Less Stress: Wake Up Earlier Stress Reduction by Joel Wagner - October 2, 2007July 5, 20100 I used to wake up every morning about an hour before I wanted to be at school. I try to get there by 7:20, so that meant waking up around 6:20. That resulted in an extremely rushed morning. Plus the traffic at my new school is way heavier than the traffic was at my old school. I literally have to leave my house at 7 to make it there by 7:20. And I live less than 3 miles away… So I have gotten into the habit of waking up around 5:30 or earlier most mornings. This lets me have some time to stretch and get my body moving some before getting in the shower and not being rushed. I am able to peacefully get dressed, feed my dogs, feed myself, and go on my way. I also am able to spend some quality time in prayer before moving on with the day. So how do I do it? Leo has some great hints at Zen Habits. This guy has some stuff that is pure gold. I like the thing about not making drastic changes. I am still working on carving out more time in the morning. I would like to be able to be up by 5:00 every morning. Right now, 5:30 is pretty comfortable, but I am going to try for 5:20 this week, 5:10 the next week, and 5:00 in two weeks. of course going to sleep earlier is one of the keys. Being in control of my environment when I come into the school is a great thing. Instead of getting there and already having kids lined up at the door to drop their instruments off and come in, I am in the band hall by myself and am able to really get the day started off well. Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.