If you can figure out how to wake up early and be productive, chances are, you’re a step ahead of everyone else who chooses to sleep in. Life is ridiculously short. I hate to say this but it’s easy to get wrapped up in fruitless habits.
That being said, what’s the one habit you can build to benefit every area of life?
Just wake up early.
Think about all the times you’ve either procrastinated on your goals, failed to prioritize important tasks, wasted time sleeping in or watching TV and allowed the day to pass you by without doing something beneficial for your future?
Too many times, right? Let’s change that. Let’s make right now the moment you decide to change your habits and level up your life.
And we’re going to start by waking up early.
Okay, So, Why Do You Need To Wake Up Early And Be Productive?
Here’s exactly why you need to wake up early:
- You add an extra hour or two for your goals.
- You start the day by doing something difficult and that’s a win.
- Developing a routine to wake up early builds discipline.
- Waking up early allows you to hold onto an activity or two of leisure that you currently enjoy.
- You’ll fall asleep at night earlier and easier.
Guess what? The only downside to waking up early is that your body will need a few weeks to adjust. You’ll be sleepy within the first week or so but that passes.
All in all, the pros completely outweigh the cons.
If you really want to optimize your life and make more time to chase after your dreams, this simple habit is how you do it.
When my father used to drive me to primary school and listen to me moan about having to wake up extra early, he would just tell me that the early bird catches the worm.
I hated hearing that saying back then. It’s only in adulthood that I truly grasp the importance and significance of this message.
If any of us are going to accomplish anything special, we don’t just have to work hard but we have to work smart.
Let’s agree that once you reach adulthood, it’s almost inevitable to enter the rat race. Some people break out of this and go on to accomplish amazing things.
And onlookers wish that they could exit the rat race and take life easier.
Ironically, if you ask any of these high flyers whether they take it easy now that they’ve exited the ordinary rat race, they’ll laugh in your face. Why? Because they didn’t take it easy. In fact, they entered an even tougher race.
They decided to enter a race against themselves. They get the hell out of the stable and comfortable rat race and enter the one that is full of uncertainty and intensity at first.
This high risk-high reward race is built around a mentality that brings about some of the best results I’ve ever seen.
And in witnessing this, I’ve made the conscious decision to wake up early and be productive to achieve a life goal that is beyond my wildest imagination.
If you’re reading this article then you’re already on the right path. You’re here because you want to break out of the mold and do something different by waking up early.
That is half the battle won!
Now let’s get into the other half of the battle. With that being said, here are my top strategies and techniques on how to wake up early and be productive.
1. Set an alarm away from your bed
I know, I know. Setting an alarm is the most obvious way to wake up early but for the sake of being thorough, I want to include it here.
What you want to do is keep your alarm or phone in a place that requires you to get out of bed to switch it off.
Once you get past that initial curve of getting out of bed, the chance of you staying awake and getting started with your day is much higher.
Since my phone rests in the corner of my room, it forces me to get up, walk and turn it off. By then, I’m awake enough to know that it’s not a good idea to get back into bed.
2. Adjust your sleep patterns
REM sleep is considered the deepest form of sleep that occurs in cycles.
If you disrupt your body during a wave of REM sleep, you’ll wake up feeling horrible.
What you want to consider is downloading an App that calculates the time you should sleep and the time to wake up that is at the end of a REM cycle so that you avoid feeling miserable.
Alternately, if you have an erratic bedtime, this app will calculate a time close to the period you want to wake up that doesn’t disrupt a REM cycle.
Trust me when I tell you that this is important when you are starting off.
Get to bed the same time every night from the day you begin and try to wake up the same time every day. Ideally, this is the best way to approach this new habit.
3. Incentivize waking up early
Just because we’re all grown up doesn’t mean we aren’t kids to some extent.
When a kid does something important but difficult, he usually gets a reward. That’s a great way to motivate a kid to work hard and be consistent at that particular thing. This applies to us as well.
So, if you’re waking up early, reward yourself in some way.
Maybe you have an amazing latte or a massive breakfast. Whatever it may be, do something that feels good to you!
Watch how much easier it becomes to wake up early following this technique.
4. Have a motive for waking up early
Why do you want to wake up early? Don’t get me wrong, there are a ton of merits for building this habit but why do YOU want to wake up early?
People who struggle to wake up in the morning don’t have an exciting reason to get out of bed.
If you’re truly passionate about achieving a goal of some sort, you’ll be excited to wake up early.
Most of the things we struggle with are actually in our minds rather than in reality.
Part of growing as a person and succeeding in life starts by taking control of your thoughts and adopting a mindset of someone passionate and motivated by life.
The only way I can think of making this change is by discovering a personal mission. In other words, find your purpose in life. Alternately, set a meaningful goal with a reward that excites you to your core.
Use that as motivation and you will struggle less with getting out of bed in the morning.
5. Build momentum
There are two phases in which difficulty is experienced during the development of a new habit.
At the very beginning and in the middle.
The beginning poses the difficulty of embracing a change in your routine.
Later on, it’s the complacency, frustrations or fatigue that poses a new risk of quitting.
Most of us quit during these two stages. In the beginning, the powerful force of motivation is a great tool for embracing change.
When it comes to the second phase of difficulty, momentum is your greatest ally.
Instead of searching desperately for motivation during that phase, you can simply rely on the momentum to carry you forward.
Momentum is strictly experienced by people who build up a number of consecutive successful actions.
So, in other words, when you feel like you’re reaching your breaking point and want to give up, just allow yourself to wake up early out of momentum and the routine.
Eventually, your body clock will completely readjust to waking up early. It will take place almost automatically.
Think about the cumulative effect for a second. Every successful attempt adds to your results.
Day in and day out, these small results amass into something significant. The cumulative effect appears in many different areas of life. It’s at work if you’re at work.
That’s the only requirement to build results using the cumulative effect.
If you do nothing, you’ll accumulate nothing. It truly works both ways. So, why not do something every day and let the cumulative effect create some significant results and changes in your life.
Try to wake up early for 7 mornings in a row and watch how you’ll build momentum to continue waking up early. Just 7 days.
6. Avoid stimulants at night and change your breakfast
Anything with caffeine is going to keep you awake and alert. That’s pretty obvious. But, to avoid fatigue the next day, stay away from any caffeine after 6 pm.
Instead, save your caffeine consumption for the mornings.
Ideally, I would just avoid caffeine altogether and opt for breakfast with lots of fruits and vegetables instead of processed carbs.
This way of eating provides a more constant distribution of sugar and energy throughout the day, thus avoiding any major dips in energy and focus.
7. Hold yourself accountable
I’ve really come to realize that no matter what tips and tricks I can try, unless I’m willing to be consistent and accountable for my actions, they will never truly make a lasting difference.
Change is highly influenced by attitude.
If you adopt the attitude of a ‘go-getter’ who values achievement and productivity over laziness and relaxation, you will find great success in waking up early and grinding.
But, if you continue to hold onto self defeating ideas and remain in the mindset of someone who avoids change and discomfort, then you will find those sheets remaining wrapped around you.
Please don’t forget – life is short. There’s absolutely no certainty of how long any of us will live. Don’t waste precious time under a blanket when you can be living life and tasting the fruits of your labor.
8. Don’t exercise too hard at first
I absolutely love exercising and I really wanted to try mimicking the morning routine of some successful entrepreneur.
However, I noticed that the first few days of exercising really hard in the morning drained me of physical and mental energy.
It took me hours to recover before I could start working at a good pace. I didn’t give it up. Instead, I changed my style of exercising and noticed a drastic improvement. Rather than working out until exhaustion, I stopped much before then.
Since then, I’ve been able to write 2000 words in the morning for over a year now.
Rather than be tired, I actually noticed my energy levels improve as the weeks passed. I’ve been able to increase the intensity of my exercise as well without experiencing that major energy dump.
When starting off, keep your exercise light and short.
I look at all the Billionaires and the people who have accomplished great things and they all share one thing in common – routine.
Their habits, routines and values are what keeps them constantly working hard and striving to be better.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. The stuff that actually gets you going is your habits, routines and values.
Make a healthy and smart sleep routine a part of your arsenal. I feel like building this habit could be the start of an amazing journey for you!
Stay consistent and keep trying until you get it right. If a lazy guy like me can do it, then so can you!