How to Get Up Early and Be Productive
Something I get asked about a lot is how I get up so early. The first disclaimer is that I am a morning person. So, waking up early comes somewhat easier to me. If you aren’t a morning person naturally, you might not be able to get up as early as I do. There is nothing wrong with that. This is what works for me and my current life season!
Can you become a morning person? Sure. I think little by little you can teach your body to start waking up earlier and if that’s something that you want to work towards, I think you should try it! Maybe your wake up time can be 6:30am instead of 5:30am. But, I digress.
One more disclaimer: my husband gets up for work around 5am, so that really helps my process of waking up. I always wake up about halfway when he gets out of bed and instead of letting myself fully fall back asleep, I have decided to just let that be the start process of waking up.
Even though I have disclaimers and qualifiers, I truly believe that I have some tips that will help you be able to get up earlier and be productive.
As I write this blog post, I am in a season of working from home as a full-time Mama and full-time Entrepreneur during nap times and in the morning while he is still sleeping. I am very driven by my work goals and I love to work, so that also helps me want to get up early. My business and productivity depends on the two-ish hours I have in the morning to work before he wakes up and that’s a great incentive to get out of bed.
Tips for Getting Up Early
Find an incentive: you need a good, strong incentive in order to roll out of a comfortable bed when you still to sleep. There needs to be something that you want more than sleep that will get you on your feet and out of bed. For me, that’s a cup of coffee from my Nespresso and some good alone time. I have found that if I have some time in the morning before Knox wakes up, I am in a much better headspace for the rest of the day. It allows me to start the day before the day actually starts, instead of waking up feeling behind. When I wake when Knox wakes up, I am not able to think about the day ahead or make a to-do list, so I feel anxious and like I need to “catch up” for the rest of the day. So, if I am able to start the day before his day starts, I am a much better Mama. And beyond that, if I am able to tackle a big chunk of my to-do list for the day before he even rises, I am less stressed throughout the day. Which makes me a better Mama and business owner. Basically, the prospect of getting work done and having time to myself is enough to get me out of bed. All day long I am either being a Mama or chef or business owner, so the morning is my time of day to just be Rachel. And that’s what makes me rise early.
Figure out what gets you out of bed in the morning and think about it the night before. Get excited to wake up. I promise it makes a difference.
Set an alarm 10 minutes before you actually need to get up: if it’s hard for you to get out of bed, try setting an alarm a little earlier than you actually need to get out of bed. This will give you a few extra minutes to feel the “I don’t want to get out of bed yet” feelings for a little bit, and then it’s time to get up! Knowing you have a few minutes will help that alarm sound be a little less awful.
Make a promise to yourself: if you were working for a boss and had a meeting to get to with one of the company’s clients, would you sleep through your alarm and skip the meeting? I doubt it. So, why do you treat your to-dos and business tasks like that? It’s time to take yourself seriously and treat your morning like you would if you were working for someone. If you make a promise to yourself, don’t break it. Would you do that to a friend? No, you wouldn’t. Be honest with yourself and stop breaking promises or commitments you make to yourself. If you really want to get up early to get work done, make the commitment and don’t break it. It’s quite simple, really.
Treat this time like a mandatory meeting: when that alarms goes off, don’t view waking up to be an option. It’s what you have to do and that’s that. Get your booty out of bed and make that cup of coffee, babe.
Alright, so now we’ve got you out of bed, but now what? I can tell you all the ways to get out of bed, but it’s not worth it unless you make your time meaningful.
Tips for being productive:
Put your phone on “do not disturb”: if you really want to get to work right away, don’t get on your phone. It’s the quickest and easiest way to get distracted and sucked into tasks that aren’t important or don’t matter. How many times have you woken up only to find yourself scrolling for 20 minutes? Too many times to count, right? So, put your phone on do not disturb. This way your phone doesn’t even light up and you aren’t distracted. I actually always have my phone on do not disturb. Game changer!
Have a to-do list ready to go: recently, I have been making a to-do list for the upcoming day before I go to bed. I used to have one big master to-do list. Which is better than nothing! But, I’ve found if I can wake up with 5 action items to get started with each morning, I am more likely to use the morning time productively. Starting my day with prayer and God is vital, so I put that on the to-do list FIRST. It makes me start there and then I can more onto the next items. This list is what helps me just focus on what matters when I first wake up. I don’t need to think about laundry or other items that aren’t on the list. Just focus on the list.
Time Blocking: if you have one hour to work in the morning and have three tasks to accomplish, set a timer for 20 minutes and work on the first item. When that time is up, set a new timer and move onto the next item. I’ve found that when I have a time limit (aka a clock ticking), I am way more focused and can typically get the work done. It makes you do the work and do it quickly. I use time blocking for all work hours and it helps SO MUCH. The days when I don’t do it, I am way less productive and more distracted.
Who’s ready to start getting up at 5:20 am with me? Come on over for coffee!