The one unifying characteristic of successful leaders is that they are notoriously early risers. Getting out of bed earlier is not for everyone. It ranks high in the “least favourite things to do” list. But what makes early mornings special?
Running a business can overwhelm entrepreneurs, especially when they find themselves in a routine that won’t even spare them five minutes of ‘me time’ to relax and be. They slowly dread working on the business, and this affects their overall productivity.
You need time for yourself, to make yourself the top priority or you’ll get caught up in someone else’s top priority.
Entrepreneurs need to be the most productive version of themselves while they achieve peak creativity early in the morning.
TOP REASONS ENTREPRENEURS SHOULD START THE DAY EARLY
1. Fewer demands and distraction in early mornings
Less distractions means more focus, and with the brain operating at an all-time high in the mornings, this is good for business. Your top priorities should be the first activities to tackle in the morning. We live in a world where it’s all systems go once you step outside. The day fills up quickly, and before you know it, you’re exhausted, and it’s bedtime.
Instead of looking up social media or responding to emails at 5 am, grab a copy of Alan Jacob’s book – The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction – to kick-start the day.
2. More time to do the things you are passionate about
You also need a work-life balance for the sake of your mental health.
Waking up early to complete your top priorities means you have extra hours to make the most out of it. Nourish your mind with fun activities. Exercising, reading, meditating, working on your passion projects, spending time with family or listening to podcasts will re-energize your brain.
3. Strengthens the willpower muscle
Willpower, like any muscle, gets stronger with every use. Good habits will strengthen your willpower muscle. So if you wake up early to work on your abs, guess which extra muscle is taken care of too? Something as simple as spreading your bed creates a positive impact on willpower.
These small yet consistent good habits build up your self-control and self-discipline, which spill over to the other parts of your life.
While it’s easier to improve self-control is, it diminishes as the day progresses. So does willpower. Take advantage of this and start your day early enough with a willpower boost before it gets depleted by the hustle and bustle.
4. Early mornings set a positive tone for the rest of the day
Think about all those times you woke up at 4.30 am to start your day. How you felt when you crushed that one activity you needed to for the business to move forward.
What of the days you snoozed your alarm only to wake up two hours later? If you don’t take care of your top priorities soon enough, more stress will pile on.
An early riser is a happy person. A happy person feels motivated to get things done earlier and stay ahead of schedule. This makes them proud of themselves, restored and ready to take on the rest of the day. You need positivity as much as you need those extra hours to improve your business and attain success.
HOW TO DEVELOP THE HABIT
A. Keep a time journal.
Carry out an audit of how you manage your time for a week, to determine the loopholes. Most likely, you will find that your nightly routine directly affects your morning routine.
If you spend your downtime watching “too much tv” instead of following a schedule, chances are you might stay up all night. This becomes a hindrance to you getting those extra hours in, in the morning.
B. Set clear goals about the purpose of doing this.
Ascertain how you will spend those extra hours you are creating, for the greater good.
Write down what you wish to achieve with waking up earlier and hang the list where you can see it. If the reason is so important, nothing should stop it in its tracks.
C. Plan your morning.
Once you have determined what to do with extra hours, it’s time to plan on how to execute it. You can do it the night before.
Pick out your gym clothes at night, assemble your breakfast ingredients after dinner etc.
D. Build the habit gradually with an alarm.
The body clock is not as rigid as imagined. Yes, you wake up at 6 am every day without an alarm because you trained your body to get used to it. So readjusting will be difficult for a few days, but your body will eventually be receptive of the new change. Do not switch up drastically.
Set up your alarm 20 minutes earlier than your usual wake time and go to bed 20 minutes earlier that day. Assess how you’ve adjusted to it after two days. Then keep adding 20 minutes and following the same procedure until you get to your target hours. The alarm should be out of reach so that you have to wake up to switch it off physically.
E. Go to bed early.
You need about 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep for the body to function better the following day. An early sleeper is an early riser. If you want to wake up 2 hours earlier, then go to sleep two hours earlier. Adjust your nightly routine accordingly.
Avoid distractions such as your phone, especially when you’re just about to hit the bed. If you’re not using it for your alarm, put it on silent with the display of the screen facing downwards.
F. Meditate, exercise and have a healthy breakfast.
Before you embark on your business for the day, do activities that get your blood flowing. A run, 30 minutes workout session or a meditation session will get you out of your bed and into your body—just the focus you need. Take a shower after and a eat a balanced meal to get you through the day.
G. Motivate yourself to lift your spirits.
Not every day will turn out smoothly; hence you need to continually affirm yourself when it gets tough. You can read a motivational book, write a few words of gratitude, and remind yourself the higher purpose of why you are doing this. Stay positive.
H. Get down to business.
Check your daily list and single out your most important tasks for the day. Start with the hardest and highest priority, as you work your way down. No multitasking. No procrastinating.
Once that’s out of the way, check what’s happening in the world. Respond to those urgent emails, check your latest sales reports, etc.
This method does not apply to all. Take an audit of your time and come up with ways you can make well use of your early mornings. Once you do, make the morning routine a habit! The rewards will show.
Let us know, what does your morning routine look like?