By Dean Yeong on February 4, 2016
I wasn’t a morning person before this. Although I prefer to wake up early, but there is no consistency for this schedule. What to do to get up early? That’s what I’m going to share with you, what to do and how to make yourself a morning person.
I think I do have the right to share this piece of personal experience. Never want to write and share something I never experience or simply… made-up. Like I said, I wasn’t a morning person, but now I am.
So, what time I wake up in the morning? For weekdays, it will be somewhere around 5:30 a.m., while for weekends, I wake up at around 8:00 a.m.
I know this is not early compared to a lot of people who wake up super early like 4:00 a.m., but that’s not the point. What is the time consider as early? I will say roughly 3 hours before you need to get into your work/job. But it’s really based on personal preference.
If you are not a morning person and never want to be, that’s absolutely fine. But you always felt like you want to be one but never get the grit to do it, I’m going to give you some reason why and how.
Let’s get into it. So, why be a morning person? Why wake up so early in the morning and what to do?
Willpower — It sounds a little abstract here, but that’s the reason why you should wake up early. Our will power directly affect every decision we make every day. You will tend to make a bad decision or skip a habit routine you set for yourself when your willpower is low.
A group of psychology Ph.D. candidates at Case Western — including one named Mark Muraven — conducted researches and studies about willpower in mid-nineties.
In one of Muraven’s experiments, he gathers a group of students and brings them to a lab with a bowl of warm cookies and a bowl of radishes. The students are then separated into 2 group.
One group of the students were instructed to eat the cookies and ignore the radishes; while another group of the students will eat the radishes and ignore the cookies. They were told the experiment is to test taste perception.
Muraven’s theory was that ignoring the cookies is hard, it takes willpower. Ignoring radishes, on the other hand, hardly required any effort at all. Once the students were alone, they started munching.
After 5 minutes, the researcher reenters the room. By Muraven’s estimation, the radish eaters’ willpower had been taxed eating the bitter vegetable and ignoring the treats; the cookie eaters had hardly used any of their willpower at all.
Then, both groups of student were given a puzzle to solve. They were told that the puzzle is just for them to pass time and it’s easy before they go into the 2nd part of the experiment. The truth is, the puzzle is nearly impossible to solve.
It required enormous willpower to keep working on the puzzle, particularly when each attempt failed. At the end, the experiment results shown that the cookie eaters spend longer time to complete the puzzle before they gave up. The average time they spent was 19 minutes.
On the other hand, the radish eaters, with their depleted willpower, act completely different. The got frustrated and give up almost immediately. Averagely, they spent about 8 munites on the puzzle before they gave up.
The conclusion from the Muraven’s experiment is that willpower is like our fuel or our muscle. It will be used up or get tired after some time.
That’s the best reason for us (including you) to be a morning person, to do what matters most, first thing first in the morning. It always happened that we promise ourselves to workout after work in the evening but never happen because we compromise about it.
That’s because most people don’t understand the existence of willpower. We alway thought we are lazy and full of excuse, sometimes we even tend to blame ourselves for that. But to make a shift in your daily routine, you need willpower.
For me, I always want to workout after work, but I got tired and started to skip my workout routine. But after some time, I notice that I tend to stick to my routine when I plan my workout in the morning. That’s before I get to know about Muraven’s research.
So, the advice is, get up early and do things that required some and most amount of willpower in the morning. It can be your side business tasks before you get to work. You will be much more productive and focus on it compared to do it after work or in the evening.
Or some new routine you wanted to practice since long ago such as meditation or jogging. It seems like it takes less effort to get your ass moving in the morning before your willpower depleted.
So, here is the next problem everyone has, at least for those who are not used to get up early in the morning. It’s such an ease after you get out from your bed and ready to start a routine, but you might ask.
I can’t even get up early in the first place… How?
To create a lasting morning routine, you need to get enough sleep. It’s very hard to have the level of willpower in the morning if you’re feeling tired with insufficient sleep. It’s a stupidly simple idea: Sleep earlier so you can get up earlier, but it’s easier to say than done.
About 5 months ago, when I decided to build my morning routine — Meditate, Workout, Good Music; I had a hard time to deal with it. The main reason if because I used to stay late.
The first step I took is to review my schedule and reschedule everything completely, on pen and paper. Most of the time (almost all the time), we failed to do something because we don’t have a clear enough plan on how to do it. So make sure you write down your timetable in the first few week before the morning routine becomes a habit.
I shifted my original workout routine in the evening after work to morning, brought forward my side business tasks, and finally set a time to stop all my work so I can get ready to sleep.
This actually increases my productivity dramatically because I know that I need to complete my workout in the morning before work, and complete my tasks before bedtime.
Besides, it helps me to remove unnecessary activities I did such as browsing the internet without purpose OR consuming irrelevant information from the internet.
One thing that spoiled a routine is inconsistency. Or I will say the missing of a “reminder”. Your reminder of waking up early might be your workout, some tasks, or even the alarm you set.
And more of us used to give all the way out during the weekend, like giving up any effort on everything after a long week of work. But you should see it in a different way.
I see my weekends as my days, which is not belong to anyone else. I love my work and my job, but weekends are days that truly belong to me. I tend to schedule some time for some thought-consuming tasks in my own business and practice my workout routine.
Of course, you don’t need to force yourself to wake up at 5:00 a.m. on the morning of Saturday. But it’s critical to stay consistency on your routine. Practice almost similar routine in the evening of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and try to have the same bedtime. Slightly late will be fine.
Then get up earlier about 8:00 a.m. in the morning if you used to wake up at 11:00 a.m. every weekend before. This helps to keep your morning routine consistent throughout the days to come.
A lasting morning routine doesn’t happen in 3 days. Every routine takes times to grow into a habit, but it’s kind of automatic once you practice it long enough and make it your daily habit. So, take small action every day and take the time to work your way there.
Quick two points here to make the process easier:
Enjoyed this article? Join 4,168 folks to receive my latest article on the art and science of living a better life. Every other Monday.