If only there were more hours in the day.
If only we could have extra time to knock out work and laugh with friends and family.
Guess what? There is a way! And it all starts when you wake up early.
I LOVE waking up early.
On work days, my alarm goes off at 4:30, but even on weekends, you’ll rarely catch me sleeping past 8:00.
Now, you’re probably saying, “No thank you! I have no desire at all to wake up that early.”
Even if you have zero intention of ever seeing a “4” or “5” on your alarm clock, you can absolutely benefit from waking up a little earlier.
Here are a seven reasons why you should become an early riser, starting tomorrow.
1.To take the initiative.
By deciding when you wake up, You’re in control of your morning. It puts you in the right mindset, starts things off on the right foot. By being intentional about what time you get up, you start the snowball of being intentional with the rest of your time. Plus, you’re more likely to be productive and hard working. Sleeping in makes us lazy and slow. Think about how groggy you feel when you sleep till 10 and then lay in bed for an hour browsing facebook. It’s harder to get real things done when you start slowly. Set the tone for your day by getting out of bed when you ought to, not just when you feel like it.
2.To start the day off with a win.
I love the example given by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, a Navy SEAL. He starts every day with a win, making his bed:
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
This same principle applies to waking up early. At night, tell yourself what time to get out of bed the next morning, and then do it. By keeping that little promise to yourself, you increase your self confidence. What better way to begin a productive day then with a small victory?
3.You’ll stop wasting time at night.
In order to wake up early, you also have to go to bed early. Late hours are when I’m most likely to start procrastinating. Whether it’s browsing the internet, watching netflix, or checking social media, I catch myself spending hours doing absolutely nothing of value. Sleep is an absolute necessity if I want to perform at maximum capacity at work, so by making myself go to bed by 9, I cut off my tendency to waste the precious hours of my day.
4.To be more productive in the morning.
There are less distractions, it’s quieter, and people don’t bug you. Mornings are “you time” where you can focus on setting yourself up for the day or work on personal projects without anyone interrupting. Plus, it feels awesome to knock out tasks before most people are even awake. Start off with personal hygiene, day planning, list making, and meditation (insert prayer, quiet time, whatever you prefer). These preparatory activities can help you get your MIND ready for the day.
5.You’ll be more alert at the office.
Typically, the first hour or two after waking up, it’s hard for me to have a conversation or think quickly. My mind needs time to get revved up, so the more time I give it the better. We all know that “where am I?” feeling when woken abruptly. Factor this into your morning by giving yourself more space to wake up completely before having to start solving problems and interfacing with people at work.
6. You’ll get better sleep.
By waking up earlier, you’ll able to work harder to crush your day, leaving you more ready for sleep at night. When you finally get to bed, you’re out as soon as your head hits the pillow. No more tossing and turning for an hour to get to sleep. 7 hours of immediate and deep sleep is far better, in my opinion, then 8 or 9 hours in bed with a long “get to sleep” and “wake up” phase.
7.Lots of successful people did it this way.
The Art of Manliness did an excellent piece on this topic a few years ago. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, here is a quote from “Never Let the Sun Catch You Sleeping: Why and How to Become an Early Riser”:
If you read the biographies of history’s greatest men, you’ll find that most were early risers. They used each morning to write, read, ponder, and plan for their day.
This article goes on to name all the successful people who woke up early, saying:
Benjamin Franklin would wake every day at 5AM and would use the time to wash, dress, and plan his day’s work.
Theodore Roosevelt would rise before dawn so he could get an early start on living his day strenuously.
Ernest Hemingway felt he did his best writing in the morning. “There is no one to disturb you and it is cool or cold and you come to your work and warm as you write.” He’d get started at 6AM and write non-stop until noon.
Thomas Jefferson felt “it [was] of great importance to use every moment of every day to its fullest,” so he was up before the sun each day. He’d use the time to record the weather, a habit which he kept up his entire life. After recording the temperature and air pressure, Jefferson would start a fire in his study. He’d sit by it with his feet in cold water and meditate about the day’s activities or any scientific hypothesis or political theories he was working on.
These are only a fraction of the list, but if these names don’t make you want to get up with the birds and attack the day, I don’t know what will.
So if you want to be as successful or famous as those people, wake up early.
Waking up early helps me to take initiative, start the day off with a win, prevent procrastination at night, increase productivity, become more alert before work, sleep better, and emulate successful people.
Any of those seven reasons alone should be enough to validate you setting that alarm clock in the morning.
Try it out starting tomorrow, and comment how you felt!