20 Aug How to Wake Up Early and Be a Productive Power Woman
The early morning hours are one of the best times to tackle the most important tasks. Rising early allows you to accomplish great things before most of the world has even woken up.
Many of the successful women of our time wake up very early because they know that the earlier they wake up (within reason) the more productive they are with their day.
This “mind over mattress” thinking has been around for a long time and there are numerous successful women who are early risers:
- Michelle Gas, CEO of Kohl’s department stores, gets up at 4:30 am to go running.
- Caroline Burckle, U.S. Olympic bronze medalist, rises at 5:30 am to workout.
- Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi rises at 4:00 am and is in the office by 7:00 am.
- Melody McCloskey, founder and CEO of StyleSeat, trained herself to get up at 5:45 a.m.
Are you striving to wake up early and be productive like these power women? If so, this guide can help you take advantage of those early morning hours and enjoy greater productivity.
But first, let’s dig into the science.
The Science of Waking Up Early
You may be wondering do early risers really live happier, more productive lives? Here’s what the researchers of popular studies on waking up early have to say about it.
Night Owls are More Prone to Negative Thought Patterns
In 2014, the Department of Psychology at Binghamton University completed a study that included 100 undergraduate students. Their study found that both people who get less sleep, and those who delay sleep, are prone to Repetitive Negative Thinking (RNT).
RNT is a transdiagnostic disorder that can be observed in other disorders such as depression and anxiety. It’s correlated with high levels of worry and negative thought patterns.
Early Risers Increase Their Chance of Success
In 2010, Harvard Business Review released a study by biologist Christoph Randler about early risers.
367 university students participated in his survey, and 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 statements that indicate proactivity, such as ‘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 824 undergraduate students who were enrolled in psychology classes at the university. They were asked questions about their sleep habits and daytime functioning.
The study found that students who preferred the morning had higher GPAs, and those who preferred the evening had lower GPAs.
Both of these studies had the same conclusion: Early risers have a higher chance of success.
How To Get A Good Nights Sleep
Okay, the science is there and successful people are doing it… so how do you get started? How do you wake up early and be productive?
It all starts with sleep.
Getting up earlier won’t benefit you if you’re suffering from sleep deprivation. You need 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night. You may need to go to sleep earlier at night in order to get the rest you need.
Here are a few tips to help you get a good night’s sleep
Tip #1: Go to Bed Earlier
One of the easiest ways to get out of bed in the morning is to go to bed earlier at night.
The late evening hours might feel like a good time to be productive, but the truth is:
- You have a limited threshold for productivity.
- Your progress is going to stall.
- Your work is probably going to get sloppy.
Instead, do your most productive work during the daytime hours and leave the evening for rest and time with family and friends.
Some people are more prone to staying up late and sleeping in late, but this sleep pattern can be modified.
Try going to bed one hour earlier and getting up one hour earlier to start.
Tip #2: Turn off the Screens
We live in a world full of screens – smartphones, tablets, computers, and televisions. We’re surrounded by screens.
While these tools can be extremely helpful for business, they can also affect your sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation says that technology/screens can affect our sleep in three very big ways:
- They suppress melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep/wake cycle.
- They 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.
- Your alerts can wake you up at night. If you keep your mobile phone next to your bed, the sounds of emails, texts, and notifications can disturb your sleep.
To prevent technology from disturbing your precious sleep, turn it off or put it away a few hours before you go to bed. This will help your mind unwind and get you ready for sleep.
While many people use their phone for an alarm clock, this creates a huge temptation to check social media or try to fit in a few more minutes of work late at night. Do yourself a favor and go buy an alarm clock. Charge your cell phone in another room and get rid of the nighttime distractions.
Tip #3: Create a Sleep Routine
Creating a sleep routine is what pediatricians recommend to parents that desperately want their babies and toddlers to go to bed at night.
However, this idea is not limited to children. A sleep routine is an outstanding way for anyone to get the sleep they need.
If possible, pick the same time to go to bed and to rise every day. Your body will adjust to this schedule and you may find that, eventually, you won’t even need an alarm clock to wake up.
The National Sleep Foundation suggests:
- Finding a relaxing routine activity away from bright lights
- Trying to avoid activities that can cause excitement or stress
If you need something to occupy your thoughts before bed, try reading a book instead of watching a movie. Reading is known for reducing stress and helping you get a good night’s sleep. According to a study conducted by Cognitive Neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, reading can reduce stress by 68%.
Other things you can include in your nighttime routine are:
- A warm, non-caffeinated drink
- Meditation or prayer
- A warm bath
- Breathing routines
- Using an app like “Calm”, which helps you wind down each night
Remember: Going to bed earlier likely won’t cut down on your productivity, because most of us aren’t particularly productive in the late evening hours as we relax after the day’s work is done.
How to Boost Your Early Morning Productivity
Now that you’ve mastered sleep it’s time to wake up early and be productive. Here are a few tips to help you rise and shine:
Tip #1: Grab a good coffee machine.
This is perhaps the most effective way to wake up early – especially when the coffee is good. Invest in a great coffee machine so you can get up and create a luxury cup of coffee. If you’re not a coffee drinker, the point here is to look forward to a warm and refreshing beverage to start your day.
Tip #2: Eat some fruit.
Many people are unsure about which foods to eat in the morning. If you’re looking to get an early start on your day, eating fruit can be one of the better ways to start your metabolism.
Fruit has very fast-digesting sugars and complex carbohydrates to provide great sources of energy.
Tip #3: Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day.
One of the biggest difficulties you may face with getting up earlier is that you may try to wake up at the crack of dawn on the first day, feel exhausted, and then give up quickly.
Instead of that self-defeating process, try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier each day or so until you reach the time at which you’d like to get up. This will help your body to become accustomed to your new sleep/wake times without such a shock.
When you do this incrementally, your body might not even notice the change. If 15 minutes is too large a change for you, try 10 or even 5 minutes earlier each day.
Tip #5: Turn off the alarm.
Once your body becomes accustomed to your new time for waking up, you can turn off the alarm. This will help to teach your body (especially if you don’t have morning appointments) to wake up at the same time without the annoying, loud sound of an alarm.
Tip #6: Splash Your Face with Cold Water.
If you’re extra groggy in the AM, you can always try splashing cold water in your face. This cold water will help energize you and snap you into awake mode.
Tip #7: Set morning goals.
Once you’re up early, it’s time for you to start getting some extra work done. For your best results, create a to-do list each evening. That way you already have your tasks set out for you each morning when you wake up, so you can get started right away.
It’s called Fix Your Crown and it’s a weekly guided journal to featuring 52-weeks of POWERFUL affirmations and self-reflection prompts! This journal takes you on a journey to overcome your limiting beliefs so you can transform into your best self.
Learning to wake up early and be productive is one aspect of our lives that we can all work on, but it can be difficult to get started. Take your time to work on a new schedule and allow yourself to feel comfortable with an early start. Chances are, your body will love it.