January 16, 2014

How To Become A Morning Person

For as long as I can remember, I've been a night owl—go to bed at 3 a.m., wake up at noon. My productive hours have always been late at night, when distractions are limited. But over the past few weeks, I've managed to change that.

Since childhood, dawn has been my favorite time of day—I love seeing the sunrise, and I love the smell of morning air when I go for an early jog. My problem is being awake to experience it—so I decided to train myself to become a morning person.

As I'm writing this, it's 5:30 a.m., two hours before sunrise, and I've been more productive this morning than I ever was in my late-night work schedule.

So how did I do it?

Well, I'll admit my headline is a tad misleading because it implies I know some kind of secret process, and that's not the case. It wasn't easy. I just forced myself to wake up early on a consistent basis, and the rest fell into place. I have a daily alarm set on my iPhone for 4:15 with the label: "Success doesn't happen while you sleep." That's a gentle reminder to my groggy morning self of why I'm doing this.

The first day is terrible. The second day is alright. By the third day, you can start calling this your regular schedule. When you wake up tired and feel like shit all day, you'll realize you need to go to sleep earlier, and you will. As soon as that adjustment has been made, you're good to go.

The key, the way I see it, is to force yourself to get up at the same time every morning—tired or not. If you do anything on a consistent basis for a little while, it becomes a habit.

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