I am a night owl by nature. I love to stay up late. I enjoy nighttime and have my most productive hours between 1am and 3am. In University and even early in my career, I could make miracles by staying up late. I would do last-minute cramming and finish off complex projects by pulling adrenaline-fueled all-nighters. But achieving this apex of productivity comes at a significant cost if you’re trying to hold down a day job. The downside would be the crash, the crankiness and other clear signs of sleep deprivation a few days later.
Although I have had an 8am start for most of my working career, it was not until I switched to a job with a 7:30am clock-in that I started embracing the joys of the 5am wake-up. Yes, 5am. If you’re a student or mother holding down a day job, then you can probably relate. Otherwise, getting out of bed this early may seem strange to you.
Waking up at 5am made it possible to take my dog for a walk, get in some reading and quiet time and plan for my day. I could avoid the road rage associated with morning rush hour traffic, and get to work without feeling stressed. But it was not easy. In fact, sometimes it is still really hard and I have to constantly reinforce the habit. But more often that not, the stunning beauty and calming stillness of the morning more than makes up for it. I am in control of my day!
Waking up early and beating the sun has many clear benefits. I hope you will embrace it as part of your plan for a healthier, happier year and a more rewarding future. Here are my top three reasons for developing the habit getting up one to two hours earlier every day
1. Have more energy
Waking up early generally means getting to bed earlier. You will have to sacrifice falling asleep watching late night TV and you will probably have to say no to that last glass of wine, but you will reap the benefits of a clearer head when the alarm goes off. You will find that you have clarity throughout the day without the need for multiple cups of coffee.
2. Create time out of nowhere
When you beat the sun, you will create time out of nowhere. One or two hours per day translates into ten extra hours per week of uninterrupted time to get things done. You will be able to work on long-lost projects or brainstorm business ideas. You can work on a hobby or just get household chores done, get to the gym, have a proper breakfast, or a myriad of other things you previously didn’t have time for. Your productivity at work will increase, because you didn’t rush to get there. It is also likely that you will be able to leave work earlier and make more time for family, friends and creative pursuits.
3. Greet the day
Mornings are beautiful and still, cool, fresh and quiet. When you wake up before the rest of the world you greet the day with confidence. Watching the darkness disappear with the warm rays of the rising sun will give you a sense of deep calm and purpose. It is the perfect time for goal-setting, prayer or meditation — setting the tone for a powerful day. You will have more focus and better ideas because you will have time to map things out your way. Your coworkers and family will also find you more peaceful, calm and friendly.
There’s a high correlation between early rising and success, so get started by setting your alarm just a bit earlier tomorrow morning.