Waking up early is a trait shared by many of the world's top-performing CEOs. In the early morning, you're free of distractions and able to put meaningful attention into developing yourself personally and professionally. It's time productive people maximize.
There are plenty of articles on crafting the perfect morning routine. That's not what this article is about. This article is about the sacrifices you have to make if you want to start taking your mornings to the next level.
Waking up at 5 a.m, isn't the only way to be productive, but it's sure a good a place to start. To have mornings like those of top performers, you'll need to make similar sacrifices.
1. Forget doing anything past 10 p.m.
The key to a productive morning starts the night before. If you consistently stay up late, watching television, working, or doing a personal project, then waking up at 5 a.m. will be (i) unhealthy and (ii) a pipe dream.
Set an alarm on your phone to get ready for bed around 9:30 p.m. to ensure you're energized for the morning. After a few mornings up at 5 a.m., you'll be craving your bed around this time anyway.
2. Prepare to be sluggish the first couple of mornings.
Shifting to an early morning schedule isn't easy on the body, especially the first few days. Once you've made the decision to start waking up at 5 a.m., be prepared to have a rough couple of days energy-wise. You're reconfiguring your clock, and this takes some time.
3. Say goodbye to hitting the snooze button.
The snooze button is not your friend. Hitting it once at 5 a.m. is a great way to find yourself crawling out of bed several hours later. If you're a slower mover in the morning, then getting up early is going to take some adjusting. I recommend downloading an alarm without a snooze option.
4. Give up alcohol and junk food, especially before bed.
If you're making the change to get up early, it's most likely so you can get more serious about exercise or personal development, or to have uninterrupted time to work on something professionally.
There is no doubt eating healthier and minimizing alcohol intake will help you spring out of bed faster. Eating foods loaded with sugar and drinking alcohol both have been shown to hurt the amount of deep sleep you get throughout the night. As a rule of thumb, don't eat or drink anything (except water) within three hours of going to bed.
There's a lot you can get accomplished when you wake up early. However, you need to be prepared to make several sacrifices to make the most out of your mornings.