If you find yourself always feeling stressed and overwhelmed, then you may need to change the way you begin your day—which actually happens the night before. The key is to go to bed early (i.e., 10:00 pm at the latest) so you can wake up early (i.e., no later than 6:00 am) without the help of an alarm clock.
You see, nobody enjoys getting shocked awake, and that’s pretty much what an alarm clock does. And even if you use a smart alarm that starts out soft and then gradually increases in volume, you’re still essentially being forced to wake up. This puts you in a mood where you feel like things are out of your control, which can in turn make everything else that happens to you the rest of the day feel more overwhelming and stressful than they actually are.
Waking up on your own accord and starting your day feeling well-rested, happy and in control can help boost your productivity the rest of the day. Here’s how it works:
You get more time to plan
Waking up early gives you time to plan, build momentum and get yourself in the zone, so to speak, for the long day ahead. What do you need to accomplish today? What can wait until tomorrow? What’s the most efficient route through your to-do list? Going in with a clear plan of action allows you to get more important things done without feeling lost, surprised or overwhelmed. You knew what you wanted to do before you went in so most, if not all, your actions throughout the day are deliberate.
In contrast, waking up late, forces you to rush into things without giving yourself enough time to warm up and strategize. You can’t help it. There’s just too many things to do, and it seems like there’s not enough time to get them done. So, you jump blindly from one task to the next, eagerly waiting for the day to end so you can get away from it all.
You start with peak energy levels
There are very few things to spend your energy on early in the morning. And if you’ve had a restful eight hours of sleep, then you should have massive amounts of energy on tap. This means that you’ve got enough to get important tasks done and have plenty more left for all the other things you need and want to do later in the day.
You have fewer distractions to deal with
As the day progresses, more and more things start competing for your attention. Emails, meetings and colleagues who need something, for example, all take away from the limited time, energy and focus that you have. By starting your day early, you can get important matters out of the way before all the distractions come. What you’re left with are minor tasks that can be moved around depending on how busy the day gets.
So, become an early riser
Getting up early shouldn’t feel like a chore. In fact, it’s a great way to feel awesome the rest of the day, allowing you to get more things that matter done. All it takes is making a habit of going to bed early and then naturally waking up early the next day well-rested, in control and, as a result, significantly more productive.
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