5 Reasons You Should Wake Up Earlier
History has blessed us – or possibly cursed us – with Benjamin Franklin’s quote extolling the virtues of “early to bed, early to rise”. Our society looks negatively at those who “sleep in.” (We’re looking at you, teenagers.) But in reality we all get 24 hours each day to achieve health, wealth and wisdom. Does it matter whether we begin the pursuit at 5 am, 9, or wait until 12 noon? Let’s explore.
There are definitely benefits to waking up early, or at least before everyone else in your household - which is all that waking up early boils down to. If you live alone, you could say that it means getting up before you would normally start the routine that ends with you walking out the door for work or school. What follows are 5 benefits of getting up – and doing something! – before starting that daily routine.
Get in Shape
If you choose to get up prior to what is normal for you, a good starting point would be one hour early. Doing so any earlier would likely be too difficult, at least in the beginning. So, what can you do for the hour before the alarm normally
rings? Exercise is an obvious and excellent choice. A walk through the neighborhood is not only healthy, but peaceful in that quiet time before dawn. It also gives you a different perspective of where you live. If you would rather stay inside, then stretching, lifting free weights, stationary biking or walking the tread mill is the way to go. Again, it just has a different feel doing it in the early morning.
Read and/or Write
With no distractions from those you live with and few if any noises from outside your home,
this time can
be perfect for reading. Many people are too busy during the day and too tired at night to crack open a book. This can be a perfect block of time to get caught up. It doesn’t have to be serious or religious. Maybe this is the only time you feel comfortable reading 50 Shades of Grey
. As with reading, those who aspire to create with words often need total focus in uninterrupted blocks of time. With butt in chair, and no one to divert your concentration, the pages can add up in the early morning.
Work on Your Business
Having to get up every workday and trudge off to the 9-5 pressure cooker can be made a bit less painful if you get up early to fashion a business plan that will allow you to do your own
thing. Or, you may be further along and in the final stages of “going live” with your business, and just need to work on a website, or send out some key e-mails to apply the finishing touches. Also, working on your new work life knowing that you have to soon go your day job can
be motivating. Of course, the same effort can go into looking for a new job during this time.
Nurture the Spirit
If it’s stillness you seek, the hours before the birds begin chirping is for you. If it is still dark, the quiet and lack of visual stimulation will provide the perfect setting for praying or meditating. With some artificial light to allow you to read a holy or inspirational book, you can read slowly, contemplatively and with almost no unwanted stimulation to the senses. This can be a time of healing and clearing away negativity, and put you on a solid foundation emotionally for the rest of the day. It can recharge the mind the way sleep recharges the body.
Okay, let’s face it.
Not everyone can/wants to get up an hour or so early and work on their gut, talk to God, write a novel, or do a step-by-step for the next Facebook. Sometimes it’s just nice to get up and do the dishes in peace. You can do this with no external stimulation, or you can do some heavy duty thinking or listening to your favorite music or podcast. Plus, you’ll be able to say you got some housework done before you left the house.
How early you get up is up to you. Certainly there are diminishing returns to getting up too early. But, those 15, 30, 60 minutes or more invested in you can make all the difference in your health, career and overall happiness.