Staying ahead of time

By Asante Kapanga

How is it that you have so much time? is the question I get asked a lot and the truth is it took the rest of my life to cement this notion of being ‘a morning person’. Growing up in a family of five children, time was of the essence as you were competing with four others to get every day tasks done. From a young age I realised that if I just did things earlier then I could prevent having to rush at the last minute. I was always the first to wake up, first to take a bath, first to dress up, first to eat breakfast; leaving me with time to sit, reflect, and catch up on TV before school while watching my siblings fight over the hot water, and the length of time it took for others to get dressed.

I carried this notion with me all the way to university and then into the workplace. My magic number has always been 1 hour, 30 minutes ( this I used to determine the time I would need to wake up before I needed to leave the house/ get to my destination). If I needed to be somewhere at 7am, it meant I would need to wake up at 5:30am ( giving me enough time to bath, eat breakfast, make lunch, catch-up on social media, and attend to any tasks that were not part of the initial schedule).  Being late was never an option. If I were it was because I did not plan accordingly and I would adjust my time. I always worked at leaving home before the traffic ( thus should there be any traffic disruptions on the road I would not be affected). Being early at work allowed for me to have catch up sessions  over greentea with my colleagues before the morning rush. The evenings can get quite tricky with everyone rushing to get home at the same time, thus taking membership at an outdoor based bootcamp session ensured that I spent an hour with like-minded people and got rid of work stress so that by the time traffic calmed down, I could drive home in peace and feel great about exercising.

I could tell you that to be a morning person all you have to do is wake up at 5:30am for 21 days until it becomes a habit, but the truth is you have to embrace it and make it a part of your lifestyle. My body is so used to it that I don’t even need an alarm clock to know when to get up; in fact it is such a blessing that even when I forget to switch on my alarm, I automatically wake up when I need to so I don’t oversleep.

We all have something different that we contribute to making the most of our 24 hours. For me it is being up early so I have not only enough time for myself, but I am always available to lend a helping hand to anyone who needs it. It is not so much about the quantity of time, but rather the quality that matters most.

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