How to Wake Up Early and Actually Like It

Growing up I wasn’t really a morning person, but last year I decided to wake up at 6am because I wanted to work on my side hustle before my day job, in addition to already working on it after my day job. I realized I was able to maximize my time,  be more productive and I actually really liked it.

My day job hours differ everyday and on the later days, I go to the gym in the morning, that way I get to my weights without having to wait for them, my workouts go a lot quicker because it’s not as busy in the morning as it is in the evening and I get it done and over with.

If you’re thinking about waking up early to be more productive, here are 9 tips on how to wake up early and actually like it. 

  1. What’s your WHY for waking up early 

The reason I didn’t wake up early was because I didn’t have a reason to, there was no point and that’s why I wasn’t a morning person. 

But when I started to work on my side hustle I wanted to be more productive with my time because I want to turn my side hustle into a full time job, I also wanted to go to the gym in the morning, it’s less busy and I get it done and over with. 

My why’s for waking up early convinced me to wake up at 6am, I am now a lot more productive, I get more work done and I am going to the gym more consistently.

  1. Have something you enjoy in the morning, almost like a reward

This could be your morning coffee, a good breakfast, a good book. Save something you enjoy for the morning, this will make mornings a lot more pleasing. When I wake up, I can’t wait to have my coffee, and this gets me out of bed excited for the day.

  1. Go on your phone for 10 minutes max 

I see a lot of people recommend buying an alarm and placing it across the room, that way, when you turn it off you are already out of bed. This does work for some people, but it doesn’t work for me. 

I’ve tried this before and it did not work at all. When I tried that strategy, I found when I got out of bed to turn off my alarm, I went right back to bed because I was still so tired, my brain was not awake or ready to leave my bed.

Instead, when I wake up, I scroll on my phone for about 10 minutes, this allows my brain to wake up and get out of bed. You can either scroll on Instagram, play a little game or let a youtube video play in the background, this will give you brain time to wake up and get you out of bed. 

  1. Wake up early means sleeping early 

This is obvious, but if you want to wake up early, you have got to sleep early, if you want to actually enjoy waking up early and be productive. If you are sleeping late at 2am and waking up at 6am, it doesn’t matter what the past tips I or anyone else gives you, you will hate waking up early, you need your 7-8 hours of sleep to be productive, unless you’re a lucky bum and can function on less than 7 hours of sleep everyday, then have at it, but most of us need 7-8 hours of sleep.

Find out how many hours of sleep you need, usually 7-8 hours and subtract that from the time you want to wake up. I like waking up at 6am and require 7 hours of sleep, as a result I sleep at 11 pm and wake up at 6am, to get my full 7 hours. 

  1. Take baby steps

During university, whenever I had 8am classes I skipped them all the time, unless I had a test. I lost 10% participation marks all the time. I was never a morning person and was the type to stay up until 2 am and wake up at 10am.

However, when I decided to wake up early, I took baby steps. I slept 30 minutes earlier and woke up 30 minutes earlier, when I got used to that time, I continued to sleep 30 minutes earlier and woke up 30 minutes earlier. I did this until I found my sweet spot which was, sleep from 11pm to 6am. This took 6 months to perfect, but it’s worth it and I love waking up early now.

  1. Rack in the benefits 

You’ve probably heard this before, but one of the benefits of waking up early is that no one else is awake, you’re more productive and it’s true. No one is texting you, sending you memes, family members or roommates aren’t coming in your room to eat or talk. It’s literally me myself and I and it’s really nice. 

  1. It takes sacrifices 

The reason I slept so late before was because I would go out all the time, when you and your friends don’t have kids,  your schedule is a lot more flexible, we’re able to go get drinks on a weeknight vs. the weekend. 

However, if you choose to sleep early and wake up early, your social life will be affected. I was okay with letting go a bit of my social life because I needed to save money. AS a result, sleeping early saved me money and time to focus on building my side hustle, so that was a sacrifice I was willing to make.

  1. Plan your day the night before 

Planning your day really helps you to be productive. I use google calendar to plan out my day and I live by it. 

This helps me keep my sleep schedule on track and plan out my day. I put in my google calendar when I need to get ready for bed and when I should wake up. Then I will plan out my day accordingly, when I work, when I work on my side hustle, when I’m hanging out with friends, family or my boyfriend. Everything. 

This way I’m not wasting time thinking about what to do, I already know and take action.

Before work routine
After work routine
  1. Keep it consistent. 

Waking up early is no joke, it takes commitment and effort. But, if you maintain a consistent sleep schedule, you will find it a lot easier waking up early, since your body is consistently getting the needed 7-8 hours of sleep. Now, you don’t have to keep a strict routine 7 days a week, but have a good routine for at least 5 days a week.

I tend to stay up a little later on the weekends and wake up a little later, but because I am consistent from Monday to Friday at sleeping from 11pm to 6am, going back to that routine after the weekend isn’t too hard. 

However, If I break my routine for more than a week, it’s a struggle to get back to my normal sleep routine. For example, when my work decided to take a week break for the holidays, I took a one week break from my side hustle too. I went on a 1 week break and slept at 5am and woke up at 12pm everyday, it was crazy. I caught up with friends, I watched movies and life took over. When I went back to work, it was brutal, I had to drink two coffee’s everyday and even two coffee’s didn’t even help the first week, it took 2 weeks to get back to my usual sleep schedule. Now I am so happy my schedule is back to normal.

Takeaway:

At the end of the day, if you find you’re a morning person, you’ll find it’s worth waking up early

Once I decided to wake up at 6am, I turned into a morning person, I find that it’s so worth waking up early and love it. 

However, there are some people who are just night owls and that works for them. My boyfriend is an extreme night owl, he’s up until 6am and sleeps until 2-3 pm, I also want to note he’s also a student and doesn’t work a usual 9-5. But, he finds he is more productive during the night than the day and that’s fine.

That’s why I say if you find that you love waking up early you will find it totally worth it and enjoy waking up early. And if you’re interested in waking up early, which is probably why you’re here,  give these tips a try! Maybe you’ll convert to become an early morning person.