Ready to be more productive before the rest of the world wakes up?
Ever feel like time is playing a trick on you? You set big goals but then something else pops up and suddenly what you really wanted to accomplish today becomes a bottom rung priority. No matter how you rearrange your day, you never seem to have enough time for all of your commitments, least of all time for yourself.
Maybe it’s time to consider becoming more of a morning person. After all, the early bird gets the worm and all that jazz. But becoming a morning person is easier said than done, especially if you’re a snooze button abuser. Our natural sleep/wake cycles, also known as our circadian rhythm, vary from person to person. Depending on whether you feel most awake and alert in the morning or evening (or somewhere in between) will define whether waking up early is easy or a serious challenge.
But the benefits of waking up early are numerous. Not to mention compelling.
- Better grades in school
- More proactive/able to anticipate problems
- Better planning/organizing
- Time to exercise/in better shape
- Better sleep
- More optimism
- Easier commutes
- Better focus
- More family time
If you want to learn how to conquer the morning, these tips will help
- Start slow.Set your clock earlier by half an hour the first week. Once you’re accustomed to an earlier wake up time, continue adjusting by half hour increments (or 15 minutes if you need a slower transition). Most people adjust their clocks every couple of weeks.
- Jump out of bed. If waking up is hard to do, put your alarm clock on the other side of your bed to ensure you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re up, make your bed immediately so going back to bed isn’t an option.
- Get going. You might be tempted to sit quietly and sip your coffee but moving your body will help wake up your brain. Go to the gym or for a walk or clean the house if you need to stick close to home. Moving around – any kind of exercise– will get the blood pumping and kick in your own inner wake-up hormones.
- Plan things. Set goals. Dream. Look at the big picture. After your exercise, take time to focus on you and where you want to go with your day, your job, your life. Julia Cameron, author of the Artist’s Way, says journaling in the morning is like clearing away the debris from the day before so nothing stands in your way today. “As we write out our resentments, fears, joys, delights, dreams and wishes, we find ourselves freer in our lives, seeing choice points in our day that we may not have noticed before.”
- Enjoy the evenings. The old you might have spent the evenings working, running errands and attending networking events. But after waking up early, planning your day with purpose, your evenings might be better enjoyed by spending time with friends and family or quietly relaxing, preparing your body for sleep.
- Go to bed excited. If you’re not a morning journaller, consider writing out your plans for the next day before you go to bed at night. Emptying your brain by making a list of all you want to accomplish in the morning is a great stress reliever. Your journal can look after your cares and worries so you can sleep instead.
- Plan a healthy breakfast. Since you’re up so much earlier these days, take time to eat a healthy, protein-rich breakfast. And a bonus: eating breakfast makes putting the brakes on binge eating easier throughout the day.
It can be a challenge to change up your routine quickly. Take your time and slowly ease into becoming the best you in the morning. You can thank us later.
Rest well & wake up ready to go!
Better sleep gives rise to better mornings, bringing your goals into focus and dreams within reach. Hungry for more sleep info? Dig into these posts:
- Are morning people healthier and happier?
- Kick-start energy levels and crush daytime fatigue
- Why sleep is your best tool to boost your immune system and fight viruses