“Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise”
- Benjamin Franklin
For an Entrepreneur, it can seem like there are never enough hours in the day. Getting up early in the morning, before the hordes of emails, phone calls and demands pour in can be one of the best ways to get work done.
It seems to be a common theme among successful people, early morning hustle has been perfected by busy top-performers for centuries. The extra hours can allow you to fit in some distraction free work, exercise or hobby time. For example, the President of Starbucks, Michelle Gaas, got up religiously for 15 years at 4:30am to go running.
Here is why you should be getting up earlier.
Creative time. Our minds are less cluttered in the morning, by 4pm we are sure to have lots to think about and lots to do. Use the morning as a time to harness your brain’s power to get any creative work out of the way this could be crafting the perfect email, writing a blog post or doing design work. Let your worry-free mind run wild.
No distractions. The early morning can be the perfect time to get on with whatever it is you wish to accomplish before your day fills up with tasks and demands. If you plan to go to the gym in the afternoon it may be tempting to swap it for a couple of more hours in the office. The power of using the morning will ensure that you get on and do it.
More energy. It may not feel like it when you first get up, but you have more energy in the mornings than after a full day of work. Use this to your advantage and schedule tasks that require more energy in the morning.
More willpower. It has been shown that willpower is like a muscle, it becomes tired with over-use. Therefore it is less effective the more you use it, by the evening you will have less willpower than you did in the morning because you will have had a long day of making decisions.
However, this might be easier said than done. Many a time has an alarm been set at night with the eager optimism of getting up early the next day to take on the world, only to be met in the morning with a long list of excuses of why staying in bed is a much better option.
“It is too cold/dark to get up”
“I can just do that work later, it’s not due for a few more days”
“I’m too tired, I won’t be productive if I get up now”
Sound familiar? We have all been there, don’t worry. How can we trust ourselves when we are lying in a warm cozy bed? Here are a few things that you can do to make sure that you stick to your guns when that dreaded siren awakes you.
Habit. Like most things in life, getting up in the morning is a habit. It take about 21 days to build a habit, so keep at it. Recognise that the first few weeks will be the hardest but eventually you won’t even notice that you are getting up early. Don’t try and bite off more than you can chew. Gradually build this habit by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day. It is much easier to get up 15 minutes earlier than it is 2 hours earlier meaning you will be more likely to get out of bed.
Get enough Zs. If you are getting up earlier, you will need to start going to bed earlier too. Squeezing the amount of sleep time you get will make it much harder to stick to your morning alarm so make sure you are getting enough sleep.
The night before. Not only is going to bed on time going to make the morning easier, so will planning the morning ahead. Take 10 minutes before you go to sleep to plan out precisely what it is that you will be doing the next morning, that way you will have more of a reason to get up and stick to your schedule.
Just get up and go. If all of the above isn’t working, you may have resort to setting your alarm and placing it on the other side of the room. This way you are forced to get out of bed to switch it off, just make sure that you don’t jump right back into bed after. Grab your towel and head for an awakening shower.
Getting up early isn’t easy. You will have to use your self-discipline to create this habit but the benefits will be clear.
Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.
- Richard Whately