One editor reveals the one morning habit she refuses to apologize for.

By Elizabeth Sile
Updated: May 09, 2019
Anne Bentley

Whether or not you’re one to Google things like the habits of successful people, you have seen headlines such as “Why 4 a.m. Is the Most Productive Hour” (whatever you say, Wall Street Journal). Unless I’ve been forced to book a 7 a.m. flight, I’m still sleeping at 5, 6, 7 a.m.—until 7:30 a.m., when I begin to play a game of snooze chicken with my alarm. As you’ve gathered: I’m not a morning person.

Don’t think I haven’t spent years trying to become one (and for the record, I’m not habitually late or burning the midnight oil). I’ve given up caffeine, tried alarm clocks with literal bells and whistles, headed to bed at 9 p.m., cut out screens.

READ MORE: 7 Writers Share What They're No Longer Apologizing For

After years of trying to change—internalizing those articles’ views on success and productivity—I stopped. The fact is, I’m hardwired this way. The world doesn’t cater to late risers, but I’ve found some ways to cope (yes to lunch meetings; no to 8 a.m. coffee chats). And finally, I’m owning it. I’m a smart, reliable, and productive person all day—except first thing.

Elizabeth Sile is Real Simple’s features editor.

Advertisement