The Benefits Of Getting Up Early
Let’s get one thing straight, I’m not a morning person. When I was younger and living with my parents I never had a designated time when I had to go to bed. I can remember being in elementary school and laying with my dad watching Johnny Carson kill it on the Tonight Show. That guy was hilarious.
In college me and my dorm mates were known on our floor for consistently making 2am trips to the closest Steak ‘N Shake. After college I was practically paid to stay up late. I worked as a bouncer, bartender, party promoter and online community evangelist which meant that there were lots of nights that I didn’t sleep at all. Caffeine was my partner in crime and I was the farthest thing from being a morning person. I was a night owl and it was a hard lifestyle to keep up with. Would I ever get up early? Sure I would, but burning the candle at both ends can only last so long and I would eventually crash for sometimes an entire weekend at a time.
At this point I’m a different person, or at least I’m trying my best to be. Even though it’s not something I’m great at I like getting up early now. From a work perspective it makes me more productive and there’s just something about being one of the first people to the office. Getting a head start on the day has never been a bad thing, but it’s not easy to do.
I also like to get up early on weekends, especially now that I’m running more and training for the San Francisco Marathon. There’s really nothing more energizing then getting up and getting an early run in before you start your day.
Seeing the sun starting to come up and getting a workout in before most people are hitting snooze for the first time just makes me feel good. It also takes the pressure off of squeezing in a workout after work which can be a real pain and often ends up in me skipping it altogether. Knocking out my runs in the morning guarantees that they get done and gives me energy for the rest of the day. I walk into work feeling like a boss and I can do whatever I want once I clock out for the day.
Tips For Getting Up Early
Say what you want, but there are some serious benefits to getting up early and I’m just starting to get to a place where I’m taking advantage of them consistently. I’m no expert when it comes to getting up and moving, but here are some tips that might help you get there:
1. Set early calls/meetings: If you set early meetings you’re motivated to get up early. There’s no sleeping in when you’re locked into an 8:30am conference call about this month’s TPS Reports.
2. Don’t hit snooze: The snooze button is your enemy and it’s benefits definitely don’t outweigh it’s costs. If you need some extra motivation to not hit that extra ten minutes of nap time these four tips by Austin Hatfield might do the trick. It also never hurts to move your alarm across the room so you physically have to get out of bed to turn it off. It might sound crazy, but it works.
3. Go to bed early: You want to get up earlier? Go to bed earlier. We all need different amounts of sleep and you know more than anyone how much that is. Shut off your Facebook, Netflix video games or whatever else you’re wasting time on at night and go to bed.
4. Start running: Running (or walking, biking, working out, etc.) is an amazing way to wake up in the morning and it will give you some extra motivation to get yourself moving. There are some pretty sweet benefits to getting your Forrest Gump on in the morning, too.
5. Drinking only makes it harder: The only thing harder than getting up early is getting up early after you’ve been drinking.
Do you have to be a morning person? Of course not. If you feel ok about staying up late and getting up later then more power to ya. I personally feel better when I get up early and I know it’s the best way for me to start the day and that’s why it bothers me when I don’t follow through with doing it. We’re all different and figuring out how you work best is the first step in getting the most out of your day and feeling like you can take on the world with the energy you need.
Thanks to the guys at Fangbot for the photo and more awesome tips on getting up early (and feeling like you can slay a dragon).