Ask any early riser why they choose to get up early and they will say, "Because there is nothing like the quiet of the morning."
If you are someone with a laundry list of goals and "not enough time," then Sunday mornings should become your best friend. There is something about waking up early on a day when the rest of the world tends to sleep in that brings a clarity you will rarely find on a Tuesday afternoon, for example.
The morning, no matter how difficult it is to get out of bed, is a golden window of opportunity. There are no distractions (assuming your phone is away). There is a peacefulness to the day. And you, yourself, are clear-headed. You are not as clouded as you would be in the later hours, and you need to use that to your advantage.
1. While Everyone Else Is Asleep, You Will Move Twice As Fast
This is a story I tell in full in my book, but the nutshell is this: As a teenager, I learned the value of many hours spent in quiet when I would stay up until three in the morning playing video games. From 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. there was no one to distract me--and this secluded time alone is what allowed me to become one of the top gamers in North America.
This same habit is now the foundation of my morning routine. The early hours are always the most productive, primarily because no one else is awake to disrupt you. And when you aren't distracted, you will move so much faster.
2. Nothing Is Open At This Hour
Aside from a few coffee shops, most businesses do not open until the mid to late morning on the weekends. Why this is good for you is because if the grocery store isn't open yet, you can't convince yourself now is the time to go grocery shopping (when really you should be working on that project you "swear" is going to "be game-changing").
Too often, we prioritize the things that could be done later, now, and we do the things that need to be done now, later. In the early morning, this isn't always an option--and that's good for you.
3. You Will Feel More Accomplished Earlier In The Day
There are few feelings as good as having woken up and tackled your hardest work first. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. Everything after that almost feels like "extra credit" because you've already done what needed to get done the most.
If you can start your day in the zone, you will find yourself much more willing to tackle equally challenging tasks throughout the day.
4. Your Morning Will Be Wasted Otherwise
As much as you'd like to lie in bed and say to yourself, "You know, I could really use some relaxation time. I need to chill. I want to just hang out and eat pancakes," the truth is, getting started is the hardest part.
Once you're out of bed and rolling, you will realize you had more than enough energy all along. You just needed to begin. Don't waste this precious time to make serious strides toward your main projects, or even side projects.
5. You Can Get So Much More Done Than You Think
Often times, goals are built up to be so much bigger in our minds than they need to be. We think it'll take weeks, months, even years to do something that, in all honesty, could be done within the next few days, or even hours if you would just sit down and focus.
It's a fallacy to think that big projects take huge amounts of time. They do, and they don't. Because whether you begin right now, or a month from now, either way you will still need to sit down and get to work. So it might as well be today.
6. You Create Differently In The Morning
I performed an experiment with myself for an extended period of time with music.
For 3 months, I would wake up with the sunrise and compose music.
And then for another 3 months, I would stay up extremely late into the night and compose music.
What I learned is that the morning brings out a very different sort of creative thinking than if you stay up late at night. Neither one is "correct," but there is absolutely a different level of clarity that comes with the morning. Try it for yourself. You may find that your best work happens with the sunrise--if you can get yourself out of bed.
7. You Are Reminded Of What It Takes To Achieve Your Goals
Anybody can talk about how badly they want to "do what they love," or leave their cubicle job, or "change the world," but the truth is that no amount of wishful thinking can replace good habits.
Waking up early and tackling what needs to get done is a habit. You don't just "wake up" one day with a finished product. It takes many, many mornings of waking up early, grabbing a cup of coffee, and getting work.
When you do this for a long enough period of time, you truly realize what sort of commitment it takes in order to see your vision through. Rome wasn't built in a day--and your big, amazing project won't get done in one morning. So this isn't about waking up early one Sunday. It's about setting that as the standard and making the commitment to practicing that habit over and over again.
It's about finding your rhythm and getting done what needs to get done, no matter what.