I spent a considerable amount of time finding the perfect formula to wake up early. I tried many methods and in the process, developed some of my own. There are several excellent tips on the internet. Initially, when I sought out to wake up early, I would kind of get overwhelmed with all of the hacks out there. That is why I’ve stuck to chalking out just four habits.
When you wake up early, you get a head start on your day. As a result, you get extra time to shower, to dress and to prepare yourself a healthy breakfast.
Most importantly, you get some time to yourself. You can connect and reconnect with your short-term and long-term goals. You can use this opportunity to remind yourself why you’re in a particular job or course. This time of acknowledgment helps prepare your mind to attain maximum productivity.
These habits themselves have a few mini-habits within them; the effort is entirely worth it! Trust me 🙂
Find Your Why
Why do you wish to wake up early? What do you plan on achieving with that extra time you get? Think on paper. Write down your WHY on paper so you can remind yourself in the future that all this effort is well worth it.
Set something thought-provoking for your purpose like this:
“I don’t want to delay on getting the results I want by sleeping more. I want to wake up and grab that life I want ASAP.”
Define what will happen if you don’t wake up. Maybe you’ll miss out on that session of reading or practicing your craft. You are delaying your dreams, remind yourself that.
This happens to be the oldest yet the best trick in the book. You can’t expect to wake up early while continuing to hit the sack well past midnight.
Limit your usage of smartphones before you get to bed. Install this app called twilight which alters the colors of your screen. Consequently, the amount of blue light your eyes are incident to reduces. As a result, the presence of a hormone called melatonin increases which helps you get to sleep faster. In addition, don’t watch any TV after 3 hours preceding your designated sleep time.
Create a wind-down routine. Do the same set of tasks every day before you crash. My routine consists of doing my bed, cleaning my room, taking a bath and reading a fiction book on my kindle for a while. The routine helps program your mind to shut down at around the same time every day.
Sleep for multiples of 1.5
It takes 90 minutes or 1.5 hours to complete one sleep cycle. So, when you wake up before or after a multiple of 1.5, you feel tired. It takes approximately 14 minutes for the average person to fall asleep. Set your alarms accordingly.
- Use a nonconventional alarm app
I got nothing against the stock alarm apps. It’s just that they haven’t worked for me in the past. Alarmy is my favorite application. It’s got these unique disabling options such as shaking the phone a certain number of times or snapping an image of a pre-programmed picture.
Here’s how I set my alarm:
- I set a picture of the faucet in my bathroom as the pre-programmed image.
- All along the way from my bed to the bathroom, I stick Post-it notes bearing my purpose statement. I even place one on the mirror above the faucet. That’s like 5-6 posts from my bed to the tap. To some extent, I’m already aware of why I shouldn’t go back to bed now.
- Upon clicking an image of the faucet, and the alarm finally stops eating my brain.
- I quickly wash my face and do something, anything other than contemplating how an extra 5 minutes would feel.
That thought of “I’ll get an extra 5” is an oxymoron. 5 minutes is the complete opposite of “extra” right at the break of dawn. You’ll only wake up an hour later, feeling groggy and hating yourself to have trusted yourself.
Do a couple of push-ups or start designing your to-do list for the day. Do anything but go back to bed.
Habits run your life. Learn how you can run your habits.
Learn how I broke an addiction.