“Did you know in the morning they’ve got food, TV, almost everything? It’s pretty good.”
–Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock
Don't you just love the idea of being a morning person? Waking up early, having some time to yourself, watching the sunrise from your kitchen window while contentedly holding a mug with both hands and wearing an oversized cardigan… That last part sounds a bit like the end of an antidepressant commercial, but you get the picture.
Whether you’re trying to start an early-morning workout habit or just looking for some extra quiet time, getting up early can kickstart your productivity and give you more quality hours in a day. It can be a challenge to get started, so here are a few tips to make the transition.
Do your prep work the night before – Pack your lunch, pick out your clothes (workout warriors: sleep in your gym gear), set the auto-start on your coffee machine, whatever you need to do. Take care of the logistics before you hit the hay so your time is your own in those early morning hours.
Go to bed early – This one probably seems obvious, but it can be surprisingly difficult to put yourself to bed by 10 p.m. when you’re used to watching Scandal until 1 in the morning. Turn out the lights, close your computer, and put away your phone, which will be easy when you follow this next tip—
Cut the cord with your phone (or just plug it in across the room) – It’s a timeless trick. Dragging yourself out from under the covers to shut off that alarm helps tell your body (and your groggy brain) that your day starts now. The same trick works with an actual alarm clock, of course. Now, behold your new mantra: The snooze button is a black hole of productivity. Still falling under its spell in the mornings? Put a post-it note on the button or phone screen before bed: You won’t be any less tired in nine minutes. You can do it.
Eat something – Everyone from Sesame Street to your mom agrees breakfast reigns supreme as the most important meal of the day. Even if you’ve never been big on breakfast, having a piece of whole-grain toast or a cup of yogurt can make the difference between a productive and energetic day and a “will anyone notice if I nap under my desk for 15 minutes” day.
Keep it consistent – Find a routine and stick with it. Workout, shower, breakfast, basket weaving, leave for work—whatever works best for you. The sooner you form a routine, the easier it is to make your mornings habitual—and, thus, you can become an actual “morning person."