Here is a nice article titled why productive people get up insanely early. Although we all have creative energy spurts at different parts of the day, various studies have repeatedly proven that it’s the people who get up very early in the morning who spend amazingly productive lives. I am personally a big fan of getting up early in the morning, although my ideal time is not as early as 4 AM (this might also be because my family’s current lifestyle doesn’t allow me to go to bed around 8 PM). I can increase my productivity almost 300-500% simply by starting my work at 7 AM. By the time it is 12 PM, most of my creative work is done.
When you get up early in the morning, you get a head start. Just imagine, people normally start doing work at around 9:30 AM or 10 AM, and by that time, you have already achieved a significant portion of your work. Of course it is an advantage if you work on your own from home – if everybody comes to office at 9:30 AM, you cannot reach there at 7:30 AM and start working. The logic of getting up early in the morning – really early – mostly applies to people who don’t have to align their activities with the others.
The evolutionary reason for getting up at the crack of dawn
Electricity, and consequently, lighting, is a recent development. Before that, it made sense to take advantage of the sunlight as much as possible. Just imagine, you need to work when there is light, and then you waste a few hours of this light sleeping. So people used to get up with the sun and wind up when the sun went down. In the darkness they could just have food, spend time with the family in the candlelit environs of their homes, maybe get drunk, and then go to sleep. By 7:30 PM or 8 PM, it was as seriously a night as these days we experience at 2:30 AM. Consequently, people could get up at the crack of dawn quite easily.
Our lifestyles have changed. It’s difficult for us to get up really early because we cannot go to bed really early. We have ample lighting and if we want, we can go on working throughout the night without even realizing that it is night.
Getting amazingly productive by getting up early in the morning
- You should be a morning person: Let’s accept, some people are simply not morning people, and I have a few people around me. It is not that they are lazy or anything, their bodies have different ways of reacting to getting up. When I have had my sleep of 6-7 hours, I awaken alert. I don’t feel like going back to sleep. I can wake up, get refreshed, have a cup of tea, and start my work within 45 minutes. But if you can’t, don’t fret. It’s not about sticking to a time, it’s about utilizing your energy to reach optimal productivity.
- Get your preferred amount of sleep: Sleep deprivation can take its toll on productivity. You may also like to read How to cope with sleep deprivation. So there is no use getting up early in the morning if you didn’t go to bed on time. Getting up at five in the morning after going to bed at 12 is going to make you very unproductive. If this is the case, more important is getting a full night’s sleep rather than trying to prove a point.
- Make it into a gradual process: Your body develops its own schedule according to your lifestyle. You can’t change your lifestyle just in a couple of days, and even if you try, your body has its own scheme. All of a sudden you can’t decide one day that you are going to change your sleeping pattern. It has to be a slow process. Maybe a few days you won’t be able to sleep on time. Even if you fall asleep, you may wake up in the middle of the night, spending the rest of the night awake. Take all these eventualities into consideration. It will take you at least a week to steer your lifestyle in such a manner that you are able to get up early in the morning without having adverse side effects.
- Make the maximum use of your productive time: Once you have gotten to getting up early in the morning, you will feel very energized and productive. Don’t waste that time checking emails, posting on Facebook and arguing with people on Twitter. These are not productivity-boosting activities. If you normally don’t have time-critical emails to reply, avoid checking them until noon. Put your phone somewhere else. Ask your family members not to disturb you.
- Develop a routine and then stick to it: Our body and mind love routines. Try to develop one in the morning. Get up, do a little exercise, have a bath, groom yourself for the day, have a good breakfast, pray if you want and play some soothing music in the background when you start doing your work.
- Make your environment comfortable: Lots of clutter creates senseless noise in your brain and this will tire you soon. Cleanup your workplace. Open the window of your room if it is not very cold. Let the chirping of the birds and the morning breeze come in if you don’t live in an extremely cold place.
- Accomplish your most challenging tasks the first: Don’t procrastinate when it comes to doing difficult tasks. Postponing them can be a big drain on your productivity. Important tasks are those without which your remaining tasks hold no meaning – unless those important tasks are taken care of, you cannot call your day productive. So take them by their horns. This will also free you up intellectually and you will be able to become more productive.
Starting a morning routine can be quite challenging, at least in the beginning, so be prepared for that. You really need to want that, that is, getting up early in the morning at the crack of dawn. It’s a habit that can change your entire lifestyle, but once you can adapt yourself according to it, you will feel amazingly productive.