EXPOSE | Morning People Are Better. So There.
“..as it turns out, morning people do have a little bit of an edge over night people.” – Michael Hyatt
EXPLORE | Your Best Day Starts Early
For those non-morning people, that picture is called a sunrise. It’s what happens at the start of each day. Surely you remember hearing about it in grade school.
Actually, there are a number of reasons that should convince you to seriously consider becoming ‘one of us’, or at least give it another try: the impact it will have at work, it lessens stress, you’ll be more reliable, more alert, and could lose weight. Sounds almost magical, doesn’t it?
Though I love being a morning person, there was a time when I didn’t have any choice. Working the morning show in radio requires, well, that you’re there in the morning–early in the morning. Every. Single. Day.
But now that I have the choice, it has become the best time of my day. You might be saying, “Scott, it’ll never happen… Even if I wanted to.” Then I would ask that you to do two things: give some thought to this post, but at least consider getting up just a little earlier to “taste and see” the benefit it can be. You may not become a ‘5 o’clocker’, but every bit of time you can give your mornings will yield dividends.
Here are a few of the reasons I would use if you argued with me about becoming a morning person:
Feed yourself first. This puts you in the best position to help others. You get what you need, and you’ll be able to provide what others will require of you. Reserve the best, most productive time of the day for yourself.
Routine is good. Get your morning plan or routine together because as Michael Hyatt say, “a morning ritual can be something that really sets us up for a productive day if we really think through it intentionally.”
Take control of your day. Lose control of your mornings, lose control of your day. A good, productive day starts the night before by dealing with any sleep issues.
Use it before you lose it. Take the energy of those first few hours in the morning, with no interruptions, to surge forward on things that matters most. When you hit the office, your time and energy becomes someone else’s.
EXECUTE | Creating Your Morning Routine
In his This is Your Life podcast (season 6, episode 9), Michael Hyatt offers 9 “easy steps” for becoming a morning person. This is based on an article he wrote on establishing routines, which is what he is suggesting as an approach to mornings. Intentionally create a morning routine to pave your way to becoming a morning person:
Change your story. “I Hear this all the time. “I’m not a morning person. I’m not a morning person… I know. It’s as if it were some immutable fact. What if it could be changed? What if all you had to do was change your narrative and start saying to yourself, “I’m a morning person”? It may feel phony. It may feel awkward at first. But at the very least, just stop saying to yourself, “I’m not a morning person.”
Determine what’s at stake. “What if you don’t change? What if you don’t become a morning person? What’s at stake? Maybe nothing, but maybe it is that book that never gets written. Maybe it’s that job you could’ve gotten if you had been willing to get up earlier and become a morning person. Maybe it was that time with your kids that you could have really invested in.”
Plan your sleep. “We spend one third of our lives asleep… Wouldn’t it make sense that we would plan for better sleep instead of just kind of letting it overtake us when we get tired or going to bed at one time one night and another time another night? Here’s one thing I know for sure. If you go to bed late, you will sleep late, right? If you want to get up early, you have to go to bed early. It’s that simple.”
Use an alarm. At least until the habit is formed.
Turn on all the lights. “What you want to do is simulate full daylight. What this does is really communicate with your nervous system that it’s daytime. It’s time to get up. Our bodies respond to light when they get it.”
Set your clothes out the night before.
Drink a cup of coffee. “So coffee in moderation and a cup of coffee can really help you wake up in the morning. It can help jumpstart your pursuit of being a morning person.”
Enlist an accountability partner. “…in this situation, maybe there’s somebody else who’s trying to become a morning person or somebody who already is a morning person who can hold you accountable. If you’re willing to be humble enough to submit yourself to that accountability, it will rapidly allow you to change. I think the greatest change happens when you do it with accountability.”
Commit to six weeks. “I used to say 21 days… but there has been a lot of research on habits, and all of the research I’ve read says you can’t really change a habit in 21 days. It really takes more like six weeks. There are some other conditions as well. Don’t wake up one morning and go, “I’d rather die,” and not give it a chance.”
You need to become a morning person. Don’t sleep through this tremendous opportunity! Wake up when you need to and leverage this most important part of the day. This is about “self-care” and getting into the right position to use your day most effectively, to have the greatest impact, and to plan for wisdom in all things.
Michael Hyatt’s “This is Your Life podcast” transcript