You must have heard or read plenty of “the key to success begins early in the morning” or “getting up at am is the key to success”. Probably you already tried getting up early but with no luck. Well, the truth is that, yes, an early start is a crucial factor to success.
Most entrepreneurs do it. However, starting to wake up early in the morning requires you to make only a few adjustments and learn few tips. You don’t need to make a lot of changes. Only to remove obstacles, really that is all! And after a few consistent days, you will start building the habit of waking up early in the morning easily and smoothly.
- Get Enough Sleep
- Define What You Want To Achieve – Plan Ahead
- Have An Accountability Partner
- Adjust Your Body Gradually
- Put The Alarm Away
- Get A Cold Shower
- Stay Out Of The Bedroom
- Get Caffeine or Alternatives
- Have A Healthy Breakfast
- Keep The Same Schedule on The Weekend
1-Get Enough Sleep
First thing first. Let’s start with the night part.
In order to wake up early you need to figure out the wrong habits that hinder you. And lack of sleep is one of them. Studies proved that our bodies need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Starts preferably before midnight. So in order to get this done you must eliminate everything that forces you away from falling asleep at night. Here are some easy habits you can start:
- Don’t get any caffeine six hours prior to sleep.
- Stay away from all screens and devices 30 minutes before getting to sleep.
- Build a sleep ritual. This doesn’t need to be super fancy. All you have to do is follow consistent steps to prepare yourself for bed. Brush your teeth, wash your face, shower, drink water, or some herbal teas.
2-Define What You Want To Achieve – Plan Ahead
Another thing you can do at night that can help you wake up early is to prepare a clear plan.
Building the habit of waking up early is not easy, and if you want it to become part of your norm then you must have a good reason. If you wake up early for a few days but achieve nothing with this extra 2 hours then you won’t get so far before these habits go extinct.
You might want to wake up early because you have a lot going on your plate and the day hours are not enough. But if you don’t break things into small tasks, waking up early alone won’t help.
To solve this, plan ahead two or three tasks you want to achieve in the extra morning hours. You need them to be realistic though. This will surely give you a boost to get up the next day, otherwise, don’t expect your sleep brain to come up with a quick plan at 6 am!
3-Have An Accountability Partner
Everything’s better when it is done in a team spirit. With that being said, Accountability Partners is exactly what you need when building new habits.
If there is someone in your life who is interested in productivity and would like to wake up early in the morning then ask her/him to join you. Keep track of each other progress and if something is not working out discuss other ways to build this habit.
4-Adjust Your Body Gradually
Now moving to the morning part. You need to help your body embrace this new habit subtly. Not by torturing it.
And this might be the best approach to start getting up earlier in the morning. Don’t set your alarm 1 or 2 hours earlier to your usual wake up time. Be realistic, no way that you have been waking up at 8 am for years and suddenly you want to get up at 5 tomorrow morning. Even if it happens, enduring this will be hard.
Start setting the alarm only 15 minutes earlier everyday until you reach the time you want to wake up at. This strategy will help your body become accustomed to the new change and thus it can become a long term habit.
5-Put The Alarm Away
We all have this habit of pressing snooze and going back to sleep. Personally, I can do it for a complete two hours. Result? I didn’t get up early and I lost two hours of sleep.
When you do this, chances are you won’t get in a deep sleep again, you will stay half asleep half awake, and your brain will be thinking and running scenarios in the background. You will get up even more exhausted.
Studies have shown that doing this will decrease your performance during the day, and increase daytime sleepiness and grogginess.
But you can go around it, put your alarm away from you even a few steps away will be helpful. I like to put it next to the curtains. I get up to catch the alarm and open the blind on my way. No way to go back to bed.
6-Get A Cold Shower
I liked this tip for taking a shower in the morning. It recommends that you take a blast of cold water for 30 seconds then switch to hot water for another 30 seconds before going back to cold. This is not only going to wake you up but will erase any sleepiness from your eyes.
7-Stay Out Of The Bedroom
Another tip will be for you to stay away from the bedroom for the next 2 hours after you get up. If you can leave the home and take a walk, it is great. If this is not an available option, then just try to sit somewhere else, where bed is away from your sight. I would also say to stay away from the couch.
Doing some jumpjacks or some exercises will wake you up and boost your productivity. But we don’t feel like doing this on a daily basis. So you just need to come up with a nice sunny morning corner that can help you start working but also have a quiet morning.
8-Get Caffeine or Alternatives
Coffee is one of the blessings on earth. But as everything else, only if it is used properly. Consume your coffee very early in the morning and you get the best out of it. Consume it in the afternoon and evening and you will be damaging all your chances to sleep and wake up early.
If you don’t like coffee, check green tea, it has enough caffeine to wake you up, also it is relaxing and healthier. If you don’t like that too, try adding honey to it. You must like it.
9-Have A Healthy Breakfast
Cold showers and caffeine are not the only things that can wake up your brain.
Eating some healthy things will supply your brain with the needed energy to start functioning.
Try oats, fruit like bananas or apples, water, leafy greens. Anything from those will do the work and make you feel more energized.
10-Keep The Same Schedule on The Weekend
You will probably be tempted to sleep more on Saturdays and Sundays. But this will ruin any progress you have achieved during the week.
Keeping the same waking up schedule will benefit your body and keep you on the track.
But there is a good thing here. You don’t have to keep the same morning work routine you have in the work days. On the weekend keep the same rituals, from showering to having breakfast and coffee. But instead of working, do something that interests you. It can be anything from just sitting in quiet where everyone is asleep. Or reading, or listening to podcasts.
This is important because your brain needs a break. And this is the best type of a healthy nourishing break.
A Final Thought
As I mentioned earlier, waking up early is not that hard if you can eliminate the obstacles. Needless to say that nowadays we have many bad habits that are consuming our bodies and brains. Building a habit of waking up early doesn’t come alone. It is a full package that includes having better sleep, consuming less caffeine and resting our eyes and minds away from the screens.
When I first started doing this, it was not very productive. Doing everything I mentioned above took a lot of time, the two hours I wanted to do some extra work I consumed them between shower, morning walks and breakfast.
But I can tell you now that it is just a matter of practice. Right now I can be on my desk after 30 minutes from getting up.
Some things might not work with you. For example, having breakfast within 30 minutes from waking might come heavy to some. Some days I only drink green tea. Because even coffee comes too strong. Between tea and coffee I tend to have breakfast. And I found this is the best practice for me.
Another thing, on some days I wake up with a mental crisis. We all know this feeling when you don’t have the power or the motivation to do anything. Well, instead of lingering in bed. I get up and either take a walk. Or just listen to some soft music.
What you need to know is that building new habits requires consistency. But what is more important is the determination to build the habit. And that takes time. Sometime you get stuck in traffic, but it doesn’t mean you won’t reach the office, right?
So be easy in yourself, and keep trying till you find your own routine.