6 Ways To Make The Most Of Waking Up Early

Getting a head start on your day can feel so amazing, especially when you make the most of waking up early. In many professions, it’s often difficult to determine how late you’ll be in the office on a given day or when you’ll be asked to put in extra weekend hours. However, a lot of times those weekday mornings are completely yours to use however you’d like. Ideally, your boss isn't emailing you yet, and your group text with your friends isn't constantly binging, and the morning is all for you.

Personally, I always like to think of the early mornings as the ultimate “me time.” Remember: Your most important relationship is with yourself. It's the one major, constant relationship throughout your life, so be kind to yourself. By waking up early and focusing on the things that are both important and good for you, you might find yourself feeling completely accomplished and positive.

As a total bonus, you want to know a little something about some of the world’s most successful people? They wake up early, according to Forbes. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz gets up at 4:30 a.m., as does Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, is up by 5:30 a.m. and Richard Branson, investor and founder and Virgin Group, is up and moving by 5:45 a.m. each day. Not only will be feel proud for rising early, you also might be making headway to success.

Here are six ways that might help you make the very most of waking up early.

1. Use The Night Before To Prep

I recently got into the habit of making my to-do lists for the next day the night before. I can positively say it’s improved my likelihood to get things accomplished 10-fold. By using this method, I immediately am aware of what I’m getting into the instant my eyes open. By doing this, you can have a set plan and can hit the ground running, either figuratively or literally. Without the planned laid out, you might find yourself, as I once did, waking up and loitering around, eating toast and staring into space for a while before getting anything started. I don’t go as far as to put things like “shower” or “brush teeth” on my list, but I do detail out the other things I’ll do to make the most of my morning. This includes listing, “gym” and “get caught up on the news.”

2. Do Something That Makes You Feel Good

Do you love playing music? Try beginning your early morning with a song. Are you someone who loves to laugh? Start the day with a funny YouTube video to instantly boost your mood. Do you love having your nails painted? Pick out a new color and go to town. A quick and simple trick I’ve tried to make myself feel instantly awesome in the morning is writing a short list of things I’m thankful for that day. I jot down about five things, take a moment to realize how lucky I am, and then move on to my to-do list. The whole process keeps me both happy and organized.

3. Use The Time To Hit The Gym

Many people become notorious for saying they don’t have time to go to the gym because of work, family, or other social obligations that clog their calendars. However, this bit of extra time in the morning can offer a perfect opportunity to get active. Also, according to Huffington Post, there are tried and true benefits of working out in the morning, including better long-term workout results, improved productivity throughout the day, and a boost in metabolism.

4. Read The Newspaper Over A Cup Of Coffee

This may be the teeniest bit biased coming from someone who’s done journalism for much of her career, but it is so important to know what’s going on in the world. This means taking even a few minutes to look outside of the bubble we may be living in at our jobs. It’s very simple to get caught up in our own personal and professional lives, and completely block out everything else.

However, by taking even a few minutes to breeze through some articles each day, we’re easily allowing ourselves to escape our bubble momentarily to see what’s happening around us. In addition to being in the know, you’re brain will also be thanking you, as reading — no matter if it’s a complex study or novel, or a simple and digestible novel, has positive effects on the brain.

5. Spend Time On Your Passion Project

This could be anything at all that you’ve been really, really wanting to do, but never seem to have time to finish (or maybe even start). For example, have you always thought about writing a screenplay, but can never seem to find the time to type up your thoughts? Are you passionate about organizing a non-profit for an illness that hits home, or starting your own clothing line as a side business? Use these early morning hours to put these wheels into motion. What’s more, you might find you’ve now become excited to wake up early each morning, because you get to spend time with a cool, exciting project right away.

6. Turn Off Your Phone And Log Off Social Media

For an embarrassingly long time, I’d be known to use my early mornings in the least productive way possible — staring at my cell phone. I’d find myself hopping out of bed and either looking through social media or sending texts or emails. Ultimately, it proved to be a complete and total waste of the morning, because by the time I’d look up from my phone, it was time to get ready for work. To get the most out of those extra morning hours, try keeping that cell phone powered off. If you’re using your computer to get some work done as part of your early-morning routine, log off your social media accounts. As we all are aware at this point, social media can be a time suck, and can be extremely distracting.

According to behavior science expert James Clear, by putting our cell phones away, we eliminate the likelihood of slipping into “half-work,” where you’re dividing your attention with meaningless tasks.

Now, hopefully you feel you have the motivation and direction for waking up early during the week. After a while, not only might it become an awesome habit, think of just how many things you might be able to accomplish.

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