learning.”

Criseida “My mother has this saying that she repeats to me all the time in Spanish, “No
dejes para mañana lo que puedes hacer hoy.” In English, “Don’t put off until
tomorrow what you can do today.” We all have one life. The same 365 days in a
year and 24 hour days, if you don’t start today then you will live with regrets
tomorrow. Have an idea? Start it. Are you holding back because of what other
people think? Who cares. YOU are the only person in control of your life and your
future, so don’t hold back on the ideas that bring passion into your life. Because if
there’s anything I have learned, is that you should start fast so you can finish

Sydney “What do you have to lose? You’ll lose more if you don’t start. You’ll lose out on time, you’ll lose out on your chance to change someone’s life, You’ll lose out on living out your dreams, You’ll lose out on being the BEST version of yourself. If you have a vision trust and know that it’s not there by accident. Stop running from yourself and know that you can and will accomplish everything that you work for, and believe in”

Naomi “Most people would say just start, but you can’t just start without a plan.  Even if you do not have a lot of startup capital, or resources, it is vital that you research and map out a strategy for your new venture.  Go into it with the mindset that you aren’t going to see a lot of money right away. Thousands of customers aren’t going to be running toward you instantly either.  Focus on working extremely hard and shift your energy toward retention.  Put yourself in your audiences’ shoes and think about what would not only attract you to your brand but also retain your interest.  Good things take time, just keep that in mind.”

How valuable is having a support system? What about yours makes them so special to you?

Pri100% important to me! This just shows that I am actually making a positive difference because if I could just help one person then I am happy with what I do. Not only I am helping others, but my support system helps me. I have some days I don’t feel like myself, we all have our bad days but I know I can reach out to my supporters who indeed are my friends. Having a support system to me is having friends who care, have the same mindset as you, and lifts you up.” 

SydneyHaving a support system is so important. As I have gone through this life I’m blessed enough to say that I’ve always had my family and close friends right by my side. Building a business/brand or anything for that matter is not easy and some days you need your support system to kick in with words of encouragement, prayer, and a helping hand. I’ve coached women and men who would tell me the one thing that kept them from starting for a long time was the fact that they did not have anyone in their corner. Support comes in different ways if it’s not your family, its your friends, if its not your friends there are strangers who will come along and root you on and support you like they’ve known you their whole life. My support system is special because no matter how many times I’ve fell they were there to help me up, every event – they were on the front row, every threat of quitting they were there to remind me why I started.” 

What are 3 rules you live by?

Naomi “Never force relationships. Throughout my experiences in business and in my personal life, I’ve discovered that whatever is meant to be will be, and if someone doesn’t want to collaborate with you, be your friend, or whatever, let them be.  Show your worth through your work.  Stay in your own lane, and those that you are meant to cross paths with will appear, in due time.  2. Inspiration > Imitation.  When building a business, or personal brand, it is easy to look up to those in your industry that are absolutely killing it.  The thing that you do not want to do though, is copy everything that an idol is doing.  Instead, take notes.  Observe their strategies, their behaviors on social media, their marketing campaigns, and use your notes as inspiration to mold it around YOUR brand.  Stay true to you, or your brand’s identity will get lost just as quickly as you lost your own identity trying to be like someone else. *Kanye shrug* 3. Always be nice to people, no matter what.  This is the absolute most important rule that I strive to live by because what you put out into the universe will be reciprocated.  If you are respectful at all times, people will notice that.  One of the most important elements of any business is customer service.  It is all fine and dandy if you are able to convince a customer to buy your product, or book a new client – but are you able to retain the new leads?  Will they speak highly of you and give nice reviews?  Many companies have found success because their businesses were spread through word of mouth. Make an effort to give your customers an experience they will only talk highly of.”

CarlenaTake advantage of every opportunity. Perception is reality, so think positive. Set standards and strive to exceed them”

Criseida “Comparison is the thief of joy. Stop comparing yourself to others to be your most authentic self. Your mother is always right so when she speaks, you listen. If you don’t ask, the answer will always be “No.” Ask and you shall receive.”

PriDon’t let anyone bring you down because in the end they are just insecure about themselves. Love yourself before you love others. The way you look, how much you weigh, etc doesn’t define your worth. You are beautiful!” 

Is being authentic on social media important?

SydneyYes, being authentic on social media, and in life period is SUPER important. Let’s be honest, some of us have lives where it’s easier to use social media to create an image of ourselves that don’t exist, than to be our authentic selves. What I have learned is that there are people in this world who need the very thing that others are ashamed to share. Understanding that – has helped me be transparent with my followers as I grow through this life. We have to understand that everything is not about us, but who we can help. Remaining authentic, standing for what you believe in, and being unapologetic about who you are, what you’ve been through is crucial.”

Naomi “When developing a personal brand or business on social media, the most important thing anyone can be is authentic. If you spend your time worrying about what everyone else is doing and start replicating more than being original, you will not be able to reach your full potential.  Instead, spend time focusing on what represents you, and center your business around your values and the vision for the brand.”

What has been the biggest learning lesson for you throughout your journey?

Criseida “You will absolutely fail, but damn will you learn a whole lot from it. Part of the
journey in building something is to learn along the way. No one is perfect, and
your business won’t be perfect either. But if you give it a chance, give yourself a
chance, then maybe, just maybe you’ll learn your true potential.”

NaomiEliminating habits, friends, significant others, and sometimes even family members that have a negative impact on your life is crucial to your success.  This is something that I still struggle with because I generally tend to be a nice person and I don’t want to lose connections with people that I’ve already invested a substantial amount of time in.  When you start to lose focus and shift your energy toward other peoples problems and dealing with the stress caused by it, it’s time to consider elimination.  Leveling up requires being emotionally, and spiritually whole.”

SydneyThings happen when they’re supposed to happen. I just have to do the groundwork, be patient and trust the process. Let me be honest for a second – I am a very impatient person and I expect immediate results because of how hard I work. There are things that I dreamed about years ago that are just now manifesting. If my dreams would have manifested in the time that I wanted them to, they would have been premature and would not even scratch the surface of where they are now. I encourage everyone to go through the process – don’t let up, because it’s going to happen, but only when it will yield the HIGHEST reward.”


💕💕💕💕 I get so happy when I can bring together people to collaborate and connect! Special shoutout to all the girls who helped me launch this new series!