5 REASONS WHY WE STARTED WAKING UP EARLIER AND WHY YOU SHOULD TOO
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Our to-do list on any given day – sound familiar?
Go to the grocery store
Go to gym
Catch up on e-mails
….and on and on
Since a majority of the day is spent at work, the only time we ever had to tackle our to-do list was in the evenings. Let’s just say that we were lucky if we could cross off even a third of what was on the list. Feeling out of control and unproductive every night just added to our stress and anxiety.
We knew research had demonstrated that waking up early has enormous benefits so we decided to give it a try. This was not easy – both of us are night owls and love sleeping in on the weekends. We had to adjust our schedules and start going to bed earlier, but once we started seeing results, we were hooked! Yes, we are only humans and there are days when we falter, but overall we have felt more in control and happier by being earlier risers.
To let your body acclimatize, we suggest setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier than you normally do and eventually, within the week, changing your alarm to 30 to 45 minutes earlier so it becomes a habit. Getting up just 30 minutes earlier each day will add an extra 182 waking hours to the year. That equates to a little more than a week!
Here are 5 reasons why we now enjoy getting up earlier:
1) There are no distractions early in the morning
It’s crazy how quickly the day can get away from you – the myriad personal and professional obligations and demands on your time means the first thing to go out the window are the things you enjoy the most. Yet, the things we enjoy the most are crucial to our happiness and well-being!
Getting up earlier allows you to focus on YOUR most important priorities, such as going to the gym, journaling, reading or meditating – whatever works for you to get yourself motivated and ready for the day. This is truly your time, with no interruptions or disturbances getting in the way as the rest of the world sleeps. You will be amazed by how starting your day off on a productive note will carry through the rest of your day as well!
2) Research has shown that early risers tend to be more successful
The one thing that highly successful people such as CEO’s have in common? You guessed it – they are consistently early risers. Numerous articles cite examples of famous people who start their day very early (some as early at 4:30am!) – these include Apple CEO Tim Cook, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi, CEO of Ellevest Sallie Krawcheck, and Benjamin Franklin who very aptly said “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Successful people have such limited personal time that they know they have to start early and use every minute of the day to the fullest to be as productive as possible.
3) There is a sense of complete peace and calm
Getting up early gives us an overall sense of peace and calm. Hitting the snooze button over and over again until the very last minute possible, then jumping out of bed and scrambling to make it in time for work sets a negative tone for the rest of the day (not to mention causing irritability and unnecessary stress).
We love how the extra time we now have in the morning means we can start the day on a tranquil note, without feeling consistently frazzled and rushed. Bonus? We actually have time to have and enjoy breakfast as well and eat healthier (i.e. no more breakfast bars and cold cereal)!
4) It is easier to be in the moment
One of the best parts of getting up early is the ability to just be in the moment. Mindfulness just comes more naturally – we have time to savor our hot tea, listen to the sounds around us, and enjoy the colors of the rising sun. Our minds are more alert and we are able to enjoy more of what is around us without taking things for granted. This puts us in a great mind frame for the day ahead.
5) You can plan your day
Having more time in the morning means we can also more effectively plan our day. We like to spend 5-10 minutes each morning focusing on our top 3 goals and what needs to get done that day to continue to make progress on what is important to us. When we get up late that doesn’t happen because other things and demands on our time come into the equation. Getting up late means “me time” goes out the window. Having a few minutes extra in the morning ensures that our goals get prioritized for our day.
Try waking up earlier and see what a difference it makes!
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