Running a business can take its toll on your time. The constant juggling of priorities can leave you deflated at the end of the day, wondering what the heck you actually accomplished?
There is a way for you to have time just for you: no interruptions or distractions. It’s called getting up early.
According to a recent article in The Guardian, most top executives set their alarms somewhere between 5 and 6 am. These three incredibly successful women take that a step further and get up at 4:30 am:
- Michelle Gaas, Starbuck’s President
- Gweneth Paltrow, Actress
- Michelle Obama, First Lady
The simple truth is this: Rising early means fewer distractions. Fewer distractions increases focus. Increased focus equals higher productivity. Tweet that!
So what is a night owl who gets up at 8:00 am to do?
Here are 7 habits to help you wake up and stay up early.
1. Go cold turkey. Don’t expect to ease yourself into waking up early by taking it slow. Commit to waking up early and just do it.
2. Work backwards. How much uninterrupted time do you need? If it’s 2 hours and you usually get up at 7:00 then set your alarm for 5:00 am.
3. Get enough sleep. Getting up early doesn’t mean you carve 2 or 3 hours off of your sleep time … that would be counterproductive. If you commit to rising early, you have to go to bed earlier.
4. If you snooze you lose. The snooze button makes it too easy to cheat. A good trick is to place your alarm across the room and set it to a volume that is sure to rouse you from sleep.
5. Get moving. As soon as you wake up, get up … and stay up. It’s too easy to find the quickest route back to your bed. Turn off the alarm and go straight to into the washroom. Splash some cold water on your face, do some stretching and the next thing you know, your brain turns on and you’re ready to go.
6. Set a goal. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to get up early?” Is it to catch up on reading, exercise, write your blog? Whatever the reason, make it your goal and your motivation for getting up early.
7. Plan it out. It’s so much easier to get started in the morning if all your tools are ready and waiting, so plan and prepare the night before. Let’s say you want to exercise in the morning. Lay out your clothes so there’s no wasted time searching for your sneakers.
There is no doubt, waking up early will be hard at first. But anything worth doing is hard. I leave you with these wise words from Michelle Obama in an interview with O Magazine:
“I just started thinking, if I had to get up to go to work, I’d get up and go to work. If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I’d get up to do that. But when it comes to yourself, then it’s suddenly, ‘Oh, I can’t get up at 4:30.’ So I had to change that.”
You can change too.
Now it’s your turn.
What time do you get up? When you wake up do you leap out of bed immediately? What time are you typically at your desk? Share your insights below and let’s continue the conversation.