If you want to get more done, try getting up earlier.
Throughout my life I have gone back and forth through phases of being able to consistently get up early and then going weeks of sleeping through my alarms (even if I set multiple alarms). During the cycles when I wasn’t able to get up early, I found that I was rushed, stressed and highly reactive at the beginning of the day. I didn’t feel like I was in control or getting enough “me” time, plus I wasn’t leveraging my most creative hours, which for me, are in the am.
When I am able to rise early, I can visualize what kind of success I want, meditate, workout, warm up to the day and start off in control. While many people are still sleeping, I am busy manifesting my desired day. Most of my friends and colleagues are also early risers and enjoy similar benefits, but what if you want to get up real real early and be ahead of your peers? You need to get up before 5am!
Let me explain how I do it. To continue reading this post, click here >>
Ever since reading Steve Pavlina’s article, How to Become an Early Riser, last year, I have been able to consistently get up and out of bed very early. Reading his article, I realized that I didn’t have to let my “cycles” dictate when I got up. His article had some good ideas about training yourself and controlling your sleep.
Here are the tricks that I use to get up early:
- Command your mind and body to get up early – Tell yourself before you go to bed that you will not only get up early, but there will be no snooze button, no debate and no wavering – at first you may need to practice this, but it comes naturally after a while;
- Get up at the same time 7 days a week – I am up at 4:30 am even on Saturdays and Sundays (which are extra special because the rest of my family often sleep in, giving me more quiet time) and this trains my internal clock to get used to this schedule;
- Use an alarm that will won’t wake the rest of the house – if your schedule disrupts the rest of the house, that won’t work as everyone else will coerce you into sleeping in so as not to wake them up. Pick a quiet alarm and commit to turning it off and getting up on the first ring. After a few weeks you will start waking up at the same time every day even without the alarm;
- Go to bed when you are tired – we train ourselves to fight through fatigue and ignore the need for rest so we can get more done, but your body knows when you are tired and it will tell you when its time to hit the sack.
- Go to bed early enough to give yourself the sleep you need – everyone needs a different amount of sleep and I need at least 6-7 hrs on a regular basis to be productive the next day. Once I get 7 hours, I will typically wake up automatically regardless of the time. If you have trouble falling asleep relax yourself by deep breathing or meditating to clear the mind and bring on sleep;
- Don’t adjust your wake-up time even you go to bed late – the trick to getting up early is consistency. You can catch up on missed sleep during the week by going to bed earlier the next night or with a nap on the weekend. I was up at 4:30 am on New Years day after 2 hours of sleep and just went to bed at 8pm that evening to get back on track.
- Cut caffeine and sugars – both are stimulants and will affect your sleep patterns, caffeine in particular. Remember there is caffeine chocolate and in green tea.
- Baby steps – start out by setting your alarm earlier in 10 or 15 minute increments. When I originally started getting up early I set my alarm to 4:55 and worked my way down before settling at 4:30 am. I could set my alarm earlier, but don’t see the point right now as I can do everything I want in the day starting from this time.
If you have other tricks, let me know as I am interested in your experiences.