Many of us dread getting up early for whatever reason. Go to work, take the dog out for a morning walk, getting the kids ready for school. We don’t naturally get up early unless there is a need to and that need is of the utmost pressing concern. One Forbes article argues that there is something to getting up early and doing so can lead to a more productive day and optimistic outlook on life.
Granted, training oneself to wake up early can be a challenge for some. But the rewards are well worth the initial investment of learning to do so that will pay dividends in the long run.
What is “early”?
Early can mean different things to different people. For some, the sunrise is early while others think noon is early. When I first started training different wake up times, I first started by finding out when I wake up without the aid of an alarm clock. Without being prompted, I found I woke up around 9-9:30am semi-regularly.
Now I had a baseline to work with and with any good experiment, a baseline is essential. With this data in my head, the next thing I did was try setting an alarm a half an hour earlier (8:30am) and seeing how that felt waking up. Continuing to go to bed around midnight, waking up at 8:30am felt very uncomfortable and left me tired and disoriented throughout the day.
The next step was to alter when I went to bed. This was done by going to bed a half an hour earlier: 11:30pm.
By progressively tooling with bedtime/wake up times and training my mind and body to get used to waking up at these different times, I eventually found a good medium: 11pm bedtime with a 6:45am wake up. To my body, this was the perfect balance: I woke up feeling rested and was able to go the day without feeling exhausted and disoriented.
In the end, early is a “to each his own” word, but first learning what early means and then working at making it happen is the first step to some really transformative living.
The Early Bird Catches the Worm
Training your body and mind for getting up early can do wonders to your personal life, career and family life. Here are some of the benefits that can come when you wake up early:
1. Become more proactive. Those who get up early often see themselves able to take additional time to plan out their long term goals with greater depth and detail.
2. Time for exercise. Obesity is still very much an issue in the United States and in many parts of the world. Combine this with people working well past the 8 hour day and 40 hour week (http://20somethingfinance.com/american-hours-worked-productivity-vacation/), people simply don’t have the time they wanted to get to the gym or spend an hour out for a run or bike ride like they’d like to. Waking early allows you that additional time to fit in that exercise you wanted to do for so long, but couldn’t.
3. More optimistic. Studies have shown that people who wake up early have a more optimistic outlook on the day and life in general. This is largely in part for the reasons mentioned above: because there is that little bit more time in the day to prepare for the day, think and assess life as it stands at this time, feelings of stress tend to fall by the wayside in place for a more fulfilled outlook.
Robin Sharma has an excellent video on 5 steps everyone can take for bringing themselves to wake up earlier: