Waking up early can be easier said than done. Have you heard of people who get up at 5 am, 4 am, or even at 3 am? Some of us haven’t even gone to bed yet at that time. So when one goes to sleep, another wakes up at the same moment. Yet, if we look at many successful people, we can notice a trend of early risers. Why is that? And how do they manage to do so? Should we all get up early?
We are all biologically different and this can also be seen in the natural clock of our bodies. Some of us find it easier to stay up late, but have a difficult time waking up early. While the early risers have a habit of getting up before the sun. Most of us are somewhere in between these two poles.
‘True self-analysis is the greatest art of progress’
– Paramahansa Yogananda
What is interesting though, is that our energy levels varies throughout the day. We can look at our energy levels as if it is a curve. When we start our day, our energy level goes up until it reaches its peak. After that we experience a dip in our energy making us feel a bit tired. Usually this is around midday when people in Latin cultures might have a sweet siesta. After this drop in energy, it climbs up again and we start to get more creative.
This flow in energy is different per person and it would benefit you if you’d keep track of it. If you know when your energy is going to reach its peak, you can use this to do your most productive work of the day. If you know when you are going to experience the energy dip, you can do administrative work for example, or have that nice siesta. And after this dip, you can actually start doing more creative work.
I prefer to stay up late. But for me ‘late’ refers to 01:00 or 02:00 am. For some of the hard-core night owls, this might seem like a joke. However, when I started to track my energy and figured I wanted to be more productive during the day, I started to wake up earlier. I now wake up at 05:30 am. I have noticed that my energy reaches its peak around 11:00 – 12:00 am and drops down to its lowest point at around 02:00-03:00 pm.
‘It is great to be introspective, self-analysis can be useful, but only if it results in action’
– Joe Sacco
It is amazing what we can do when we actually plan out our day. For some it might be better to have a to-do list, while for others having a clearly mapped out schedule is more efficient. If you analyse your daily energy, you can plan accordingly to it. If you start working at 09:00 am and you have to wake up at 07:00 am to get ready and travel to work, you might want to get up at 06:00 am in order for you to have that first hour all to yourself.
Now I love to wake up early in the morning, because it allows me to have an hour for myself. By waking up early I create time each day to practice gratitude, stretch my body, fuel my mind by reading, meditate, and drink some nice hot tea.
After my personal hour, I plan to do the work that requires most effort in the morning. During 02:00 pm I will take a powernap or do some administrative work that requires less energy. And when my energy starts to rise again, I will do creative work. At night I’ll end the day by doing something fun and relaxing, and by planning my next day.
‘An addiction to distraction is the end of your creative production. Empire-makers and history-creators take one hour for themselves before dawn, in the serenity that lies beyond the clutches of complexity, to prepare themselves for a world-class day’
– Robin Sharma
In the past I used to grab my phone as soon as I opened my eyes. I used to check if people had messaged me, scroll through social media, and read the news. Little did I know, I was programming my mind to be distracted and responsive to others. You see, what you do when waking up can actually program your mind for that day. If distracting ourselves with our phone actually programmes our mind to be distracted, this can hinder your work. What would happen if you would meditate for example? This would increase your ability to focus throughout the day.
I want to end this text by sharing that I do not think we should all be early risers. I think it has more to do with how we manage our energy levels, and plan our day. Most importantly, it has everything to do with what your objective is that day. If you want to rest, you could stay in bed longer right? So I would recommend to analyse your energy levels and plan accordingly in order for your days to be more efficient.
‘Managing the first and last hour of your day is the priority so you can take control of your life’
– Jim Kwik
Next week I will discuss habits and how we can change our current habits and implement new ones into our lives. Habits like waking up earlier. If you would like to share your thoughts on this, please feel free to do so. I would love to learn from your insights! If you have questions regarding this subject, feel free to ask them!