The alarm clock goes off and what do the majority of us do? Grab our phone and get the day’s updates in email, news and social media. Whether we realize it or not, we’ve just give over our most valuable time to responding to demands and thoughts of others.
Even if you’re not a very early riser, protecting and prioritizing the first hours of your day can make a major impact on your health, creativity, productivity and eventually, life’s work.
Here are some reasons why your first hours can impact the rest of your day.
1.Your Willpower is at its Highest
Throughout our day we make 100’s of decisions which reduce our willpower. When we wake up in the morning we usually haven’t made any decisions, so our willpower is the highest it will be at any point in the day.
It’s an ideal time to do deep work because you’re less likely to give into distractions. Willpower is a valuable commodity which you don’t want to waste on pointless shit you don’t care about. Treat it accordingly.
2.Your Mind is Less Scattered
By the time most of us get through a day we’ve read emails, clicked links on the internet, and received a half a dozen text messages. Our minds become quite scattered after all that. This kind of excessive consumption limits our creativity and makes it difficult to focus.
But when we wake up in the morning, our minds are calm. We haven’t taken in a firehose of information, which makes it easier to consume less and create more. An added benefit- I’m able to hack flow states more easily.
3.You’re Less Likely to Be Interrupted
There’s a great deal of power to uninterrupted creation time. But as any day progresses the likelihood that your work will be interrupted by meetings, phone calls, or screaming kids goes up significantly. When you’re up at the crack of dawn, you’re far less likely to be interrupted by a thousand things.
4. You Increase The Availability of Time
Time is the most valuable asset at our disposal. While we can’t add more than 24 hours to a day, we can add to the hours we get value from. Let’s say you wake up an hour earlier than you normally would each day. That means you’d get 7 hours a week and 364 hours a year just from waking up an hour earlier.
5. You Start Your Day With a Sense of Accomplishment
Imagine getting to the end of the day and realizing you didn’t do a damn thing that made your life better. It sucks. If you’ve ever spent an entire day swiping on Tinder, messaging people on Facebook, checking email, and wasting time online, you know how shitty you feel at the end of it. Waking up early allows you to start the day with a sense of accomplishment. When I start a day by reading 50 pages and writing 1000 words, that carries into the rest of my day and creates momentum.
Short side note- if you aren’t sure what activities to start your day with, you’ll love this swipe file I’ve put together. You’ll find my best tips on honing your productivity & creativity, and finding the courage to carve your own path, rather than following someone else’s footsteps. Get it here.
You might have just read all that and thought “this is great, but I’m not a morning person.” So let’s talk about how you actually become a morning person. Each of these steps individually will seem really simple. But when you combine them they become very effective.
For more tips and insights, read Srinivas Rao‘s article at The Mission.