So true story, I have always been a morning person. I, as a teenager, would frequently get up way earlier than necessary to workout out and enjoy a leisurely morning before school. In college, my preferred study time was early am, and it was not uncommon for me to be in the school library by 6:30 am studying away. On that, you would be amazed how many other college students were up studying at that time, many who did not appear to have been there all night.
While I have always been an early riser, I sometimes find myself being up and kind of wasting away the morning. So today I thought I would share some of the techniques that help me get up early and make the most of my morning time.
1. Know what you want to accomplish in the morning – Are you planning to workout before work? Have a paper to work on? Is it the best time to put away laundry in your household. Have an idea of what you want to get done first thing in the am. I don’t know how many times I have wasted a morning scrolling Facebook because I didn’t have a plan, and then was kicking myself for it later.
2. Set yourself up for success – Prepare anything that you will need in the morning before bed the night before. If you are planning to workout, lay out your workout clothes, water bottle, head phones, etc. If you are going to work or study, have everything you need set up on your desk. Prep coffee (if you are a coffee drinker). Preparation is key.
3. Incorporate movement in your morning routine – If you are getting up early to workout, this is kind of a given. But even if you are planning to use your morning time for other things, a little movement helps to wake up the body and mind and help you prepare for the day. This doesn’t need to be a full workout, 5-10 minutes of walking or stretching can be a great start to the day.
4. Go to bed at a reasonable time – Everyone needs quality sleep to feel their best. Try to figure out what the ideal amount of sleep is for you. That sweet amount were you feel good and wake up easily. For me that’s about 7 hours, for most people it’s close to 8 hours, more or less. Aim to go to bed at a time that will allow you that amount of sleep. It is a lot harder to have a productive morning if you are exhausted and groggy in the am.
5. Get up at the same time each day – I am sure you have heard this before, it really does work. Sure it can be a drag to get up early on the weekends, and absolutely you just need to sleep in sometimes. Getting up at the same time, at least most of the time helps it to become a routine. Which makes it much easier to get up early during the week. Also, since becoming a parent, I find that I really enjoy my early morning weekend time, when the house is quiet and I am not rushing off to work.
*Bonus tip if you aren’t currently an early riser – start small. It will be crazy hard to start trying to all of a sudden get up an hour (or two or three) earlier than you are used to. Pre kids, my normal wake up time was 5:30-6:00, which allowed me to hit the gym before work. Once my son was born I started getting up at 5:00 so I could work out at home and shower before he woke up. Now with two kids and early morning classes, I am generally up between 4:00 and 4:30 (I know that is crazy early and have no intention of getting up any earlier). I did not move immediately from a 6:00 am wake up to a 5:00, or a 5:00 to a 4:00. I transitioned towards it, setting my alarm 10 minutes early each week until I got to the time I felt I needed to be at.
If you are trying to transition to being more active in the morning, I hope this is helpful to you.
Early risers, any tips you want to add? Night owls, any tips for staying focused in the evenings. I feel like my concentration and motivation have called it quits by dinner time most days.