Struggling To Wake Up Early In The Morning?
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. —Benjamin Franklin
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dale Carnegie, Elon Musk... men wildly successful in completely different fields all share one similiar habit. They all wake up extremely early.
If Arnold hit the snooze button 5 times before he got out of bed every morning he wouldn't have been able to forge a a real estate empire, win multiple Mr. Olympia competitions, break into Hollywood or politics.
The early hours of the morning are crucial if you're chasing a life opposed to normality.
If you're happy rolling into the office at 9am each morning with your takeaway breakfast in hand, this post is not for you.
Benefits Of Being An Early Riser
I've spent the last 3 years waking up before the sun rises, here's what I've noticed and why I'd never sleep in again.
I Get More Done
Like Elon Musk said, when you're got twice as many hours in a day you'll accomplish in 6 months the things that take other people (that don't wake up early) a year to accomplish.
In industries such as Tech where timing and speed of development are crucial those extra hours are a godsend.
When I'm fresh in the morning my quality of writing is higher, I've since changed my schedule so all the tasks that require a high level of conscious effort - such as writing and planning are prioritized in the morning, while reading and similar low level tasks are performed in the evening.
My Willpower Is At It's Strongest
Studies have proven your willpower is at it's strongest within the first few hours of waking up.
Tasks I'd previously delay in the late morning, after or evening are effortlessly accomplished first thing in the morning.
The primary reason I started waking up extremely early was to write, I have no problem getting to the gym... but writing, that used to be a different story.
Today, after writing over 300 articles I find myself able to write at any hour of the day, however my best work still occurs before the sun
There's No Distractions
Phone calls, emails, meetings, social events... not at 5am!
Although some phone calls, questions and emails only take 30 seconds or so, the amount of time required to get back on track after a minor distraction is substantially longer.
Early in the morning it's just you, your willpower and your work.
Writing, reading, exercising - all of these tasks and anything else you can envision can be performed in the silence and darkness of the night early in the morning.
Better quality work in a shorter time frame with iron willpower - the reason I love the early AM.
I Build Momentum While The World Sleeps
I'm a big believer in momentum.
If you start the day the right way, you'll be unstoppable, if you start your day in a negative frame, late or with poor habits you're fighting an uphill battle from the moment you rise.
Ticking items off my to-do list before the day essentially begins for society builds positivity, confidence and although I've expended effort on my writing and in the gym, i'm more energerized than ever.
This momentum leads to a great day.
Wake up early every day and that's a good week, good month and good year.
5 Techniques To Wake Up Early
You've heard my experience with rising early, now here's how I do it...
Go To Bed At The Same Time Every Evening
Consistency is key, not only waking up at the same (early) hour each morning, but going to sleep too.
Ensure you're getting at least 6 hours sleep - some people are able to survive off less, others require more, this'll come down to personal experience.
If necessary, set a few reminders in the evening making sure you're on track to be in bed by your set time.
I eliminate any and all screens (my Kindle, Phone and Laptop) an hour before the time I want to be falling asleep.
Yes, there's apps such as F.lux out there that stop the blue light emission (which surpresses melatonin and prevents us from sleeping easily) however when I'm not using a device I'm far more relaxed as I'm not deep into reading or researching and am able to fall asleep easier.
Use Lighting To Replicate A Sunrise In Your Bedroom
Instead of relying on an obnoxiously loud alarm clock to get you out of bed in the morning in the pitch black I recommend getting a light source to replicate a sunrise.
There's two great products I've used and can recommend for doing this - the Phillips alarm clock that gradually lights up and emits sounds so you're conscious at your chosen time is great, otherwise the Philips Hue smart lighting system can also be configured to begin to turn on to your desired brightness and shade of colour at a set time - this is my go-to method.
Put Your Alarm Clock On The Other Side Of The Room
If your phone is under your pillow and you're relying on that to get you out of bed it comes as no surprise that you're forever falling asleep once again.
Your alarm clock should not be easily accessible.
You MUST get out of bed to turn off your alarm - as the hardest part of waking up early is literally just making yourself get out from under the blanket and stand up.
You'll be far less inclined to run across the room, turn off your alarm and then physically make it back to your bed.
Once you're up your good, just like consistency issues with the gym - if you could just drive yourself there you'd be fine - it's leaving home to go to the gym that's the hard part... your workout is easy!
Never Hit Snooze
'Just a few more minutes' turns into hours.
I've literally never been able to hit snooze and then get up when I promised myself - we always overestimate our willpower in the future.
When your alarm clock is within reach that's when we automatically go for the snooze button, when we're out of reach we won't be so inclined to snooze it.
Have A Morning Routine (Know What You're About To Do!)
If you don't have a reason to get out of bed, you won't.
Early in the morning is not the time to think and ponder over what you should do, it's the time to take action and actually get shit done.
You should have a handwritten to do list of what you need to do that particular morning, or of what your morning routine entails.
A workout, reading, writing, that college paper... whatever it is - know what you have to do so once you're out of bed it's a simple matter of starting, not deciding or deliberating.