Want to be a more productive business owner? Try waking up earlier. Sure, it might sound like an obvious solution. But waking up earlier is sometimes easier said than done.
But there are some lesser known benefits to waking up early and getting the day started out on the right foot. And there are plenty of methods you can try to make early rising work for your business. Here’s some more information about how you can become an early riser and why you might want to consider it.
How to Become an Early Riser
Don’t Take It Too Seriously
NextDesk Director Dan Lee is an early riser. In an email interview with Small Business Trends, Lee says, “First recognize that getting up early or rising late isn’t who you are. It’s what you do. Changing who you are can be a lifetime project. It’s a lot easier to change what you do.”
Try an App
If your problem with waking up early is simply getting over that groggy feeling when your alarm goes off, then you might be able to benefit from an app like Sleep Cycle. Sleep Cycle works by monitoring your movement throughout the night so it can wake you up when you’re in your lightest sleep phase, which might be slightly earlier than the actual time you set. But the idea is that you’ll get up at a time when you might actually feel rested instead of exhausted.
Sleep When You’re Tired
Lee says, “A lot of people subscribe to the idea that if you want to start getting up early you should always turn in early. Not necessarily. If you can’t fall asleep within five minutes or so it’s probably too early. My personal belief is that you should turn in when you’re tired. i.e. If you are reading and can’t stay awake, it’s time for bed.”
Empty Your Mind Before Bed
Lee says, “I write down my plan for the following day’s activities before I retire. You’ll find that your subconscious will go to work homogenizing all of your activities while you sleep. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go!”
Keep a Consistent Routine
Lee also says that having a morning routine is paramount for his ability to wake up early every day. Find something that works for you and keep it consistent.
And Why You Should
The most obvious reason why waking up early can help your productivity is that you simply have more time to work with. If you get up at 5 a.m. and get to work by 6 a.m., you’ll have more time to work with than you would if you got to work by 9 a.m.
A recent report by the Wall Street Journal claims that 4 a.m. might be the most productive hour of the day. And the reason is that there are fewer distractions at that hour. So starting your day then allows you to find focus before you’re being pulled in every direction by kids, team members, phone calls or anything else.
Time management expert Laura Vanderkam told Entrepreneur that willpower is like a muscle that can get weaker over time. So if you wake up early, you’re going to have a stronger will to get specific things done. But if you put things off until later in the day, you might fall victim to all of the other obligations that might come up throughout the course of the day.
Ability to Focus on Health
Getting up early also allows you to do things like eat a healthy breakfast and exercise before heading to the office. And those healthy habits can make you more focused and productive at work.
As an early riser, Lee takes advantage of a lot of these benefits. But he says that being an early riser doesn’t mean you have to subscribe to someone else’s idea of “early.”
Lee explained, “It’s different for everyone! For me, it’s 3:30 am. This gives me time to read, go to the gym, and get in some quality “mutual appreciation time” with my dog – all before arriving at the office at 7:15 am!”
Waking up early clearly has its benefits. But it might not be for everyone. There have been successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg who have built their businesses as night owls rather than early risers.
But if you are looking to take advantage of early morning productivity opportunities, here are some tips for making the leap.
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