One of the very best ways to become more productive is to wake up early and give yourself a head start on your day. The time you wake up is a habit, and like all habits, it can be difficult to change. Here is how I made the shift from 6:30 AM to 5:00 AM to 4:45 AM.
- Get Up. No Matter What: No matter what time you fall asleep, no matter how bad you feel, get out of bed when your alarm goes off. Don’t hit the snooze button, and don’t hesitate. You have decided to get up at 5:00 AM, so honor your commitment.
- Drink Ice Water: Before you do anything else, drink a glass of ice water. It will help you feel better, even if you are tired. One of the primary reasons people walk around tired is because they are dehydrated, and if you have been without water for seven or eight hours, you are dehydrated.
- Sleep 7 Hours: Do not get up early as a way to sleep less. In fact, you may want to sleep a bit more. To wake at five, you want to be asleep by 10:00 PM. Turn off all your screens and hour or so before you go to sleep. Maybe spend the last hour reading.
- Dark, Cool Room: You will sleep better in a very dark, cold room. Block out as much light as possible, and keep the room a little cooler than you’re used to. You will sleep better and feel better when you rise.
- Give It Three Days: The first day, you will be tired. The second day, you will even more tired. The third day, you will be asleep by 9:30 PM. Any lack of sleep will catch up with you, and soon sleep will be unavoidable. But you have to tough it out for a few days.
- Stay Clean on the Weekend: If you are going to sleep in on the weekend, give yourself an additional hour. If you go to bed at 11:00 PM, sleep until 6:00 AM. But don’t stay up until 2:00 AM and sleep until 11:00 AM. It’s much hard to recapture the habit when you make major shifts.
- Late Home from Travel: If you get home on a late flight, get as close as you can to 7 hours sleep, no matter what time you wake up. You are going to be tired later from travel and arriving home late, so get back on your regular schedule the next night.
- Changing Time Zones: If you have to change time zones, I like Natural Stacks (not a sponsor) Magtech. It’s a magnesium supplement, and it has proven very effective in eliminating the groggy feeling you have when you wake up in the morning. You might still have jet lag, but it helps with the adjustment crossing time zones.
There are dozens of advantages to waking early, but that is content for another post.