Be more productive before the rest of the world even wakes up
Ever feel like time is playing a trick on you? You set big goals but they always seem to become a last 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. Over and over we hear the many benefits of waking up early but if you’re not naturally inclined to wake up with the birds, it can be a challenge. A BIG 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’re considering changing up your schedule 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 the transition feels too much). 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 the 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 is a lot more productive. 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.
- Enjoy the evenings. The old you might have spent the evenings working, running errands and attending networking events. But after waking up early, 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. Consider journaling your plans for the next day before you go to bed. 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 good 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.