Many people benefit from rising early and following a set routine every morning. While this won’t benefit everyone, it might be just what you need to feel more in control of your daily life and goals.
A few things to get you started:
1. Avoid making any drastic changes. Begin this process slowly. Start by waking up just 15 minutes earlier than you normally would. Allow yourself to get used to this over a few days to a week before waking even earlier. Continue this gradually until your goal wake-up time is met.
2. Allow yourself to go to sleep earlier. Staying up too late when you’re trying to get up earlier will have negative consequences. Early rising will allow you to go to sleep more easily earlier in the evening so you can work on getting up earlier.
- If you have favorite shows that come on late, record or DVR them to watch on your schedule. With technology today, it’s much easier to “have it our way”.
3. Keep your alarm clock away from your bed. If you keep your alarm clock close to your bed, you’ll likely hit the snooze button and destroy your chances of improving your morning routine. Keep your alarm clock at a distance so you must get out of bed to deal with it.
4. Leave the bedroom as soon as your alarm wakes you. Avoid rationalizing going back to bed. Make yourself leave the room. Create a habit, such as visiting the bathroom (or, in my home, letting out the dogs) as soon as you get up, so you don’t convince yourself to go back to sleep.
- By the time you’ve used the bathroom or otherwise distracted yourself, you’ll no longer be thinking about going back to bed, so you can proceed with your daily routine.
5. What’s the first item on your action list? Plan something important to do first thing in the morning. If you have a specific task at hand early in the morning, then this will motivate you to wake up and get out of bed.
- It’s important to have a good reason to wake up in the morning. Whether something that’s a priority or that you love to do (ideally both), knowing the first thing you’re going to get done will help avoid procrastination or the desire to go back to bed.
6. Follow the same basic routine daily. If you practice the same basic steps every day, you’ll be able to automate many of your early morning tasks to make them easier. Get in the habit of getting something done first thing and you’ll soon marvel at how much you accomplish each day.
7. Take advantage of your extra time. Skip the “first thing social media” craze and complete something meaningful to your life and/or business first thing. Avoid wasting the extra time that you’ve created in your schedule.
- Instead, get a jump on your day, doing tasks that are best done in the early morning, such as reading, writing, and planning for the day.
- Been wanting to write a book? Use this time to get started. Have another large project? Break it into pieces and use this time to get moving on it.
Ultimately, you get to decide the best course of action when developing an early morning routine. These seven considerations should steer you in the right direction and can serve as a foundation for your own practice. When you customize and standardize your morning habits, they’ll drive your productivity throughout the day.