How to Get Up Early and Be More Productive

Apple CEO Tim Cook is known for sending company emails at 4:30 in the morning. Lexy Flunk, chief executive of Brooklyn Industries, is usually up by 4 a.m. And Virgin American CEO David Cush wakes up at 4:15 to send emails, read the paper and work out at the gym. They are just a few of the legions of CEOs and small-business owners who start their days early, seeking an advantage over competitors who sleep in.

If you’re not a “morning person” and still need convincing, time-management expert Laura Vanderkam offers several compelling reasons to tap into those early — and often most productive — hours of the day.

1. You have fewer distractions. Getting up early gives you an opportunity to focus on the day’s to-do list before the inevitable interruptions begin.

2. You have more willpower. People generally have the most willpower in the early hours. As the day goes by and you grapple with pressing issues and difficult people, your resolve can be depleted. “Willpower is like a muscle [that] becomes fatigued with overuse,” Vanderkam tells Entrepreneur.

3. You can start the day on a positive note. Completing a few tasks early — as opposed to oversleeping and then rushing around to get everything done — helps set an upbeat tone for the whole day.

How to Be a Better “Morning Person”

If being an early riser doesn’t come easily, here are some tips to help you get up and going.

Before Bedtime

Say no to caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine affects people differently, but it’s widely known that its intake disrupts sleep patterns and can linger in the body for as long as 10 to 12 hours after consumption. For people who are sensitive to caffeine, it’s a good idea to stop drinking coffee after lunch or at least six hours before going to bed. Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep. Recent research indicates that while a nightcap might make you drowsy at first, it may also cause you to wake up during the night and leave you feeling sleep-deprived the next day.

Think positive thoughts. Getting to sleep is difficult when you feel anxious or stressed-out. Try thinking three positive thoughts (or think about three things you are grateful for) right before going to sleep. This puts you in a more relaxed frame of mind.

Go to sleep earlier. The amount of sleep needed differs from person to person. If your goal is to become an early riser but you still need a full eight hours of rest, call it a night earlier.

In the Morning

The Snooze button is not your friend. What’s wrong with hitting the Snooze button for a few more minutes of precious sleep? The fact is, an extra 10- or 15-minute snooze time produces no beneficial REM sleep and often leaves you feeling groggier than when you woke to the first alarm. It’s also habit-forming, which makes it easy to keep hitting that button again and again.

Put the alarm clock out of easy reach. There’s a huge difference between turning your alarm clock off while you’re lying in bed and having to get up to silence it because it’s ringing across the room. Once you’re up, you’re less likely to go back to sleep.

Wake up to daylight. It feels good to wake up to the sun. Leave your drapes or blinds partially open to let in the morning rays. If that’s not practical, set a timer on a lamp to illuminate your room at the desired hour.

Drink water. When we first wake up, we’re at our most dehydrated. Drinking an eight ounce glass of water gets your body systems moving and ready for the day ahead.

Start doing stuff! An active early-morning routine builds momentum for the rest of your workday. To get your blood flowing, do some stretching or jumping exercises. Walk to the local coffeehouse. Feed your dog or cat early, after which your furry friend will remind you every day when it’s time to be fed.

About Lee Polevoi

Lee Polevoi is an award-winning freelance copywriter and editor and a former Senior Writer for Vistage International, a global membership organization of chief executive officers. He writes frequently on issues and challenges faced by U.S. small businesses.
This entry was posted in Trends and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.
27 comments
NouR AbuAwad
NouR AbuAwad

Many thanks to this amazing article . I like to sleep early and wake up early and I think this makes people more productive and activity.

Saule
Saule

Thanks for sharing!

madtteam28
madtteam28

It's a nice and interesting post. Good one.

Lisa Neilsen-Jaskey
Lisa Neilsen-Jaskey

Proud to be a genetic night owl! Night owls originated with the first humans on earth. Someone had to stay awake all night to keep the home fires burning to keep wild animals away from killing the tribe. That's me - keeping evil at bay in the middle of the night!

James Lawless
James Lawless

Well I'm a bit of both as I've been on hold to customer support.

Linda Peterson
Linda Peterson

Up with the chickens for me. Dang noisy rooster "Prince Charmless".

Evelyne Penin
Evelyne Penin

Both especially when you are block at 14K entries

John Robert Pharr
John Robert Pharr

I stay late at the office so I won't have to shut the whole company down to work in stupid single user mode

Frederick Owen
Frederick Owen

This post just woke me up:) I love putting the alarm clock on the other side of the room. Thanks Lee!

Robert Jones
Robert Jones

Man I have never been a morning person! I love this article! I have always complained and done little things to be better but never really found anythign to work. I think I'll actually try these things!! Thanks so much for this article, going to share then save right now!!! 

Diagramified
Diagramified

When I launched a side business 4 months ago (on top of my full time business), I would find it nearly impossible to get any real work done after a long day. So I started getting up an hour earlier in order to spend that time on Business B. It's made all the difference in the world. A bit of an adjustment at first, but the satisfaction of having gotten in an entire hour's worth of truly productive work before the "official" start of the workday even begins is so worth it.