For the past few years, I have rarely woken up early unless I was required to do so. This doesn’t mean that I’ve been consistently late to early arrangements, just that I’ve given myself little time to prepare for the day. During my time in college, I would wake up an hour before my earliest class started, giving me just enough time to shower, eat, catch the next bus, and arrive in time for my professor to start lecturing.
Now that I am out of college, I am trying to break that habit. Atomic Object is flexible about when its employees start their day in the office. But this is a slippery slope for someone like me, tempting me to come in at the latest possible time. I’ve made it a goal to wake up at 6 a.m. and begin my workday at 7 a.m.
Benefits of Rising Early
Here are some of the benefits I have noticed since I have become an early riser.
One of the first things I’ve noticed is how much more productive I am able to be in the morning. When I arrive early, there are less people in the office to distract me from my work. I now have an extra hour or two of uninterrupted time to fix a bug, start a feature, or just get myself into the zone. I also feel more productive between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. than I do between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Getting home earlier
Getting to the office early in the morning allows me to leave the office early in the afternoon. When I arrived around 9 a.m. every morning, I worried that taking a long lunch might result in staying late at the office. Now that I’m getting to work at 7 a.m., I can take a long lunch and still leave before 5 p.m. This also makes my afternoon schedule much more flexible.
Taking the Plunge
Becoming a morning person is not an easy task. There isn’t much you can do beyond disciplining yourself to get out of bed when your alarm goes off. However, there are a few tricks that have made it easier for me.
Only use one alarm
When I first started trying to wake up early, I made the mistake of setting two alarms for myself. This may seem like a good idea, but it ends up being counterproductive, since you will start to rely on the second alarm. For this reason, I believe it is best to ditch the second alarm and wake up right when your alarm goes off.
Forget about the snooze button
Never hit the snooze button. If you start hitting the snooze button, five minutes could quickly spiral into 30 minutes, thus defeating your goal of being an early riser. Plus, you’re probably not getting beneficial sleep if you’re constantly waking up to shut off your alarm.
Get out of your bedroom
When you get up and out of the bedroom, you are removing the temptation to go back to your bed and doze off. Make sure to do something once you are out to get your mind active. Make some coffee, read an article online, go for a walk. Anything to distract you from your sleepiness. When I wake up, I head to the bathroom so I can shower and start the day.
If you’ve been considering waking up earlier, I highly recommend giving it a shot. The sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the benefits of being an early riser.