Wake up early
I might get flamed for this hack by night owls, so let me qualify this tip by saying that if you stay up late at night and get a lot done, then do what works for you. Late night hours are really not much different from the early morning hours, as both times are much quieter with fewer distractions. However, as a former night owl, I recommend the morning hours simply because many times I would stay up well past midnight, but be very tired and not get anything done for the last 6-7 hours. Mornings are much more productive for me.
I started becoming an early riser last year, gradually waking earlier over the course of more than a month. This month, I’ve been trying to develop the habit of a Morning Routine, and the great thing about a morning routine is that you can develop whatever routine works best for you, and tweak it as you go. Decide what you’d like to accomplish each morning, and build your routine around that. Like to exercise? Put that in there. Healthy breakfast? Go for it. Check email? Fine.
The morning is your time.
The mornings are a fresh start, peaceful and free of ringing phones and constant email notifications. If you get your Most Important Things done in the morning, the rest of the day is just gravy.
Don’t make drastic changes. Start slowly, by waking just 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Get used to this for a few days. Then cut back another 15 minutes. Do this gradually until you get to your goal time.
Put your alarm clock far from your bed. If it’s right next to your bed, you’ll shut it off or hit snooze. Never hit snooze. If it’s far from your bed, you have to get up out of bed to shut it off. By then, you’re up. Now you just have to stay up.
Go out of the bedroom as soon as you shut off the alarm. Don’t allow yourself to rationalize going back to bed. Just force yourself to go out of the room.
Make waking up early a reward. Yes, it might seem at first that you’re forcing yourself to do something hard, but if you make it pleasurable, soon you will look forward to waking up early. My reward used to be to make a hot cup of coffee and read a book.
Take advantage of all that extra time. Don’t wake up an hour or two early just to read your blogs, unless that’s a major goal of yours. Don’t wake up early and waste that extra time. Get a jump start on your day!
Author: Leo Babauta
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