Introduction: This will be a series about The 12 Most Important Productivity Habits. In each article only one habit will be discussed. This is to simplify reading and productivity. Focusing on one habit at a time allows for an effective practice. At the end of the series there will be a post summarizing all the productivity habits together.
I used to be a night owl, and there are still days that I stay up way longer than I should. I fall asleep around 3:00 AM, to wake up groggy and tired. My energy is all gone, and worst of all, no matter how much I want to be productive, I just can’t do it. I’ve realized that staying up late doesn’t contribute to the start of my next day. But if you can can stay up late and still be productive the next day, then continue doing what works for you.
Make or Break Your Day
Every time I stay up late, I feel I re-learn the lesson – don’t stay up so damn late. There are days that I stay up so late, that the next day I’m just trying to catch up on my sleep. I don’t do anything at all, except for sleep. And that’s why for the past few weeks I’ve been working on establishing my own morning routine. This way I can utilize my time in the morning to be well rested, enjoy the silence of a morning, be energized, and productive.
But when I wake up early, and get to finish everything on my to-do-list, I feel accomplished. It feels great that I’ve done everything that I needed to. And anything else I get to do is a bonus.
What I Learned
I’ve been using fraction habits to slowly add to my morning routine. I add a mini habit to my morning routine. As of right now, I wake up at 6:45 A.M, stretch for 5 minutes, have a banana, stretch and meditate for 5 minutes. It’s a slow process, but applying these little steps has made it easier.
The most difficult part of waking up early – is waking up early. I struggled for weeks, and still have days where It’s hard to get out of bed. But I’ve learned a few things that can help with waking up.
- Waking up at a constant time. My goal is to be able to wake up around 5AM every morning. It seems crazy, but I’m optimistic about it. Right now I’m waking up at 7:00 AM every single morning. I’ve found not to stress about when I sleep as it only stresses me out, and prevents me from sleeping. Don’t stress yourself out about a strict schedule. Just sleep when you feel tired. As long as you keep waking up at the same time; you are learning to strengthen your habit.
- Make small changes. I like to do small, yet effective changes in my morning routine. I first started waking up at 7:30 AM, and once I found that to be comfortable for me, I changed it to 7:15 AM. As of right now I’m waking up at 6:45 AM. You don’t have to wake up at 5:00 AM all of the sudden. Slowly ease into it and make small yet effective changes.
- Make a list, and get excited. I always make a list of things I have to do for the following day. This way I don’t procrastinate so much with my time. And the best thing about is I see what I get to do. Make a list of what you get to do for tomorrow. Even if it’s one thing. Pick something exciting. Think of it as a reward. Once start doing that thing that excites, you got your momentum – It makes staying productive much easier.
- Jump out of bed. Use some momentum to roll back and forth, and jump out of bed. It makes getting out of bed fun. Something I’d never thought I’d say. And you get a little energy boost for free.
Since I started waking up earlier, I’ve noticed changes: in my mood, energy, productivity, and motivation. It makes the start of your day a great one, and you gives momentum for the rest of your day. But the most important thing I learned is that my morning is my time.
Change How You Think
It’s your time. Don’t think of your mornings as something you have to do. Think of your morning as a privilege. It’s your time, so learn to value it and use it to your benefit. It’s the time when you can wake up in silence, see the morning sun, and do whatever you want. There’s no noise, no updates, notifications, e-mails or any of that stuff. It’s a new day that has never happened before, and you get to be a part of it.
Your mornings are not a chore – they are an opportunity.
Do you have troubles waking up early? What have you learned that works best for you? Tell me in the comments below.