Some people are morning people. Some people are night owls. Right?
I used to think that this is the way it had to be no matter what. I used to think that if you were born a morning person, then that’s the way it was going to be for the rest of your life, and vice versa.
But the more I thought about it, the more irrational that sounded.
The human body lives by adapting to what it is faced with on a day to day basis, right?
Football players can undergo physical stress that would put a normal person in the hospital. Distance runners can run a 26.2 miles then crack open a beer. Swimmers can breathe underwater for minutes at a time.
All of these feats can be accomplished because these types of people have trained their bodies to accomplish these tasks on a daily basis.
So I got to thinking – Why can’t becoming a morning person work the same way? It’s something you should be able to train your body to do, isn’t it?
The Snooze Button is Killing Your Sleep
I’ve honestly never been a morning person.
I was born in the wee hours of the afternoon and throughout my entire life I’ve despised getting up before 8am. Even when I managed to get up before then, I wasn’t normally aware of the world around me until about two hours later. I was your typical morning zombie.
Why. Well I know now that it’s because I unknowingly trained myself to be that way, just like most people do.
You see – The worst invention ever for people that have trouble waking up in the morning is the snooze button. Why? Because this little gizmo is one of the single largest contributors to why you can’t get out of bed and wake up in the morning.
Think about it.
What are you training your body to do when you hit the snooze button over and over?
Just like a runner trains him or herself to run long distances, you’re perfectly training yourself NOT to wake up when your alarm goes off. You’re training yourself to fall in and out of a very light groggy sleep for sometimes up to an hour. And when you finally do get out of bed, you’re as tired as ever because you’ve been woken up 5-6 times.
Then you have to douse yourself in caffeine to be worth a damn for the rest of the day – but that’s another topic entirely.
Bottom line is – The more you use that snooze button, the more your body knows that when the alarm goes off the first time, it doesn’t have to be up and aware. It can go back to sleep. It can often times not even wake up at all.
Some people say they need this snooze button time to “wake up”, or to “come around.” Wrong.
You only need this time to “wake up” if you’ve trained yourself NOT to wake up. The way you wake up is that eventually your body gets to a point where it can’t sleep anymore because you’ve interrupted it’s sleep cycle multiple times. It just gives up!!
Do You Like to Waste Time?
What makes things worse is that this hour or so that you spend hitting your snooze button, IS COMPLETELY WASTED. You can’t possibly reach the stage of sleep in under 10 minutes that will gain your body any additional recovery. It takes at least 20 minutes to reach Stage 3 of the sleep cycle, where your body reaches a calm relaxed deep sleep.
That means all of this time that is spent “waking up” is actually just completely wasted, and is hindering your productivity.
That’s up to five hours a week that you’re just wasting. What if you actually got some meaningful sleep during that hour? Think how much better you would feel. Or what if you just woke up refreshed? Think how much more you could get done with another five hours each week?! Think how much more you could get done by feeling refreshed and energetic all day.
This one change can literally increase your output by 20%!
Okay so I know you’re still probably saying B.S. Most people do. But I promise you – this works. It worked for me and it will work for you. Follow the steps below and you’ll be ready to take on the world with a vengeance every morning.
Becoming a Morning Person in Four Easy Steps
Step 1 – Desire - You can’t do something without the proper desire. So first you must have the desire to get up in the morning. Do you want to wake up refreshed and energetic? Do you want to maximize your sleep time? I think that’s a no brainer right there. Step 1 complete.
Step 2 – Motivation – I’ll admit. It’s sometimes hard to get up in the morning if you’re not motivated. I don’t know your personal situation, but whatever it is, you have to find the motivation that gets you going every day.
- Do you have to perform well at work to get a raise?
- Do you have a family to take care of?
- Do you have to be somewhere on time every day?
- Do you have an exciting project that you’d like to finish?
- Do you have something / anything that you’d like to do better each day?
- Do you have a workout to get in before heading to work?
Step 3 – Execution
Now that you have your desire and motivation to wake up feeling refreshed every morning, you have to execute your task.
It’s really simple. Do the math. How many times do you normally hit the snooze button? 5 times? 6 times? How long is your snooze? 5 minutes, 10 minutes? Just multiply the values and set your alarm for the time you need to get your ass out of bed.
There’s no easing into this one. I tried that, and it just resulted in me reverting to the same habit.
Go at this cold turkey. Set your alarm for when you need to get out of bed, then when it goes off, GET UP!
POWER TIP: To help with this – put your alarm clock (or cell phone that many people use nowadays) on the other side of the room completely and turn the volume all the way up so you’ll be sure to hear it. This will force you to get out of bed to turn it off.
Now you’ll be up out of bed with no excuse. Stay up.
Step 4 – Sticking to It
DISCLAIMER: I won’t lie. This change will suck to begin with. Your body will take a few days to grow accustomed to the new way you wake up. You’ll be groggy and zombie-like and will want to go back to bed immediately.
This is where will power and forward thinking comes in.
Think of the benefits that this new change will provide to your life. Think of how much better your life will be. Think of how more productive you’ll be at work, how you can get more done, how much better you’ll feel, and so on.
Seeing the long-term benefits of a difficult change really helps you get through it.
All this will take it about a week. Your body will be accustomed to this new change. You’ll start waking up refreshed and ready to take on the world. Eventually you’ll notice that you won’t even need an alarm at all. Your body will just know when to wake up, and it will.
CAUTION: Make sure you stick to this on the weekends as well. Don’t allow your snooze button to creep back into your life. If you use it once, you’ll be tempted to use it again.
Of all of the productivity and time management changes I’ve made in my life this has been one of the most effective in the way I feel every morning, and how much I get done each day.
Managing your time and productivity isn’t just about what you do during each day. It’s also about the steps you take to prepare yourself for each day. More on that to come later.
By making this change, on top of the benefits to your productivity, you’ll also notice a considerable difference to your overall well-being. By sleeping more effectively your body will replenish itself better, and you’ll have more energy to do the things you want to do. The possibilities are amazing with this one small change.
Even if you don’t believe me, just try this out for a couple of weeks. You have nothing to lose.
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