There should be no such thing as I don’t have time to work on my business. Stop sleeping for nine hours, get up early in the morning and work then. Here are my tips for waking up early.
You might learn already that I’m a huge fan of waking up early instead of staying late at night. This time I’m not going to tell you why it’s worth getting up early in the morning. You may find my arguments in the post I mentioned above. This time I’m going to tell you what my tips are for waking up earlier than most of you.
At first, I need to split it into two parts.
Because waking up early does not depend on what we do in the morning. How we spend evenings, what we do before going to bed is also extremely important here.
Ok, so let’s go.
I would say that the two most important things here are:
- What we do
What time are we going to bed?
Yes, it is possible to wake up early in the morning after 2 or 3 hours of sleep. But in the long run, it’s pointless. We – as human beings – need some particular number of hours of sleep to rest. Probably there are some people for whom 2-3 hours of sleep would be enough. But most of us simply need more. Most of us need at least 7 hours of sleep.
The first thing I would do is to learn yourself how many hours of sleep is enough for you to rest and recharge your batteries. In my case, it’s 7 hours. 9 hours is too much for me. 8 hours is fine, but seven is completely enough.
And once you learn how many hours you need – it’s crucial to go to bed at the right time. If I want to wake up at 5.30 am I need to be in my bed at the lastest 10.30 pm. And probably it’s even better to be in bed earlier to have a chance to fall asleep at 10.30.
What do we do before going to bed?
From my experience, it’s always the hardest part. Because there are dozens of things that disturb us and bother us to get up early. What I learned is that alcohol bothers my waking up, smoking cigarettes in the evening bothers us. Just like watching TV just before going to bed, doing something on the laptop, the tablet, or even the cell phone. Also, being physically tired (e.g. just after running or being at the gym) doesn’t help.
What helps me a lot in getting up early in the morning is some kind of simple routine which includes resting ~1 hour before falling asleep. For instance, going to bed around 10 pm and reading something on my Kindle for half an hour. Or simply chatting.
I have two things that help in the morning.
- Alarm clock
- Simple routine
I have two alarm clocks. The first one is on my cell phone. The second one is the typical old-school alarm clock.
The old-school alarm clock helps me a lot if I need to wake up at some crazy time and can’t be late (e.g. if I have a flight or a train early, really early in the morning). It’s so extremely annoying. And so noisy. There is no chance that this thing could not wake me up. This is also why I try not to use it too often.
The alarm clock on my iPhone is something I use on a daily basis. There are two built-in functionalities/apps I use: Bedtime and Alarm.
In Bedtime I set what time I want to fall asleep and what time I want to wake up and this app counts me how many hours I’ll sleep in such a scenario. It helps me to find the best time to go to bed. Also, it reminds me in the evening that I should go to bed in 15 minutes if I want to wake up early. In this app, I have some nice and not so noisy wake-up sound.
I also use the Alarm app on my iPhone, as sometimes Bedtime is not enough. In this app, I set some alarms 5, 15 or 30 minutes after the time from Bedtime app. Just in case. In the Alarm app, I have not so nice wake-up sounds.
In my case it could look like: Bedtime at 5.30 am, Alarm at 5.35 am, 5.45 am and 6 am.
I used to use external devices like Jawbone and some external mobile apps. Jawbone was great and I loved it (but it bored me after a while); these additional apps were ok, but nothing special. I can’t even remember their names now.
The last thing – but also extremely important one – is the morning routine. My routine is very simple and yet very powerful. It looks like this:
- Wake up as early as possible (at Bedtime’s wake-up time)
- Turn off the wake-up sound (not by clicking ‘Snoozing’ button, but by clicking ‘Stop’ button)
- Get up from the bed immediately (so important!)
- Go to the toilet and do everything you need to do there, plus rinse your face with water
- Go to the kitchen and make some tea (I prefer to have my first coffee around 8-9 am)
- Go and start working. A quick look at the emails – not replying, just taking a look and checking if something important has happened during the night. After looking at the emails – jump directly into the work. In my case, it is the most often the creative work, like writing.