The most successful and productive people tend to be early risers. In fact, about 90% of CEOs get out of bed before 6 am; and in a research which included 177 self-made millionaires, it was found that nearly half of them wake up three hours earlier than the time their workday really begins. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Ellevest CEO and co-founder Sallie Krawcheck, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi, Twitterco-founder Jack Dorsey and others like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and Warren Buffet are just some of the well-known people who shake sleep off at the crack of dawn.
As Benjamin Franklin said: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy,wealthy and wise.” This is true and has been proven through the years. However, most of us have gotten loyal to the habits and routines that have made us less effective and productive. But no matter how stuck you are with your natural rhythm, it is possible for you to adjust your sleep patterns and make waking up early a habit.It may be tough, and can take a few days or even weeks, but the benefits are definitely worth it.
Get a Head Start on the Day
Have you ever wondered how some people always seem to have time for activities such as, going to the gym, engaging in social activities after work, or taking short career courses? It’s understandable that you think that way because you get home tired every day and the last thing on your mind is weight lifting or treadmill runs. Well, the reason is simple. When you’re an early riser, you’ll give yourself extra time to engage in other activities and as a bonus, feel pumped through the day.
More Energy and Productivity
Do you remember the last time you woke up late and had to force yourself out of bed? Despite sleeping for more than 9 hours, it was like your body was in zombie-state. When you become an early riser, this is one of things that disappears. It might not go away the first few days but as your brain and body adjusts, you’ll notice the differences. As soon as rising early becomes a habit, you’ll be able to wake up each day,ready and willing to tackle each task.
Avoid Sleep Inertia
By waking up early,you can avoid that groggy feeling associated with jerking up from sleep by your alarm rather than getting up naturally. For early risers, this grogginess can be there but won’t last more than 10 to 15 minutes. If it’s the other way round, the feeling can last for several hours because you’re still in a something of a deep state.Sleep inertia can affect your productivity, attention to details, and abilities to make important decisions. This can be avoided by training your body to wake up early so that the grogginess can leave long before you start your daily activities.
A Positive Start to Each Day
Another advantage of rising early is that you won’t have to start each day flying out of bed and dashing to work. Instead, you’ll be able to start each day with peace of mind, and a trouble-free mind that would last for the rest of the day. No car noises, no dogs barking, and no neighbors blowing leaves in their yards. There would be no or little distractions and you have enough time for yourself to meditate, or do something creative or productive.
With no distractions or interruptions, you’ll be able to fully focus on your work. You can simply take on tasks and complete them before your kids wake up. Also, by waking up early, you have the headspace to plan your activities for the rest of the day. It’s even possible for you to achieve more within those few hours than any other time during the day. The sense of achievement in the morning will also set a theme for your productivity for the rest of the day. This can be difference between surviving and being successful.
Time to Review and Set New Goals
Those early hours of the morning can be used to go through your goals and see how far you’ve come. You can evaluate and compare your performance and progress without any distractions. You will also be able to set new goals and plot out steps you need to achieve them.
Now that you’ve seen how waking up early can positively impact your productivity, here are some tips that can help you develop and implement this habit.
Take it Slow
Don’t begin with drastic changes, start slowly and take things easy at first. You can start by getting up 15-30 minutes earlier than you normally do. Do this for a few days and then reduce it by another 15-30 minutes. Continue doing this until you reach your goal time.
Go to Bed Earlier
Don’t shorten the number of hours you should sleep just because you want to wake up early. If you’re used to staying up late by watching TV or browsing the internet for several hours, then you must consider taking them out of the equation. We suggest you sleep earlier, when you can’t fall asleep, pick up a book and read in bed.
Keep your Alarm Clock Far Away From You
It’s easy to smash off that snooze button when your alarm is right beside you. If you put it far from your bed, you will be forced to get out of bed and turn it off. Boom, you’re out of bed and already doing some activities!
Have a Reason to Get Up
At first, it may seem you’re only forcing yourself out of bed but when you set a reason to motivate you, it will become much more pleasurable and you’ll be looking forward to getting up early every day. Your reason could be writing the first few pages of your next novel,reading a book, or rewarding yourself with a hot cup of coffee.Whatever it is, look for something pleasurable and allow it to become part of your morning routine.