Being an early riser does not come down to just waking up early. In this article, you can find my 10 commandments of waking up early.
1. Do it with a purpose
Waking up early without a purpose is a waste. When you wake up early, be sure to do it with a purpose. A purpose to start your day healthier, or more productive, or just better in general.
Make sure you wake up early with a purpose.
2. Be prepared
Preparation is key when it comes to waking up early. Make sure that you plan your week out, so you know what tasks you should execute once you wake up.
But preparation should not only be the big things, the tasks. It should also include the small things. These small things can add-up however and if you do not prepare them well, they can have a serious effect on the start of your day.
Make sure that the simple things are prepared like having your clothes for the day ready, your to-do list laying there, the recourses you need available, etc.. Total preparation.
3. Have a routine
Having a routine is one of the most crucial things about waking up early. If you wake up early at the same time every day your body and mind will, eventually, get used to it. It is important that you stick to a routine.
Besides that, you should also have a routine in the things you do. Make sure that your morning kind of looks the same every day, so that you can go on automatic pilot once you wake up. That way you pick up momentum way quicker. If you do something weird and different every day or in another order you waste your energy, because you constantly need to think about what you should be doing now or next.
An example of a morning routine which you could use:
04.30 Wake up and shower
04.45 Brew coffee, combined with a small task
05.00 Priority 1
05.30 Priority 2
07.00 Getting ready for school or work and head out
I would personally fill it in like this:
04.30 Wake up and shower
04.45 Brew coffee and journal
05.30 Exercise or work on an important project
07.00 Getting ready for school or work and head out
Having a routine like this is really powerful, because it helps you to start your day off without wondering what you should be doing. Another great upside to having a morning routine is the mathematics behind it. If you have a morning routine as mentioned above, which you execute five days a week, at the end of the (work)week you have a total of:
-75 minutes of journaling
-300 minutes of reading
-450 minutes of exercise or working on an important project
=825 minutes of productivity
Those 825 minutes of intense productivity a week will have tremendous effects in the long-term. Have a routine and try it for yourself.
4. Go to bed earlier
Waking up early on itself may not be that hard. The hardest part is actually going to bed early and making sure you get your 7-9 hours of sleep. It is a really important part however. If you lack sleep, you will be less productive and the whole reason behind waking up early is to be more productive and getting more out of your day.
If you wake up early, like 4:30 AM, you should be sleeping by 8:30 PM to get 8 hours of sleep. That, is where most people go wrong. During the week it is really tempting to stay up late. To watch that extra episode, to game just a bit longer or to just chill. You should be asking yourself how much those things are helping you. Leisure and relaxing are really important, but do not go overboard with it.
Just like a morning routine you should also try to have a sleep routine. Try to go to bed around the same time and wake up around the same time. Do this at least 5 days a week. On the weekends you can reward yourself.
*I highly advise you to still execute your routine on the weekends, just later in case you want to sleep in a bit.
5. Have your biggest priority involved
This is a part which already has been covered a bit in the above, but it is an important one to emphasize: have your biggest priority involved in your morning routine.
By making your biggest priority a part of your morning routine, you build great momentum from the moment you wake up. Working on your biggest priority early in the day will also be way more effective and efficient, because you are not tired by other things and you have the most willpower.
Involve your biggest priority in your morning routine even if it is only for thirty minutes. These thirty minutes will lead to great results over a longer period of time.
6. Take care of your body
By waking up early most people think about being productive, becoming a work machine and just hustling before anyone else is awake. Sure, these things play a big role and are important, but the most important thing is also your health.
If you wake up early, and with early I mean really early, it will take a toll on your health if you are not thoughtful about it. That is why it is a great thing to incorporate physical exercise in your morning routine. This can be something like a gym workout, going on an intense run or swimming. But it can also be something simple at home like stretching, yoga or a quick bodyweight workout.
Another great benefit by taking care of your body early in the day, is that you feel way more energized the rest of the day. And just like all the other things, if you take care of your body early in the day, it will lead to great results in the long-term.
7. Take care of your mind
Taking care of your mind. Something that has been really trendy lately. Things like breathing exercises or meditation are promoted all over the place. As they should.
By waking up early you can sometimes feel groggy or overwhelmed. You can probably also experience the overwhelming feeling later in the evening: you want to go to bed early, because you need to wake up early. So you sacrifice other things for it, which sucks.
That is why it is important to also take care of your mind. Doing this at the beginning of the day, in your morning routine, will set you up for the rest of the day. A quick 5 minutes of meditation, or some breathing exercises while you shower, are great ways to take care of your mind.
Another great way to take care of your mind is to journal. Writing down your thoughts, positive or negative, can be really therapeutic and relieving. This can make you more concentrated and less anxious during the day.
Try some things out and find a way to take care of your mind early in the morning.
8. Do not use your phone in an unproductive way
A crucial factor when it comes to waking up early and doing it in productive manner: stop using your phone if you do not need it.
We lose most of our concentration because of the way our mind can scatter over multiple thoughts and subjects. If you use your phone right after you wake up, your brain will get so much information that it can mess up your concentration straight away.
The best way to have a solid morning routine, is to not incorporate the use of social media or other distracting apps. Only use your phone if it is necessary. Besides that, it is a real good thing to make a rule for yourself, such as:
“I am not allowed to use my phone the first 30 minutes after waking up”
Or, even better:
“I am not allowed to use my phone until I finished my morning routine”.
If you like more advice about how to use your phone, and social media, the right way you can click here and read my article about it.
9. Do not bother your environment
One of the downsides of waking up early is that it can have an effect on your environment as well. Make sure that you do not bother others when you wake up early.
Make sure you turn off the alarm as soon as possible and get out of bed. If you prepared everything well (see point 2), then it is also not necessary to make a lot of noise. Everything should be set up in a way that makes it possible for you to move smooth and silently to your first task of the day.
Communication is also a big part when it comes to not bothering your environment. Ask your spouse or whoever you live with if there are any sounds that are too loud or annoying in the morning. Try to change that. The people around you are probably stoked that you wake up early and take control of your day, but they will not be stoked for long if you wake them up early as well.
10. Appreciate the opportunity
If there is one thing that keeps you waking up early in the long-term, it is to appreciate the opportunity. The opportunity to start your day off like you want to. The opportunity to execute your priorities. And, maybe most of all, the opportunity to experience the solitude and quietness of the early morning.
Appreciate the opportunity. Own the morning. Own the day.