Anyway you slice it getting up earlier than you want to is tough. Getting out of a nice warm, cosy bed feels like the wrong thing to do at any time, but especially in winter, when it’s dark and very cold.
Recently, I’ve taken to digging into the habits and behaviours of highly successful people to see if there was any common links and l noticed one in particular – successful people spend less time in bed than the average Joe! They get up and they get on with life. (Read more at 29 Successful People Who Wake Up Really Early – most of them before 6am – or here 5 Things Super Successful People Do Before 8 AM.)
It seems that successful people who get stuff done don’t hang around under a duvet for any longer than they absolutely necessary. They get up and they start. Here’s how they do it:
- They take responsibility. Getting up is your responsibility. Whatever time you get up is on you. If you’re late, that’s on you. If you don’t get everything done that you wanted to because you got up later than planned, that’s on you! If you had a morning routine and you didn’t execute it, guess what, that’s on you! Don’t blame the late night film – you didn’t need to watch it. Don’t blame the fact that you’re just not a morning person – that’s an excuse. If you don’t get up on time, it’s on you!
- They prepare the night before. It’s tough getting up early. Even the people that do it know that. Make it easier on yourself and get as much as possible ready the night before. Have a dressing gown ready and immediately at hand. Put the alarm clock away from the bed. Have the coffee ready to go, so all you have to do is boil the kettle and pour! Make getting up child’s play so all you actually have to worry about when you wake up is getting out of bed.
- They actually sleep. Before I go to bed at night, I review my day and put all my work to bed. Anything that’s on mind get’s written down and organised somewhere to be picked up later. Nothing get’s left hanging. Everything is closed for the evening so I can switch off and make sure that when I go to bed I actually sleep.
- They have something specific (and exciting) to get up for. You know when it’s not difficult to get up? When you’re off on holiday. I find it really easy to get up the morning I’m going somewhere special. I just want to get going because I’m so excited. Harness that energy every day. Before I go to bed every night, I plan the next day. Get my diary and to do list ready, check it against my week’s priorities and make sure that I know what I’m up to tomorrow, but the most important thing I do is to put something exciting or fun or interesting at the top of the list and lodge it in my mind, so when I wake up I know what I’m waking up for. I know I’m up to do something exciting. It gets me out of bed.
- They set an alarm. Actually, after a few weeks of getting up early, I started to wake up just before the alarm went off, so I usually don’t need an alarm these days. But I still set one! Remember number one above? If I sleep in, that’s on me, so I make sure it’s not going to happen, and there are some days I still need it.
- They practice. Changing your sleeping habits is not easy and if you’re used to getting up at 7.30am and try to start getting up at 5.30am, that’s going to be tough. Why not start with a shift to 7am, or 6.30am. When you’ve got that sorted, make another shift.
- They have wake up routines. Sometimes it’s tough to think for the first 10 minutes after waking up. Make it easy and get into a routine, so you don’t have to. For me, I get up, make tea (all the necessary items have been set out the night before and the kettle’s full – see 2 above), take it up to my office and recheck my diary and to do lists. After the first few sips of tea, I’m ready to get cracking on real work. Some people get up and go running. Find a routine that works for you.
Seven things that you can do help make more time in the morning, so now you can get that work out in before heading to the office, or you can finally get started on writing that book with the extra time you’ve made. Sleep well!
What tips do you have for getting yourself up in the morning? Pop a comment below…
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