The early bird gets the worm right? Well, I believe this is accurate, which is why waking up early is a habit I created years ago and have found to be a keystone to my productivity. But if you are like the average person, it is hard to wake up early. From grogginess to the chills of the morning air as you emerge from the covers, we can find a million reasons to sleep a little longer. However, if you want to get the worm, you got to wake up early. So here are a few tips I use to get out of bed at 5:00 am or earlier in order to conquer the day:
Use The Right Alarm
I used to use the preset sounds on my iPhone as my alarm and although they worked, they never really sprung me out of bed with enthusiasm. Then I started using Psychological Warfare by Jocko Willink and picked a track or two as my alarm. What a difference! If you are not familiar with Jocko, he is a retired Navy Seal and co-wrote the book “Extreme Ownership,” which is a book everyone should read. He is a no-nonsense leader that believes discipline equals freedom (which happens to be the title of his new book). The tracks on Psychological Warfare are spoken by him in his baritone voice and, in essence, call you out for not getting out of bed. When I hear his voice, I know I better get my ass out of bed! Having a Navy Seal call you out for hitting snooze can really light a fire and make it easy to wake up early!
Gamify Getting Up Early
I use this technique in quite a few areas of my life and waking up early is one of them. Think about this: when you make something a game, it becomes more fun to do. So how do you gamify waking up early? Well, I strive to get up between 5-5:15 am everyday. This is my daily goal. My weekly goal is to do this 5 times (I give myself 2 days to naturally wake up). On my office whiteboard, I keep a log of the days I am out of bed by 5:15 or early. Each day I do, I get a point. If I get 5 points in a week, I reward myself. I have found that this is a great way to motivate myself to get up early and make it fun in the process.
Have A Purpose
Now this is not a sleep trick or technique, but it may be the most important thing to understand. When you find your purpose in life, you cannot wait to get out of bed and attack the day. Think about the times you were leaving for a trip or were excited about something happening that day. You probably popped out of bed well before your alarm went off. I would venture to say that your mind was clear and focused and your energy level was high. You knew what your purpose was that day. What if you felt this way everyday when you got up? If you find your life’s purpose, you can. When we know what we are supposed to do and we are doing it, we approach life differently. Sleep becomes something we do to recharge our batteries, not something that we enjoy wasting hours doing. Purpose provides a reason to rise. Purpose wakes up the soul as well as the body.
In the end, getting up early is something easy to do with the right approach and purpose. My life has greatly benefited from waking up early for years. On top of the extra time I get to do more, I feel a sense of accomplishment knowing that I am the early bird getting the worm!