And at this very moment, countless entrepreneurs, executives, and enterprising go-getters are getting up and starting their days. They say it boosts their productivity, raises their energy, and accomplish all the little things that could otherwise nag them throughout the day. This means eating a good breakfast, exercising, checking emails, solving critical problems, and even spending time with family.
Jim Critin’s article, “Tapping the Power of Your Morning Routine” offers this memorable piece of advice (emphasis mine):
Steve Murphy, CEO of publishing company Rodale, says, “A line in a William Blake poem inspired me to think differently about my day: ‘Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night.’
So, being the night owl that I am, what the hell am I going to do? I’m quite the opposite: I experience my peak energy levels later in the day, often get into The Zone late at night, and can’t think straight in the mornings.
Or, at least, that’s how I am right now. I hear that once you have kids, you’ll have to wake up early anyways. And I’ll admit – I did wake up early once and got a lot of work done.
Kyle Pott of Lifehack.org offers these tips on waking up early:
- Relocate your alarm clock
- I used to do this in college when I absolutely had to get up early, and it worked. Made for some wacky hijinks too, especially when I’d crawl over furniture and tumble onto the floor, all in an effort to shut the cursed alarm.
- Scrap the snooze
- Rats. I love snoozing. That feeling of gently falling back asleep again is awesome. I think my record is a two-hour snoozing session.
- Change up your buzzer
- Did this in college too. I switched to an old-fashioned alarm clock with a loud bell. My roommates hated me, but it sure got me up.
- Make a puzzle
- This tip means hiding your alarm in a tricky place that requires some effort to get to, like in a combination-locked box. Sounds really evil, so it probably works really well.
- Get into a routine
- Sounds like a great idea, though it hasn’t been easy to get my hectic schedule into a routine. I’m an over-achiever with lots of little projects going on at any given time; fitting those into a routine is tough. Not impossible though, just tough.
- Have a reason
- True, I’ll definitely wake up earlier if I’m on vacation or something. But I once overslept during a huge street carnival that I planned in college; I was so tired that every alarm technique in the book wasn’t able to get me up. So I can’t say that simply having a reason will work consistently for me.
Here’s an extra tip: Sometimes, if I really need to wake up early, I’ll drink some water before going to sleep. The next morning, the urge to pee will get me right up. (If you have a weak bladder, this tip might not work for you – though arguably, getting up to change your sheets would definitely wake you up.)
I also like this tip from GoimBee in the comments section:
I trained a monkey to taze me with 500,000 Volts when the alarm clock rings. That’s pretty much the most efficient technique I found so far. Now I canâ€™t sleep knowing that the monkey is hiding under my bed…
The night owl in me says, “Mike, you’re crazy, why are you even pondering waking up early?” I’ve always been a night owl, why change now?
Let’s break down the pros and cons of being a night owl vs. being an early riser:
Being a Night Owl
Being an Early Riser
Hmmm. I can only think of one con for being an Early Riser. If you can think of more pros and cons for these lists, please let me know.
And now, another part of me is saying, “Maybe waking up early IS a good idea.” At the very least, gaining health benefits is a really good reason.
So I guess I ought to scrap the snooze, hide my alarm, and drink before I sleep! And if those don’t work, anyone have a monkey and a tazer?