Do you ever feel rushed through your day? As though you’re doing so many things, but never actually accomplishing anything?
I did some studying lately on the brain and how it works. It turns out that our brain is kind of like a muscle. In the morning, after a good night’s sleep, it’s refreshed and ready. Throughout the day, it gets tired as we go along.
How this applies to me is that I need to do my best work FIRST.
Whatever thinking task is most important, most challenging, most creative – that needs to be first in my day.
And so, in my personal life, I’ve started a new routine of getting up super early. (Well, early according to this non-morning person.) But if I am up at 4:30 or 5am, I am actually refreshed and FREE to get great things accomplished.
HERE’S WHY:1. No distractions.
When you are up early, there are virtually no distractions. Nothing pulling at your time. Your family is not awake yet. No one needs to leave for work or school. Your boss isn’t up. No one is texting you.
You have THIS time, just for YOU.
I don’t know about you, but time just for me will not occur again in the day! I am growing to love this time early in the morning. Just me and my coffee.
2. You start your day with a sense of accomplishment.
When you accomplish something great, creative, or difficult first thing in the morning, it affects your emotions about yourself.
Think about it – how great do you feel if by the time the kids are up, you’ve already gotten that difficult essay written, or you’ve already fit in your workout, or whatever the important task is for you?
You’ve already accomplished it.
How we feel about ourselves is important. It colors the day. Accomplishing things and making progress on our important goals gives us the emotional boost we need to do great things that day.
3. It builds discipline.
Oh, that dreaded word. The authors of “Extreme Ownership, “ former Navy Seals Jocko Willing and Leif Babin talk about this idea.
When your alarm goes off first thing in the morning, you don’t want to get up. But when you actually do – and do it continually – you are building discipline in yourself. You are building a willpower in yourself that is more powerful than the desire to sleep in.
You’ve placed your goals as important, and you are proving that you’re strong enough to follow through.
It turns out that discipline is a good thing.
4. It allows us to actively choose what we focus on in a day.
We can only actually focus on a limited number of things in a day. When we get up early and get to work on the thing that WE decide is important, than not-so-surprisingly, it actually gets accomplished.
Chances are, that if we sleep in – our priorities for the day are more so chosen for us. Whether it’s by a busy day with kids or deadlines from a boss.
Getting up early allows YOU to decide what’s most important in your day and actually see it through.
Not convinced? Do an experiment.
For one week straight, get up at 5:ooam. Pick an important reason that you’re getting up, don’t just read the paper! Pick a project or task that is hugely important to you – whether that’s creative writing, web design, working out, or brainstorming – pick something that you want to accomplish.
Be prepared each morning to get your coffee and get to it! Accomplish what you want to each morning for one week.
Then, for one week, set 5:o0pm as your time to get your same prioritized things accomplished. Sit down to write, get that workout in, whatever the case may be.
After 2 weeks, look back at the things you’ve accomplished. How does your work compare? How did you feel each week? Let this inform your routine from then on.
For me, there’s no comparison. I get more accomplished in that hour and a half each morning than I often do for the entire rest of the day.
If we have a limited amount of focus available for the day, let’s use it efficiently and accomplish the things in our lives that WE have decided are important.