Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Well, it depends on if you are a night owl or a morning bird. It doesn’t really matter which one you are and what time you wake up for work. What matters is how you wake up and how you feel when you wake up.
I am personally a morning person. For as long as I can remember I have been waking up early. As a child, I would go to bed at 8 pm (except for summer nights) by myself without anyone telling me and on many occasions, if we were out at friends’ house I would find a quiet corner to sleep until my parents were ready to go home. Of course, sleeping at 8 pm, allowed me to wake up earlier. Nowadays I hit the bed around 10:00 pm and wake up around 4:00 to 5:00 am. (See my previous article about understanding the concept of the 5 am club)
Here are three things I have built into my routine over the past 10 years in order to jump-start my day.
A) Exercise or Warm up. I decide on running or warm-up depending on my workload and also how my body feels. If I have injured or hurt myself in any recent activity, if it is raining, or if I have early morning meetings then a warm-up is what I choose to do. Basically stretching, my arms, and legs, 30 push-ups, 50-70 abdominal pull-ups. This is enough to get my heart rate up enough, it is good body maintenance and wakes me up fully. If I go running, then even better. I combine it with listening to my favourite music, I burn off the excess of the week and I burn off the negative energy that might have accumulated the day before or during the week. Workout in the morning does not tire you, it actually gives you more energy. It is like warming up the engine of a car and preparing it for optimal performance.
B) Listening to music. Once again I like different types of music. If I go for a run, I tend to listen to rock, the 70s, 80s, and music that is generally happy and pushes me to run up the hill and get through those last steps where I would sometimes struggle. The music also helps my mood and stops the negative thoughts. Music is known to help athletic performance.
C) Reading. This is almost unnegotiable. A habit from my university years where I would wake up at 4:00 or 5:00 am to study, I have now turned into reading books. In fact, the desire to read is so high that I must admit there are days, I skip running or reduce the exercise time to get more reading done. On average it is 1 hour of reading, If I wake up at 4:00 then I can get 2 to 3 hours of reading, and worst case scenario 15 to 30 minutes. Reading is learning. This part is jump-starting your brain, but not only that reading nourishes my soul, it empowers me for I feel I have already learnt something and the day has not even started.
There are many more things you can do to jump start your day but you will find that most successful people use a combination of the above to jump start their day. Understanding why and how each activity can improve your mood and energy for the day will help you choose what’s right for you on that day.
As for that alarm clock and snooze button, I don’t use an alarm clock. My clock is my body. When I wake up is when I have had enough sleep. I only check the time to make sure it is not 1:00 or 2:00 am. If it is 4:00 or 5:00, I don’t hesitate, I don’t think, I just get out of bed. Once you make it a habit it is easy. The days I think about it, I lose the battle and my brain comes up with a myriad of excuses for staying in bed. Don’t give your brain the chance to find an excuse. Just get out, build yourself a routine and you will soon find that the rest is the past.
Change is hard, but you have already changed many things in your life and you know you can do it. I have done it and to begin with, it is hard. I sometimes lose the habit, and it takes me a little effort to get back into it but I know that it is only a habit just like the other habit.
If you are a startup founder, entrepreneur or solopreneur, you cannot afford not to adopt these routines. Jump starting your day, keeping your body healthy and your mind sharp and clean is a must to be able to keep going. Book a session with me and I will happy to help you build a routine that fits in with your life and work schedule.