I have been looking into different ways to be more productive for over a year. One of the easiest ways to get more stuff done is to just get up earlier in the day. I know this sounds kinda silly. I always thought this was absurd myself as I am a huge night owl.
I always figured that there are x amount of hours in a day, you have to sleep for x amount, and the rest you have to work. What does it matter what specific hours you use to get your work done?
Let me tell you right now, it absolutely matters. Once I started getting up earlier to get work done, the amount of work that I got done increased.
You’ve heard this before
Getting up early is discussed a lot in the self improvement/productivity community. Usually it’s just tossed out there as something to do because it makes sense. Think about who wake up early in the day, they are usually people who are working hard as hell. Farmers, people with a 9-5, hustlers, they all get up early and go to work. As a result, waking up early naturally inspires images of people getting work done.
It’s not often these posts offer any reasons besides tradition when explaining how getting up early drives you to do more work. Anyone who is on their own path who doesn’t need to get up for any specific reason may start to get up later and later and go to bed early in the morning. I advise against this as it’s extremely difficult to turn it around.
Justification for doing work
Last year I decided to take part in the 30 Days of Discipline from Victor Pride. One of the biggest habits you have to do during the month is to get up at 5 am every day. It isn’t really explained why you should do this in the book. After doing it for a few days, I realized that I wanted to get work done. I made the conclusion that if I was going to sacrifice my sleep time, I was going to do it for a reason. That reason was to do work.
If you aren’t used to getting up early, it will absolutely be a sacrifice. Your mind will subconsciously create a reason to make that sacrifice. That reason will be doing more work.
It’s weird the way this works, but it works.
As someone who has for years gone to sleep at around 4 am every night, I think I can speak with authority on sleep quality. Going to bed early and getting up early led to much higher energy levels and clarity of thought during the day for me.
I can’t say for sure what the cause of this is, but it likely has something to do with circadian rhythms. Your body responds better to going to sleep with the diminishing light and waking up with the light in the morning.
Look, I’ve said many times before, I’m not a scientist, I can only relay what I’ve read and personally experienced.
Having higher energy levels and clarity of thought will lead to better quality posts and more productivity.
Best time to release content
If you aren’t convinced to get up early to be more productive yet, perhaps you will be swayed by the fact that everyone else gets up at this time. By not getting up and releasing content during the 9-5 hours of the day, you potentially deal with major distractions from your audience. These distractions are the commute, television, dinner, gym, etc.
During 9-5, a lot of people are at work bored out of their minds. I know this because I was once at work bored out of my mind looking at websites instead of doing work. This is a reality in the modern cubicle landscape.
Take advantage of this by doing your work every day with everyone else. If you are a blogger looking to be more productive and get the most out of your work, release your content during the same time. Monday-Friday, 9-5am works best. Remember, have the same mentality with your hustle as your 9-5 gig and you will succeed.
How to switch it up
So I’ve convinced you to give waking up early a try. Sensational news! Now here’s the hard part, actually getting up early! If you are like me and stay up into the am and get up around noon the next day, it could be hard to turn it around. Fortunately I have years of experience in attempts to reset my clock. Not only have I tried this, but I witnessed my brother do this many times as well.
The easiest way to reset your clock is to be forced into getting up for some reason, but that doesn’t really apply to us here so I’ll list your options. There’s pros and cons to each of these methods.
- Slow taper
- The quick shock
- Nuclear option
The easiest method is the slow taper. Although it’s the easiest, it’s also the slowest. This is when you get up a little earlier each day until you are where you want to be at. This is easy to do during the day, but extremely difficult to do at night. The reason for this is because you will still be used to going to sleep really late, so once you hit a certain time, you will just stay up. I have no idea why this happens. It just seems that there’s some point in the night that if I stay up past, I start to get energized again. For this strategy to work I suggest taking preventative measures to ensure you are tired as hell, which will make it easier to go to sleep earlier.
The second easiest method is the quick shock. It’s not as easy to do as the slow taper but it’s very fast in it’s effectiveness. What you do for the quick shock is you go to bed when you normally have been going to bed. Then the next day you force yourself out of bed at the time you want to start getting up at. For example, let’s say you go to bed around 4 am but want to start getting up at 8 am. You would force yourself up out of bed on 4 hours of sleep. The hard part here is that you will want to crash at some point during the day. Resist this will all your might. If you crash you will completely negate everything you did because you won’t be able to go to sleep at an early time that night after having a nap during the day.
Finally, we have the nuclear option. Don’t do this unless you have tried the other two methods multiple times and failed. This is the most difficult method to pull off. My brother tried to do this multiple times and failed. I only did it one time and it was sort of by accident and helped by huge blasts of adrenaline. What you do here is you just don’t go to sleep for 24 hours. Instead of going to bed at 4 am, just stay up through the next day. Then, just go to sleep early around 8-9 pm the next night. This sounds attractive in theory. Just stay up, what could go wrong? You will most likely crash and fall asleep in the afternoon if you aren’t a complete savage of willpower or assisted with drugs of some kind. However, if you pull this off it will work. Once you hit that 8-9 pm mark you’ll go out like a light and wake up early the next day.
Get out there and turn your sleeping schedule around. I guarantee if you make the effort and get it done, you will become way more productive.
There’s a direct correlation between controlling your sleep schedule and controlling the will to get work done.
Give it a go.
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