Let’s be honest. For most people, it’s not easy to get up first thing in the morning, especially when it’s still dark. But a lot of successful people say, “If you win the morning, you win the day.”In fact, there are all kinds of clichés about rising early. There’s the one about the early bird getting the worm, to which I always reply that I don’t want the worm. However, there are so many other benefits of waking up early, from better performance in school to be more able to stick to a diet plan.
In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits in more detail, provide you nine helpful tips to make rising early a habit, and answer some questions you have about starting a morning routine.
– Ben Franklin, famously
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”
“Put no trust in the benefits to accrue from early rising, as set forth by the infatuated Franklin …”– Mark Twain
Benefits of Waking up Early
People who wake up early tend to eat breakfast, while later risers are often rushing out the door and have to grab something convenient (i.e. unhealthy), or they skip the meal altogether.
The problem with skipping breakfast is that it leads to poorer eating habits later in the day. If you’re hungry because you missed a meal, the doughnut in the break room may be too tempting to resist. After a night of restful sleep, our skin is at its best first thing in the morning. And if you’re an early riser, you can take advantage of the morning hours to give your skin some extra TLC.
Similar to the breakfast example above, people who get up later in the day tend to focus less on healthy morning habits like hydrating and exercise, which oxygenates your blood and promotes healthy skin. Early morning risers can also use the extra time to exfoliate, moisturize and cleanse. People who wake up early also tend to have regular sleeping habits (unlike the night owls who keep erratic sleeping schedules). Having a predictable sleep routine ensures that your skin gets proper time to rejuvenate.
I enjoy an after-work gym session as much as the next person, but I’ll also admit to missing a fair number of workouts because of commitments at the office or with my family. And sometimes, I’m tired after a full day of work! When you exercise in the morning, you’re less likely to have an excuse. Plus, you’ll find that your morning workout will keep you energized all day long.
Starting your day early improves your concentration. In addition to being able to focus on goals and task lists without being interrupted by family members or coworkers, getting up early means that by the time you get to work or school, you’ve had hours to properly acclimate yourself to the day. You’ll be more alert during peak hours as a result.
Most successful people report that they’re up at 5 am, or even earlier. Early risers tend to be more productive for a variety of reasons, including:
- Having more time to focus on important tasks while the rest of the world is asleep. This also translates to fewer interruptions.
- Brains tend to be most alert in the morning. If you’re able to focus without interruptions early in the day, you’ll get more done.
- You tend to make better decisions and think more clearly in the morning than in the afternoon and evening. Setting your goals first thing will help you achieve them.
- If you can manage to get out of bed early, you’ll find that you have more energy throughout the day. It seems counterintuitive, but there are countless testimonials.
Keeping your body on a sleep routine will make it easier to go to sleep and wake up naturally at the same time each night. This is important for your body’s internal clock. If you go to bed late and wake up late on the weekends, for example, it’s harder for your body to adjust. People who get up early are naturally sleepier when it’s the “normal” time to go to bed. And being on a predictable routine will help you sleep better each night and wake feeling more rested.
Sometimes it amazes me that not everyone gets up earlier. It’s a miracle how quiet the world is first thing in the morning. Not only are there zero distractions, which will allow you to enjoy peace and quiet, but you’ll also find that your daily commute is easier if you leave an hour earlier and beat all the traffic. Plus, you get to avoid all that annoying office chit chat about weekends and kids and all the stuff you have to pretend to care about to be “polite.”
Reasons For Waking Up Early
Greet the day.
I love being able to get up and greet a wonderful new day. I suggest creating a morning ritual that includes saying thanks for your blessings. I’m inspired by the Dalai Lama, who said, ” Everyday, think as you wake up, ‘today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.’ “
By waking up Early Ensure An Amazing Start
I used to start my day by jumping out of bed, late as usual and rushing to get myself and the kids ready, and rushing to drop them to school and come into work late. I would walk into work, looking rumpled and barely awake, grumpy and behind everyone else. Not a great start to your day. Now, I have a renewing morning ritual, I’ve gotten so much done before 8 a.m., my kids are early and so am I, and by the time everyone else gets into work, I’ve already gotten a head start. There is no better way to start off your day than to wake early, in my experience.
No kids yelling, no babies crying, no soccer balls, no cars, no television noise. The early morning hours are so peaceful, so quiet. It’s my favorite time of day. I truly enjoy that time of peace, that time to myself, when I can think when I can read when I can breathe.
By Waking up early you actually have time for breakfast. I’m told it’s one of the most important meals of the day. Without breakfast, your body is running on fumes until you are so hungry at lunchtime that you eat whatever unhealthy thing you can find. The fattier and sugarier, the better. But eat breakfast, and you are saved until later. Plus, eating breakfast while reading my book and drinking my coffee in the quiet of the morning is eminently more enjoyable than scarfing something down on the way to work, or at your desk.
Got goals? Well, you should. And there’s no better time to review them and plan for them and do your goal tasks than first thing. You should have one goal that you want to accomplish this week. And every morning, you should decide what one thing you can do today to move further towards that goal. And then, if possible, do that first thing in the morning.
No one likes rush-hour traffic, except for Big Oil. Commute early, and the traffic is much lighter, and you get to work faster, and thus save yourself more time. Or better yet, commute by bike (Or even better yet, work from your home)
Increase Productivity By Waking Up Early
Mornings, for me at least, are the most productive time of day. I like to do some writing in the morning when there are no distractions before I check my email or blog stats. I get so much more done by starting on my work in the morning. Then, when evening rolls around, I have no work that I need to do, and I can spend it with family.
It’s much easier to make those early appointments on time if you are in a habit of waking up early. Showing up late for those appointments is a bad signal to the person you’re meeting. Showing up early will impress them. Plus, you get time to prepare.
How Waking Up Early Be Made Possible
- Don’t make drastic changes.
- Allow yourself to sleep earlier.
- Put your alarm clock far from your bed.
- Go out of the bedroom as soon as you shut off the alarm.
- Do not rationalize.
- Make waking up early a reward.
- Take advantage of all that extra time.