I quickly cast a glance at the time on my laptop while I am starting to type these first few lines while sipping on a steaming cup of tea. It is 4.55 am. Dead silence in the house as everyone is still sleeping. The “World Belongs to Early Risers” is the name of a photographic art piece by Barbara Visser (2002) that I came across a few years ago. It was not so much the art piece that I got attracted to but rather its name which resonated well with me.
Since I started my blog, many of my friends have been shaking their heads and wondering how I manage to do it all: keeping a blog going, being a mother of three children, a wife, assisting my husband in his consultancy business as well as running another business with my brother, running a house… the list carries on. It is all about time, time and more time…
“Time is precious and irreversible”
“Managing and optimising your time is the highest return on investment that you can earn”
Early Morning Routine
Growing up, my dad drummed in my head that, “time is like money, do not waste it”. To this day, I am grateful to him for having taught me this. Waking up early in the morning enables me to juggle my busy schedule and make time for myself. A normal day of the week will look like this:
- Wake up at 4.45am
- First cup of tea at 5am
- Between 5-6 am will be spent either catching up on quality reading, jotting down ideas for new chapters of my blog or thinking/strategizing on business decisions which requires a clear mind. I made a golden rule not to look at phones, social media or any news during that time
- Between 6-6.30am is breakfast time but around 6.30am the household starts waking up and often I have a chat with the family who by that time come down for their breakfast before getting ready for school/work.
- 7 am onwards the house is quiet again as the children have gone to school and I carry on with what I have been doing and finish off at around 8.30am
- From 9am I am either at my desk working or out at meetings (depending what is on for the day).
Benefits of Extra Time
There are many reasons why I am an advocate of waking up early.
- Increase productivity and creativity
The house is peaceful and quiet in the morning and I find that my best business inspirations, choice of important decisions and creative ideas that I had were born in the early hours of the morning between 5 -7am. My mind is still crystal clear and not yet polluted by noise and distractions and it enables me to see things in a calm and rational way. Often the most obvious solutions pop up then!
- Better state of mind
Because I have an early head start, I feel less stressed and more in control of my day ahead. I am not rushing around and trying to fix things at the last minute which always results in unwanted stress.
- Time for reflection
My favourite time of the day is with my first cup of tea reflecting, reading a chapter of my favourite book or simply watching the sunrise before my day starts. Ideal time as well for meditation.
- Time for exercise
I also often use this time as well to exercise especially when I know that my day ahead is going to be a very busy one and I will have no time slot for a workout. It releases endorphins and gives you that energy boost required to tackle the day ahead.
How to become an early riser
Rome was not built in a day, and understandably if you have never been the early riser type, it would be ambitious to expect that you will become an early riser one day to the next. Like any good thing for it to be sustainable long term, you need to start slowly and build it up.
Here are some tips that can be used as a guideline:
- Setting your wakeup call
Although I am not a big fan of setting up alarms to wake up in the morning, I guess that in the beginning to break a habit, you will need to start somewhere:
On the first day, set up your wakeup call 15-20 minutes earlier than you would normally wake up and start from there. The aim is to gradually ease into the habit of getting up earlier and earlier every day until you reach your personal ideal time.
- Quality sleep
To wake up early, you obviously need to have a good night sleep. Waking up early with not enough quality sleep the day before defeats the purpose of the exercise.
- When behaviour becomes automatic
It is a fact that the brain likes habits, and that for a new behaviour to become automatic, it needs repetition for at least 21 days, depending on the type of behaviour. So why not give this a try for 21 consecutive days? Nothing to lose! You will not need the alarm clock anymore after 21 days.
You need to find yourself a good self-motivator to get you up and running.
Mine is the enticing vision of my first cup of tea in the calm and peace of early mornings. Find yours and visualize this every night before going to sleep to motivate you to wake up early the next morning.
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.” – Paulo Coelho
“Life is too short,” she panicked, “I want more.” He nodded slowly, “Wake up earlier.” – Dr. Sun Wolf
Wishing you all good health and see you for another chapter of health2bfree!