Mornings didn't seem to exist when I was at the industrial job. I started work at 7:00 a.m., mostly. I usually had less than an hour -- sometimes, 90 minutes -- to go from in my bed to out the door to make it to my bus. This is no longer an issue with my current job, literally 15 minutes away by foot and starting at 12:30.
Holy crap, I have time. And I like taking time.
The trick is using that amazing resource known as "morning" to be useful. What can I accomplish before work? One of my first Mondays on this shift, I made it a point to go grocery shopping -- driving to the Hawthorne Fred Meyer and back. It helped remind myself I could, so I'm less likely to fall into a pattern much like that of too many of my weekend days, where mornings are -- um -- "farting-around time." I don't get enough done then. I recognize that. So that Monday, I felt accomplished.
Another morning, I took myself to breakfast then picked up a DVD on hold at the library (on a day when I knew the Belmont branch opened at 10:00, not 11:00 or noon). Yesterday, I walked for an hour. An errand-walk: down to the Sellwood-Moreland Bank of America to get money from the ATM, then buying a small item at the QFC supermarket across from that bank because a) it stocks one particular product the local Freddy's stores don't and b) I wanted to be sure what scanning my Freddy's Rewards card at corporate partner QFC would do. It was research. Tasty research. And it's good to know that the walk to that neighborhood is just under half an hour. Makes me more likely to do it.
This morning, I spent part of my morning time setting up an Internet joke. Not the most useful thing, except it was useful at making me laugh. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Maybe it's made others laugh, too, but that'd be a bonus. And no, I'm not sharing it.
Sometimes it is useful to get more sleep and not get out of bed until 9:00, which I've decided is the latest I feel comfortable awakening while on this shift, but waking up in the 7 o'clock hour really does give me more chances to be useful.
In closing, I need to expand my definition of "what I can do to be useful."