For most of us, there is something really disappointing in the thought of waking up early. All that we want in the morning is to snooze the alarm for some extra five minutes and sleep till noon at the weekends. However, what I have discovered recently is the joy in the quiet morning hours, which I have deliberately dedicated to myself. I have found that waking early has been one of the best things I’ve done so far to boost my productivity and I thought you might like to know how I did it.
Want to have some “me time”? Wake up before the sun!
As I’ve started making changes in my life, I have employed this useful habit of being an early riser, which has helped me to have more “me time”, uninterrupted from the usual daily distractions, as well as a better clarity about my day and the things I’ll do in it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to sleep. And I am not preaching you to deprive yourself of some good zzz because I, myself, am a zealous defender of the good-quality sleep. I believe, however, that waking up early can be really helpful for those of you who want to start establishing some strong habits and building a morning routine.
Of course, I am aware that all the morning routine-building ambitions in the world can easily vanish when the alarm clock rings at an hour which most normal people don’t even know exists.
For many years, I was a late riser too. Sleeping in till noon whenever I can and staying late at night. But when I decided to set some time for personal development, I realized that I needed to start using the quiet mornings if I was to have any time left for my other daily tasks. So, this is how I decided to make waking up early a habit.
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I understand that many of you probably are already waking early because you have to. You might be working an early shift, or need to catch the bus to work, prepare the kids, do some morning sports, etc. I also understand that it simply doesn’t work for everyone and it isn’t necessary to do it if you don’t feel like.
For some people, like me, though, it’s quite effective. So, if you would like to give it a try or you are just seeking some practical tips on how to wake yourself up in the morning, this article is for you.
The four components for waking early effectively
What I have found is that there are four basic components for the successful formation of a consistent habit of waking up early. And they are very important in order to trick your brain to get excited about the idea of becoming an early riser and fight off the desire to sleep in.
Those four components are:
♦A good quality sleep
♦A good reason to wake up
♦An automatic wake-up response
♦Good support tools for waking up
In my opinion, getting adequate sleep is the most important part of all the waking early exercise because it defines your ability to get up when your alarm rings, as well as the overall effect of waking early on your energy levels and mood. So, my advice is, if you want to start waking up early, make sure that you get in bed on time and provide your body and mind with the best sleep you can.
For optimal rest, you can create a relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom with some essential oils, change the sheets, get a nice shower, drink a relaxing cup of tea, put your favorite pajamas (or go naked), play some quiet sleepy music and then sleep like it’s your job. I assure you that you will be more willing to wake up in the morning once you’ve had a good quality night rest.
Read More: How To Sleep Better And Boost Productivity?
Of course, having a good reason to wake up and get yourself excited about the things that you will do in the morning plays a great role in your motivation. So, give yourself a good reason to get out of bed and add a splash of fun to it.
A lot of people, for example, want to dedicate the early morning hours to build some productive morning routines. If you’re an ambitious person, like me, your morning routine most probably may consist of habits and activities that help you make progress on your goals and building self-discipline. But don’t make it all a boring serious routine – do something that you truly enjoy, have fun and start the day with a smile.
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Then support your new habit with good tools in order to build an automatic wake-up response. For instance, use technology to your advantage. There are hundreds of different alarm clock apps you can choose from to get you out of bed. Some of them have features which try to force you to wake up by making you complete specific tasks in order to turn them off.
My pick is Alarmy (available in iOS and Android) which asks you to either take a pic of something in your house, shake your phone or solve math problems in order to turn it off, but there are also apps like Step Out of Bed (iOS) and Walk Me Up (Android), which make you actually get up and take a few steps before the alarm turns off. There are also some funny products like alarm clocks and ringers, which you can get from Amazon or other sites for cheap and use for that specific purpose.
Runaway Alarm Clock For Heavy Sleepers – rings loud, really runs away from you and makes you catch it if you want to turn it off. Ideal for those who want to wake up effectively and prevent being late!
Here are some extra tips which you can use to become an early riser:
- Make the change slowly. Start by waking just some 30 minutes earlier than usual and get used to it for a few days. Then cut back some 30 minutes more until you get to your goal time.
- Put your alarm clock out of reach. If your alarm is right next to your bed, you are much more likely to hit the snooze or shut it off. If it is out of reach, however, you will have to get up to shut it off.
- As soon as you shut off the alarm, go out of the bedroom. This will save you from the temptation to hit the bed again. My habit is to stretch a little bit (mostly my shoulders) walk to the kitchen, have a glass of water, turn the kettle for boiling water and go to the bathroom.
- Reward yourself for waking early. Initially, it might seem that you are forcing yourself to do something hard. However, if you make it pleasurable and reward yourself, soon you will look forward to waking up early. I usually reward myself with a tasty treat for breakfast (like a smoothie! Yum yum! :D) but you can also watch the sunrise, meditate, listen to some music or grab a good book or even better, get outside. The point is, find something that you enjoy and makes you happy and take the most advantage of that time. Don’t wake up an hour early just to waste it. Make it count!
- Once in a while, allow yourself to sleep in a bit extra. Despite that I enjoy my morning time, sometimes I do remain in bed for a bit longer. Just make sure it is not every day.
In conclusion, I recommend that you adjust your sleeping time and your waking time accordingly and pay attention to your energy levels and your productivity. There are no hard and fast rules. So, if you find that you are most productive during the mornings, awesome! If you, however, are at your best late at night, then get adequate sleep and don’t bother about waking early. I, personally, have discovered that the early morning hours work best for me. That’s why I wake up early – it just makes me feel better, more energized and more efficient.
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