Let’s get one thing straight – I’m pretty useless in the morning.
I’ve never particularly enjoyed getting up, and I’ll do everything possible to delay the inevitable by scrolling through social networks with blurry eyes or continually hitting the ‘snooze’ button.
So, where has my new-found love of rising early come from?
I can trace it back to the time I left full-time employment and launched myself into the world of independent working, but it’s taken me a while to realize why getting up early has made me happier and more productive:
It has returned a chunk of the day I was missing
If you rise at 8:30 am and frantically get showered and dressed before heading out to work, you’re missing a great big chunk of the day.
I used to do that when I worked a 9-5 and carried my inability to rise early into the weekend, too.
As a result, my days were shorter than I realized, and I was far more stressed than I needed to be.
You only live once – why waste the time we have on this planet lying in bed?
It has connected my business and home productivity effort
I’ve become a bit of a productivity bore of late, but for good reason; my job demands that I meet deadlines and mix a variety of client work.
If I take my foot off the gas or relinquish my focus for just a second, I get into trouble very quickly.
A key method I’ve discovered to keep on task both in business and in my personal life is to apply the same productivity techniques, regardless of what I’m doing.
And, because I now rise early, I have more time to focus on being productive, no matter the task at hand.
I’m not as bad in the morning as I once thought
This was the biggest surprise once I’d got into the habit of waking up early and starting work as soon as possible: I’m not that bad in the morning, after all. In fact, my brain is remarkably functional.
I’d even go as far to say that I’m more ‘on task’ at 6:30 am than I am at 11:30 am, and that’s great because it means I get a ton of work done before most people have brushed their teeth.
I like that ‘alone time’
I’m a solitary worker these days. And that isn’t a call for the table-side violin – I love working alone.
My early morning routine enables me to grab a significant slice of the day and keep it for myself. As a result, my to-do list dwindles very quickly indeed during those hours.
And finally: I don’t feel guilty about finishing earlier
It’s impossible to feel guilty about finishing early if you started early – simple.
Before I started getting up earlier, I’d always feel a bit naughty if I decided to close the laptop at 4:30 pm.
Now, if I feel the gym calling at 3pm, I’ll go without so much as a second thought, because I know that I achieved my greatest work much earlier during that day.