We have all heard it, people who wake up early tend to be more successful than those who wake up late. But, is this true? Is it true that early risers tend to be able to accomplish more in life and able to achieve greater success?
Here’s a wise quote from Benjamin Franklin:
“Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
It is true that not everyone is an early riser, and not everyone who wakes up early tends to achieve more, but there are advantages when you choose to wake up early.
Now, you may say that you’re not a morning person and you work best and perform at your peak in the evening. Yes, that can be true.
However, one thing you need to understand is that whatever time you choose to wake up is a habit. You trained yourself to be so.
If you say that you’re not a morning person, think again. During school days, what time do you wake up? Probably very early.
After you get out of school and step into the working world, you probably choose to stay later and wake up later. That’s what happens to most people out there.
My point is whether you are a morning person or not, it depends on your habits and lifestyle.
I believe that everyone can be a morning person if he or she wants to.
When you have no choice but to wake up at 5AM each morning because your work starts at 7AM, you will have to fit your waking time according to your lifestyle.
So should you choose to wake up early? Well, before we jump into the conclusion, let’s talk about the benefits of waking up early:
1. Give you a great start
It is easy to understand, people who wake up early tend to have more time to prepare for their day. Thus, they can have a great start than those who choose to wake up later.
Imagine a day when you wake up late because you set the wrong alarm. You’re in a hurry and you rush to work. How do you feel? Not good, right?
But when you wake up early, you will have ample time to prepare yourself, exercise, meditate, review your goals, and take a good shower before you eat your breakfast.
Waking up early in the morning allows you to have time to design yourself to be great. Like what Zig Ziglar famously said:
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
When you have additional time, you can ready yourself for what’s coming during the day.
One of the most important things you can do in the morning is to plan your day. Write down what you need to get done and focus on doing them.
This makes you someone proactive rather than reactive. And this is a crucial factor that will determine your success in life.
2. Allow time for a good breakfast
Breakfast is important. As the name suggests, “break-fast”. You need to break the fasting over the night. When you sleep, you don’t eat.
And when you wake up in the morning, your body needs the energy to function at its peak again. This is why you need to have a healthy and good breakfast.
Let’s face it, you’re busy and most of the time, you will simply go for sugary cereal or grab whatever that is convenient for you for breakfast.
But when you wake up early, you have plenty of time to prepare yourself and also others a healthy, nutritious meal. This is even more important when you have children to take care.
What you consume will determine your level of energy and the whole day’s productivity.
When you have nutritious breakfast, you tend to be able to operate better, focus better, and have stronger willpower to tackle the day.
So wake up early and make sure you get a good breakfast before you head off to work.
3. Plan your day
When was the last time you plan for your day? Do you know that planning is an important factor that will determine how your future is going to be like?
I love this quote from Larry Winget:
“Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.”
When you have no idea what you need to do, you become reactive. You react to whatever that comes to you. You follow the crowd like a lost sheep.
But when you have a plan and you know exactly what you need to do for the day, you can then channel your energy and focus on getting those work done.
You can fly like an arrow straight to the bull’s eye. You become proactive. You get things started rather than wait for things to come to you.
It is an important distinction between knowing what you want and having no plan at all.
My friend, success is not something that falls from the sky. It will never happen accidentally.
Success comes to you because you plan for it. You design it. You know what you want and you work hard on it.
Christopher Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany, said:
“When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards. My earlier research showed that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them.”
Besides, Randler also said that a morning person tends to be more persistent, agreeable, cooperative, and conscientious. And these are the characters of leaders and successful people.
So do you want to switch your lifestyle and become a lark now?
4. Procrastinate less
According to a study done in 2008, early risers did not procrastinate as much as people who stayed up later.
It can be understood. When you get up early in the morning, there will be fewer distractions. No people will call you early in the morning and most people are still sleeping.
Hence, the morning hours give you an unfair advantage to focus on your most crucial tasks.
If you read this article from James Clear, you will see that most successful writers wake up early and they spend their morning time writing.
When you’re awake and you get a good night’s sleep, you’re fully recharged. Your willpower and energy level is at the highest when you wake up.
This gives you the chance to work on your most important work. You tend to procrastinate less.
You become more productive because you put your first thing first. You can choose to work on your high-impact tasks first rather than wait until the last minute when you have used up most of your energy.
Haruka Murakami, the successful writer said that when he’s in the writing mode, he gets up as early as 4AM and work for 5 to 6 hours straight, every day.
That’s how Murakami managed to get all his books written. And that’s how you can complete big projects that will give a positive impact on your life too.
5. Easier commute
I love what Kosio Angelov said about beating the early traffic. Here’s what he said in his blog:
“If you wake up early, you have a bigger chance of going to work early and avoiding the peak hour traffic where everybody’s going to be stuck commuting, everybody’s going to be stuck in their car wasting time, while you’ll be at the office or wherever you need to go, and you’re already working and achieving your goals while the rest of the world is stuck in some nonsense traffic, just wasting time.”
Imagine that you stuck in traffic congestion for an hour where you usually just need 15 minutes to reach your destination, how does it make you feel? A complete waste of time.
This is why many personal development gurus suggest you turn your car into a moving library.
Instead of listening to the radio, listen to some audio programs to learn and improve your knowledge.
The best is still to choose to get up a little earlier, beat the traffic and arrive at your office earlier so that you can get yourself ready.
6. Better mood and makes you happier
Dr. Joerb Huber of Roehampton University in London conducted a study and found that morning people tend to be healthier and happier. Plus, early risers tend to have lower body mass indexes.
I bet you can relate. When you wake up at 6AM, you have a lot of time to prepare. You can catch up on emails, read a little bit of newspaper, or even work on a pet project.
The key is that when you get up early, you have time to prepare, and this makes your morning less stressful. It puts you in a good mood and you’re able to hit the day running.
You have to understand that your morning sets the pace of your day. When you feel good in the morning, things will work out better throughout the day. But when your mood is bad in the morning, it can spoil your entire day.
7. Peace of mind
Another of the benefits of waking up early is that it makes you feel peaceful and calm. There will be no cars, no kids running and shouting, no noises, just you and your own thoughts.
It can be stressful if you wake up and straight away jump into your routine or rush yourself to go to work.
Most people spend a lot of time planning for their weddings, parties, and vacations, but they don’t really spend time planning about how to get the most out of their lives.
In the morning, when you are alone by yourself and the world is still sleeping, it is the best time to think and plan for your life.
And the wee hours are the best time to have serenity, to feel calm, to have peace of mind, and to understand yourself better.
“Solitude is creativity’s best friend, and solitude is refreshment for your soul.”
You can learn more about why solitude is good for you from this article on Psychology Today.
How to Wake Up Early
Now that you understand the benefits of waking up early, so do you want to become an early riser?
Here are some useful tips on how you can get up early and conquer your alarm clock:
1. Make sure you get enough sleep and go to bed early
Most people find it hard to do this, especially when you first switch to become an early riser. You will find that it is hard to resist the temptation to sleep early. You may even schedule things to do late at night when you know it is time to sleep.
But if you are truly committed to waking up early, you must make sure you get enough sleep. And to do so, you need to go to bed early. There is no point to wake up early when you don’t have enough sleep. It will make your day unproductive and deteriorate your health.
2. Give yourself a strong reason to wake up
Imagine tomorrow is the day you have your vacation in Hawaii but you will have to get up at 4AM to catch the flight, do you think you can wake up with energy and motivation?
Of course, the reason being that you have a strong reason to get up. Thus, find a reason to wake up early. The stronger the reason, the more likely you’re going to follow through and jump straight up when your alarm rings.
3. Put your alarm away from you
The key is to force yourself to get off your bed to switch off the alarm. You don’t want to put your alarm next to you so that you can switch it off without getting up.
I put my alarm on the floor where I can’t reach it on my bed. I have to get up and get out of my bed to switch it off. And when I’m up, I’ll head straight to the bathroom after I switch off my alarm.
4. Use an inspirational and uplifting alarm tone
The ringtone you set as your alarm is important. When you use an empowering tune, you tend to feel the motivation and your mind will put you on a driven state. Imagine if your alarm if the “Rocky” theme, don’t you feel motivated when you listen to it?
At first, waking up early can seem difficult because your body isn’t used to it. But after a few weeks, things will become smoother.
You will then find it no problem to wake up early and get things moving.
If you need more tips to wake up early, read this article:
As what you have learned, there are plenty of benefits of waking up early. But you don’t have to force yourself to be an early riser.
Instead, if you want to, you can either try it step-by-step. Wake up 30 minutes earlier this week. And next week, another 30 minutes earlier. Take it one step at a time.
Plus, make sure you get enough sleep. And use your morning time productively. Don’t get up early and spend time on social media like Facebook or Instagram because you have additional time.
Finally, I want to share a wise saying from the Hong Kong billionaire tycoon, Lee Ka Shing. He once said that if a person can’t even wake up early, what more can you expect him to accomplish in his life?
Think about it.
So what time do you wake up each morning?