The early bird is a successful bird

The Battle for Productivity [Part 3 of 5] The Early Bird is a Successful Bird

The key to success is to – Wake up early! 

Watching the sunrise each day is beautiful and yes it may be one of the key habits that most successful entrepreneurs do.  

Early mornings are a time when many successful individuals conquer their important or creative tasks while others slumber.

From Aristotle who said, It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.” to Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

And today, there are many successful entrepreneurs who are early risers: 

  • CEO of Kohl’s department stores, Michelle Gas, gets up at 4:30 am to go running.
  • Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder, wakes up at 5:30 am to meditate and go for a six-mile jog. 
  • Serial entrepreneur, Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin group of companies, rises at 5:45 am for an early morning workout and breakfast. 

You may be wondering is it actually true. Do early risers really have happier, more productive, and successful lives? 

What Does the Science Say? 

In 2014, the Department of Psychology at Binghamton University completed a study that included 100 undergraduate students. Their study found that people who get less sleep, and those who delay sleep, are prone to high levels of worry, negative thought patterns, depression, and anxiety. 

Early Risers Increase Their Chance of Success

In 2010, Harvard Business Review released a study about early risers. Christoph Randler surveyed 367 university students. They were asked what times of the day they were most energetic. They were also asked how willing and able they were to take action or change a situation to their advantage. 

Randler reported, “A higher percentage of the morning people agreed with the statements – ‘I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself’ and ‘I feel in charge of making things happen.'”

He went on to say:

“My earlier research showed that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them, my survey showed. They’re proactive. A number of studies have linked this trait, proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.”

A similar study was conducted in 2008 by Kendry Clay at the University of North Texas. The study focused on sleep habits and daytime functioning.

The study found that students with higher GPAs preferred the morning, and those with lower GPAs preferred the evening. 

Both of these studies had the same conclusion: Individuals that rise early have a higher chance of success. 

7 Ways to be an Early Riser

Rising early is not always as easy as it sounds. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to jump out of bed and start your day.

Tip #1: Go to Bed Earlier  

Going to bed early at night is one of the easiest ways to get out of bed in the morning 

Tip #2: Turn off the Screens 

We’re surrounded by screens all of which tend to:

  • suppress melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle.
  • keep your brain active by keeping your mind engaged with television or work, you’re telling your brain that it’s time to stay awake.
  • interrupt your night’s sleep when your mobile phone is next to your bed, the sounds and lights of incoming activity can wake you up.  
    • Let your mind slow down and unwind by turning off or putting away technology, a couple of hours before going to bed. 

Tip #3: Create a Sleep Routine

A sleep routine is an outstanding way for anyone to get the sleep they need.

  • Get on a schedule that you keep as close to as possible, by going to bed and rising each day at the same time.
  • Prior to bed, perform a relaxing routine activity away from bright lights
  • Pre-bed activities are calming and relaxing such as:
    • reading a book
    • nighttime yoga
    • listening to music
    • meditation or prayer
    • a warm bath
    • breathing routines

Tip #4:  Get Exercise During the Day 

Getting a good night’s rest can be as easy as putting in some good exercise during the day. Intense exercise is the most conducive for a good night’s rest, but any level of activity is helpful.

Exercise is known to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as increase the time spent in deep sleep, improve the quality of sleep, and it can help you sleep longer. 

Tip #5: Keep Your Alarm Clock at a Distance 

If waking up and getting out of bed in the morning is difficult, set your alarm clock out of reach. If you can’t keep your hands off the snooze button, this will force you to get up.  

Once you’re up, ensure you don’t crawl back under the covers. 

Tip #6: A Splash of Cold Water 

If you are sleepy and groggy in the morning, try splashing cold water on your face. Cold water will help energize you and snap you into awake mode.

Tip #7: Give Yourself a Reason to Get Up 

Finding a compelling reason to get out of bed in the morning may be your strongest motivator for early rising. 

Choose something that will be effective day after day. Knowing that you can be more productive early in the morning may be enough to get out of your warm blankets. If not, maybe the thought of a tasty breakfast or a hot cup of coffee, or getting that book written, losing those extra 5 pounds.

Try these tips and be an early riser and achieve success!

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