10 Tips to Get Up Early | Simple Life Strategy

| May 14, 2012 | 24 Comments

Bondi Beach Sunrise

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – Ben Franklin

What do most successful people have in common?

Among other things, they have a tendency to get up early and there’s a whole host of reasons why they do this. Speaking from experience, I have recently moved into the ‘early riser’ camp and discovered the benefits for myself. I thought I’d share them here, along with some tried and tested tips to help you turn your early morning ritual into a success!

  • Maximise productivity. Our minds are fresh in the morning so we can take advantage of this time to get things done! Whether it’s chores, writing, goal planning or keeping up with friends & relatives, research has shown that those early morning hours can often power productivity.
  • There’s no rush. When you’re up and at ‘em early you have time to organize yourself for the day. Gone are those chaotic mornings when you’re rushing out the door with wet hair and no make up on.
  • Enhance your mood. I have noticed that there is a direct correlation between my mood and the time I get up. When I over-sleep these are the days I usually end up being in a bad mood or feeling a bit grumpy. When I’m up early however, I usually have a good, productive day.
  • Reduce anxiety & stress. When we don’t leave enough time to get ready for our day we put ourselves under unnecessary stress as we try to beat the clock. This can result in us becoming flustered & anxious. By getting up early we have the choice to arrive at work in a calm & centered state, which sets the day up nicely.
  • You get some quiet time. There’s a palpable ‘quietness’ during those early hours. And for me this means it’s much easier to ‘focus’ on what I want to achieve that day
  • Beat the rush hour. One of the secrets to success is to do the opposite of what everyone else does! You can literally create more time each day by scheduling your commute outside of rush hour.
  • Clear your mind. Sometimes when we over-sleep, it can be counter productive. Instead of giving us more energy; it can leave us feeling groggy and lacking in focus. I find when I get between 6 – 8 hours sleep (no more or less) I have a clear mind. Any amount of sleep over that and I feel groggy and tired.
  • Enjoy a breakfast of champions. Early risers have time to organize the most important meal of the day: breakfast! There’s nothing worse than leaving the house on an empty stomach. Plus if we rush our first meal of the day we can end up having digestion issues that will negatively affect our productivity & mental state.
  • You have time to exercise. There’s nothing better than starting the day with an exercise routine. I love to practice yoga each morning and I find a huge difference in energy levels when I wake up early enough to fit this in. The other great thing about exercising in the morning instead of the evening is that regardless of what challenges pop up during the day – you’ve already done it! Often when I would schedule in exercise later in the day other things would crop up and get in the way making it harder to commit.
  • Catch the sunrise. There’s something inspiring & uplifting about catching an early morning sunrise. By exposing ourselves to natural beauty we are unknowingly activating feel-good hormones that are great for general well being & health.
  • Achieve alot. There’s nothing better than starting your day with the feeling that you’ve already achieved a lot before you even leave the house. It’s a great way to create a positive mindset that will result in the rest of your day going smoothly.

In my opinion, you can’t deny that the benefits of getting up early vastly outweigh the negatives! Read on if you’re keen to understand how hundreds of other successful people have learned to turn ‘getting up early’ into a daily habit.

And in case you’re wondering I wrote this post at 6am this morning <insert smug looking face here>.

Simple Life Strategy: 10 Tips To Get Up Early

I’ve tried all of the techniques below. For me #1, #3, #7 & #9 were the ones that got me over the line. I’d recommend trying out as many different techniques as you can to identify what works for you. And remember – don’t get disheartened if it doesn’t happen overnight – it can take time & effort to change your sleep routine. If you’re serious about getting up early then I can work with you to identify your personal blockages – you can contact me here.

  1. Establish a ‘reason’ for getting up early. If we don’t really know why we want to get up early, chances are we won’t bother. I find what works for me is to spend a few minutes before I go to bed getting really clear about what tasks/activities I will do in the morning.
  2. Go to bed earlier. Unfortunately there isn’t a magic wand that allows you to go to bed late and still wake up early. If you want to get up earlier than usual it makes sense to make up those hours of sleep by getting an early night. Experiment by going to bed at different times to find out what works for you.
  3. Notice how many hours of sleep you need. Everyone is different and it’s important to understand roughly how many hours of sleep you need to perform each day. I find between 7 – 8 hours really works for me. This means I need to be in bed by 10 – 11pm if I want to get up at 6am. I found that I achieved success by focusing on the ‘number of sleep hours’ I required and working backwards to identify what time I needed to go to bed, rather than just trying to get up at a certain time.
  4. Find out what stops you from getting up? Interestingly, I found that if I keep my eyes shut when the first alarm goes off, I easily drift off back to sleep, but if I open my eyes immediately then it’s much easier for me to get up. Notice what ‘physical actions’ trigger you to go back to sleep and then ‘interrupt’ this pattern.
  5. Move your alarm clock to the other side of your bedroom. This is a great tip and I used this as a teenager! If we have to physically get out of bed to turn off our alarm clock, the action of getting up will often make it difficult for us to go back to sleep.
  6. Play your favourite music. There’s nothing worse than waking up to music or a sound that you dislike! Program your alarm clock to play your favourite song to entice you out from those covers.
  7. DON’T hit snooze. EVER. This was my biggest downfall. I would set my alarm clock way earlier than I ‘wanted’ to get up and would repeatedly hit snooze until I literally HAD to get up to avoid being late. The irony of this habit is that you’re only getting ‘broken sleep’ and scientifically it’s been proven that there’s no benefit. In-fact ‘broken sleep’ can have a negative affect on your day as you have interrupted your sleep levels so much so that you confuse your circadian rhythms throwing your body out of whack.
  8. Avoid caffeine/stimulants. Caffeine affects our bodies up to 10 – 12 hours after consumption. This means you should try and avoid drinking any caffeinated drinks after lunch time.
  9. Think positive thoughts before bed. One of the reasons people fail to get up early is that they find it difficult to go to sleep. This can often be because they are up worrying all night. Make it a habit to think of 3 positive thoughts each night right before you go to sleep. This is not hippy-stuff – It has been scientifically proven that positive thoughts change your brainwaves to induce sleep quicker (we actually cannot sleep if we are in a state of stress or anxiety). I usually try and think of 3 things from my day that I’m grateful for.
  10. Reward yourself! Give yourself a treat for getting up early. Whether it’s your favourite breakfast or an afternoon treat – a reward can provide additional motivation!

If you know someone who is struggling to get up early, share this post with them!

If you find it really difficult to get up early in the morning, I can work with you to put together an action plan that will turn you into an early riser! Contact me to arrange a free 20minute consultation over the phone.

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24 comments on “10 Tips to Get Up Early | Simple Life Strategy

  1. Great tips Zo. Having a toddler means I’m up early no matter what but as least now I can see the benefits in doing so and (hopefully) change my attitude! ;-)

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  2. I’m naturally an early riser. The only time you’d catch me in bed after 5:30 is when I genuinely don’t feel well. I think most people would get a little earlier if they’d just take the TV out of the bedroom. It’s a distraction for sleeping and a distraction for getting your butt out of the bed. Personally, I like having the TV in the kitchen or in the eating area because I can sip my coffee in the morning and catch the news. At night, without the caffeine, I can catch the news so the next day isn’t quite so surprising.

    • Great point Glynis! Having the TV in the bedroom can be a terrible distraction – and a huge time waster. Thanks for sharing.
      Zoë B

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  3. Hi Zoë Great tips I’m sure a lot of people will find the helpful.

    I had some very hard time to get up early, I decided to change that and since I’ve become an early riser my life change and I stated to be more active and my being more effective and spend my time more wisely.

    One extra tip I can share with you guys is to try to change your old alarm clock to a natural light alarm clock.
    These advenced alarm clocks use gentle light to wake you up?
    waking up to annoying sound of ringing alarm clock can be traumatic sometimes:) if you change to natural alarm clock you’ll be amazed how peaceful and energetic your morning will be.
    Hope that helps

    • Hi Heavy Sleeper,

      Thanks for your comment. I haven’t tried a natural light alarm clock but it sounds like a really interesting concept. I agree that loud buzzing or ringing noises are not conducive to a happy morning!
      Happy sleeping,
      Zoë B

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  4. I find that no matter if I do all of these or not I still will not wake up! I am going back to school in a week so i’m trying to get used to waking up earlier, just so, you know, im not late or anything like that. But i currently set 5 alarms in the morning (set at different times.) and like nothing works at all! The only thing that EVER works with really waking me up, is if my mom yells at me, then i IMMEADIATLY wake up, because her voice is really loud. But I can’t have her waking me up every single day. When it’s weekends or whatever, I can sleep the latest till 4PM!!!! It’s just ridiculous.

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  8. QUOTE. . . I know I’m in the minority on this one, but I stgrnoly believe babies cry When They need to have. Even Though It May Be a huge inconvenience, if your child needs you by HIM I think That You Should Give to Him. You can try getting a sling so he can nap while you still move around. While it Requires to sacrifice When They are little (that’s the Meaning of parent I think LOL!) it is very good for your future relationship. It builds on bonds, Rather than communicating to your child who needs you for some reason, That You are unavailable and will not need to answer When He has. I know there are a lot of people who believe this is teaching a Child to be selfish, but, HAVING done it Both Ways myself, I very stgrnoly disagree. Children learn to exercise Their Will During what we call the terrible 2 s (and 3 s as anyone with a 3 year old will tell you). Before That, When They Cry, They have to need. Their actions are natural responses to Their Needs. I Completely agree! The Most Even staunch advocates cry-it-out (eg Ferber) recommend waiting until a baby is at least one year old. You can not spoil a baby with love and comfort!

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