We’ve all been there. The alarm clock goes off on Monday morning and you hit snooze, hoping to hold onto sleep for a few more minutes.
For an entrepreneur, however, the snooze button can be one of the biggest detriments to productivity for the day. For many of the most successful entrepreneurs, not only is the snooze bar off-limits, they set their alarm hours earlier than most people.
How does getting up early make you more productive? Here are just a few ways:
Some of the Many Reasons to Get Up Early
Many entrepreneurs claim that setting their alarm clock hours before most people are awake is one of the best ways to ensure productivity. There are different ideas about what to do with the extra time you gain, but one thing is certain: early risers tend to be more focused and driven throughout the day.
Some entrepreneurs use their early wake-up to carve out time for exercise. By starting your morning with a workout, you can get your brain moving, while keeping yourself in shape.
Putting exercise first on the schedule also makes sure that it doesn’t get overlooked at the end of the day in an avalanche of meetings, phone calls, and other priorities. Exercise releases endorphins that kick start the brain. Even if you don’t want to hit the gym in the morning, a quick walk around the block is a great way to get started.
Reflect on the upcoming day.
Others use the early morning hour as a way to ease into the day. These individuals prefer to spend their waking moments in reflection and meditation.
Journaling is also a powerful way to stay focused on the goals that you have set and the tasks that you need to accomplish. It also allows you to calm your mind. Blocking off just 15 minutes of your morning to pray, meditate, or reflect can set the stage for the whole day.
Turns out your mom was right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Carving out time to eat a healthy breakfast can give you an edge that will last all through the morning.
Avoiding greasy fast food or sugary breakfast items can be difficult if you are pressed for time. Getting up early allows you to plan ahead for a breakfast that is healthy and easy.
How to Make Yourself Get Up Early
Knowing the benefits of getting up early is the easy part. However, actually changing your habits can be challenging. How can you train yourself to maximize the early morning hours? Here are a few strategies:
Set your alarm clock earlier in increments.
If you’re not sure that you can “cold turkey” an early morning start, begin by gradually moving your alarm clock back in 10 minute intervals. Over the course of just a week or two, you will have adjusted your wakeup time earlier by an hour.
Move your alarm clock.
Instead of keeping your alarm clock on the nightstand next to the bed, move it across the room. By forcing yourself to get out of bed to turn it off, you are halfway to winning the battle. Once your body is moving, it is easier to propel that movement into getting ready for the day.
Start your day with something easy.
Most of the struggle for the morning hours is a matter of “mind over mattress.” Help yourself win the battle by giving yourself easy tasks to accomplish as soon as you get out of bed.
Drink a glass of water, brush your teeth, and let the dog out. Start with an easy job that doesn’t require much thinking, but that will help to wake you up and get your day started.
Prep the night before.
Mornings (particularly early mornings) can be slowed down by decision-making. Avoid the morning closet dilemma of trying to find something to wear by laying out the clothes you’ll need before you go to bed.
Not only will advance preparation save you time in the morning, it helps you to ensure everything is clean and ready to be worn. If your clothes are already out, it is easier to pull them on, even if you’re still half asleep.
Use a to-do list.
Before you go to bed, make a list of priorities that need to be done first thing in the morning. Use Evernote, your calendar, or go old-school and use sticky notes to help keep you get the day started.
This powerful secret makes sure that you have something to focus your brain on in the morning, and this can give you the motivation to use your extra time wisely. You may use your extra time to work on a long-term project, prepare for a client meeting, or perform other goal-driven tasks. What you do with the time is completely up to you, but using a to-do list can make sure that you accomplish something valuable.
Studies have shown that early risers are among some of the most professionally successful. If you are an entrepreneur, the early morning can serve as bonus time. You can get meaningful work done hours before anyone else is awake or at work.
If you’re looking for ways to be more productive this year, change the settings on your alarm clock. You may be surprised at how much more work you get done!