Rise and Shine!#HRLADYSHIP Heather Gupta • September 1, 2016
I’ve returned from my few months long stint in the UK with a refreshed perspective on India, and a set of intentions to “do things differently”.
I’ve been living in Mumbai since 2003, and I’ve become used to the chaos, the energy and the general hyperactivity of the city. I had also slipped into Mumbai timings … late(ish) to rise and late to bed.
For the whole of the past year in the UK, I’ve been up at 6.30am. Even onweekends, thanks to my hyperactive children (with no nannies to distract them). In Mumbai, 6.30am is the middle of the night, practically. The city is very slow to stir in the morning, and unless you have to take a child to school, then you’re unlikely to rise before 9 or later.
Back in Mumbai, I have no option but to keep to my 6.30am start, as my eldest kid’s school starts at 8. And no, I’m not a “morning person” either!
Happily, I have discovered a whole bunch of reasons why its great to be up early :
1. There’s no traffic
School buses aside, there’s relatively little traffic on the roads at 8am. A journey which might take you an hour or more in Mumbai’s rush hour, can be halved. Travelling along roads which aren’t jammed nose to tail is blissful.
2. You can use that time to exercise
Once I’d stopped gorging on all of those delicious carb rich British foodstuffs, I lost a few kilos simply because I was walking everywhere. In Mumbai, it is impossible to walk. Get up, get into rick/car/train, arrive at work, sit on backside, eat, repeat in reverse, sleep. As a result it is super easy to gain weight, or just become lethargic. For me, exercise is the antidote to Mumbai’s madness, and it’s amazing how great you’ll feel for the whole day if you manage to work out or even take a walk in the morning.
3. You can have a leisurely breakfast
Now admittedly I’m not much of a breakfast person, but it’s amazing how good a leisurely breakfast, or even a cup of coffee, can be. Take your time, sit, consume, listen to ambient sounds, and gather your strength for the day. And if you’re a foodie – gorge on whatever morning delicacy takes your fancy (bacon and eggs for me please).
4. You can arrive early in the office
Arriving in the office by 9am (which is considered late in most parts of the world!) means that you usually have a whole uninterrupted hour, if not more, of solitude. I use that time for my “important but not urgent” tasks, either jobs which would remain on my “to do” list forever because they are tedious, or working on stuff like maintaining relationships (professional and friends), and trying to find “out of the box” solutions to problems, with a fresh mind.
5. You just generally feel “ahead of the game”
Now I’m a teeny bit of a control freak, and I like to plan my days. I like to arrive early for meetings, I like to review my “to do” lists and I like to feel that I’m ready for anything. If I start my day late then I feel as though I’m running to catch up all day long, and I generally go to bed exhausted.
PS – consumption of alcohol the night before may affect all of the above!