You hate mornings. I get it. I hate them too. I used to be a perpetual oversleeper, alarm-clock hater, and night owl. Now I pop up minutes before my alarm clock chimes at 5 a.m., and I do my most impactful work before I even step into the office. Early morning wake-ups have helped me stay motivated, achieve more success at work, and remain hyper efficient.
Here are some powerful morning rituals I've implemented to help ease the blow of my early morning routine.
1. Don't leave your house too soon after you wake up.
When I was younger, I would try to wake up early and head right into the office. It was brutal. I'd be bleary-eyed by 2 p.m., resulting in prodigious amounts of caffeine intake.
Hopped up on caffeine, falling asleep the following night was a chore, perpetuating my painful morning wake-up call, resulting in a default back into oversleeping.
Now, when I wake up at 5 a.m., I know the only thing I'm required to do is walk downstairs. That's it. I don't work out in the mornings. That's my wives' time to exercise. I work out at night.
Simply rolling down the steps to my dining room table to work has been a blessing. It's an easy next step after waking up.
2. Don't turn on all the lights.
When I get up, I keep the lights dim. It adds to my feeling I'm in a semi-dream state, not fully part of the waking world. I need to sit in the dark, and S-L-O-W-L-Y
If you're not a morning person, don't pop on all the lights and blare music. Ease yourself into this foreign territory.
3. Do one thing. Just one.
When I get up in the mornings, I select one thing and do it. Usually that's writing. This tactic frees my brain from other decision making. If I have something else I need to get done, I select it the night before. This way, I don't have to think about it in the morning. I'm on autopilot.
Try to do just one thing when you get up early. See if you can get that one thing done. If you do, it will build your confidence to take on myriad activities throughout your day.
4. Stay comfortable.
When I get up, I put on a soft, comfy robe. I slide on comfy slippers. It's like I roll downstairs while still in my bed. I don't pop up, shower, shave, and hit the ground running. The opposite works for me.
Staying comfortable helps me feel like I've added a few extra special minutes for myself to my day. I'm still not in work mode, I'm in my "at home" mode. This will help you transition into the day--when you're ready.
5. Lead with meditation.
Sometimes when I get up, my brain is like a runaway freight train. I know I have a finite bit of time to get a few things done. It's a battle, but I start with a 10-15 minute meditation through the Head Space APP.
I've found that I look forward to my morning meditation the night before. It's also a gentle way to begin your day. You're closing your eyes, controlling your breath, and setting the tempo for the rest of your day.
I hope you try at least a few of these practical tips. While I do still hate the morning, I've found great joy in adding these productive hours to my day. I hope you will too.