When it comes to time management, we often say that we all have the same amount of time each day; it comes down to how we use it. While those are wise words, could there still be a way to get an edge? Becoming an early riser is one way we can gain an edge. We can't just create more time but getting up earlier can make it feel like we have. Those quiet mornings where you are alone with yourself, and your thoughts can be some of the most productive minutes of your day. If you struggle with getting up in the morning, consider these nine ways you can become an early riser.
1. Start the Night Before
The more you prepare the night before, the less stress you will have when you wake up. Think about what will make the morning less hectic. Would packing your lunch ease some of the morning chaos? Maybe placing your briefcase, purse, or other bags on a launch pad near the door helps.
2. Get to Bed Earlier
Rising earlier doesn’t mean you can go to bed at your usual time and get up rested. Your body still needs the same hours of sleep, so plan on shifting your bedtime to accommodate your new rise time. If you need seven hours of sleep and want to get up by 5 AM, you should aim to be in bed by 10 PM.
3. Develop a Bedtime Routine
Parents understand the benefits of holding to a bedtime routine for their kids. Why not think about what you do each evening before you go to bed that helps relax you. Maybe you enjoy a warm bath or reading in bed to help you wind down. Train your body that these activities mean bedtime is on the horizon.
4. Avoid Screen Time Before Bed
The backlighting of phones, computers, and televisions keeps your brain busy even if you scroll through social media to relax. Instead, give yourself a media curfew to let your mind and brain wind down before bed.
5. Ease into the New Alarm Time
Setting your alarm two hours before your usual time to get up may put your body into shock. You may also find that you don’t make it two days before you are back into old patterns. It benefits many to slowly turn the alarm back by 15-20 minutes each day until they get to their ideal wake-up time.
6. Place the Alarm Across the Room
It is much easier to hit the snooze button if your alarm clock is next to your head. By putting it across the room, you force your body to get up and get moving, and you stand a better chance of staying up.
7. Get Out of Bed Right Away
It is easy to rationalize sneaking in just five more minutes. Soon, five minutes turns to ten minutes, and you are now oversleeping. Immediately getting out of bed sends signals to your body that sleep is over and it’s time to start a new day.
8. Establish a Morning Routine
Whatever you decide to do, you train your brain and body what is supposed to happen after jumping out of bed. You may include meditation, prayer, exercise, showering, and eating breakfast. You may find that your body does this routine out of muscle memory eventually.
9. Stick to the Plan Even on Weekends
For the best benefits, try to go to bed and get up at the same times seven days a week. You don’t have to jump into the same activities as on weekdays, but you can develop the early riser habit faster if you stick to it seven days a week. So, go ahead and enjoy a second cup of coffee while listening to morning jazz.