Have you always secretly wished you could be a morning person, but love bed too much to make the leap? Whether you need a little extra push to be more productive in the a.m., or want to know what it’s like to get up with the sun, here are some simple ways to create the habit.
Have a reason to wake up early
Setting an alarm won’t work unless you have some motivation to leave your pillow. Everyone knows the sweet relief of the snooze button, so decide on something that makes you happier than those extra minutes of sleep!
Maybe you know that if you want to have time to exercise, you should get it in before work. Or if you live somewhere with an eastern view, you can make it a goal to watch the sunrise.
No one denies that it’s still a challenge to turn off the snooze, but nine times out of ten, you’ll be happy once you’re out and about while the morning is fresh. And the more you do this, the more you’ll remember the satisfaction of early rising, which will help you out on those days when bed seems so much more enticing.
Make a prayer routine to set the tone of the day
Instead of checking social media or email first thing to see what you missed last night, think about beginning your day with prayer or even silence. It’s a serene way to wake up, and if you begin your day seeking peace, you’re more likely to recognize it and carry it with you as you move through your workday.
If you’re not sure about how to pray, reading Scripture can be a good starting point to begin listening to God. Even just sitting in solitude for five or ten minutes can do wonders to form your mindset for the day.
Wake up your brain with a book
Pick up a book! Reading before bed can be a good relaxer, but reading when you wake up can also be a gentle way to awaken your mind. Pick up from where you left off the night before, or read from a spiritual text. Reading a chapter or two just might be the perfect transition from sleeping to waking, and will get your mind up and running again. Plus, you might find it easier to get out of bed if you are headed for a cozy armchair!
Write a list
Sometimes, when thinking about the tasks of the day, it can be difficult to know where to start. This can be the hardest part of any kind of work. So, make a list! It doesn’t matter what order things are in — just get it all down on paper and then prioritize. (TIP: do the hardest things first.)
Writing things down can help to relieve stress, and seeing everything in one spot will make the day less overwhelming and allow you to focus on one item at a time. This will help you to get an earlier start, because you’ll spend less time procrastinating and wondering where to begin.
Make coffee or tea to accompany your work
Sitting down to the computer, or wherever your job might be, is so much better with a hot morning beverage next to you. It’s the little comforts, right? Having a coffee or tea could make you feel more prepared to get down to business, not to mention the real practicality of a caffeine kickstart. Make a small pleasure like this your motivator, and look forward to being productive, because you’ll enjoy the coffee that comes with it!
Listen to classical music
Listening to music is an absolutely effortless way to wake up. Turn it on, and let it do its thing! Calm, ambient music can transition the sleepy mind to a more alert state (or maybe a less-subtle rock genre is more your speed).
Classical music might be a good middle ground, with its mix of instrumentation and bright melodies. Turn it on when you get out of bed, or as you begin your work for the day, or leave it on as a backdrop for the entire morning. It will help to create and maintain focus, and can make any activity seem pleasant. Find the right music, and you could start your day with a sense of purpose, without rush or anxiety.
They say it takes six weeks to form a habit, so it might take some repetition to see what works. Pay attention, and you’ll start to notice the effects of intentionally shaping your day. Pretty soon you could be the morning person whose example others are trying to adopt for themselves, and you may even want to apply similar strategies to other budding self-improvements.