Five Ways to Wake Up Early and Kick Butt All Day

by Travis Hellstrom

Has this ever happened to you -

You wake up in the morning after hitting the snooze button a few times, roll out of bed, get in the shower, look at the clock, pick up the pace a little (you're already behind), spend the rest of the day trying to catch up, fly through work/class/meetings, respond to emails, put out little fires, and come home only wanting to crash on the bed?

My guess is that this has happened to you more than once. In fact, it might have happened yesterday.

How about this one -

You wake up early, get out of bed excited for the day like some kind of maniac, jump into the shower, look at the clock, slow down a little (the sun is just coming up over the hills), spend the morning exercising, drinking tea and doing what you love (maybe writing for friends in a blog post), spend the rest of the day doing what you choose to do, go only to highly productive meetings that you organize, respond to emails only at specific times, focus on your highest priorities (not other people's emergencies), and come home with extra energy to embrace those you love?

My guess is that this happens less often than you'd like. Or you might think I'm crazy for suggesting it's possible. I might be crazy, no argument there, but this is definitely possible. Currently I'm in the "writing for friends in a blog post" part of the morning, occasionally interrupted by watching a plump squirrel outside scurry around in the snow, and I'm intending moving through the rest of the list all day.

None of the things on that list are unreasonable, but they do require a little focus.

Here are some ideas to help you you can have a day you can be proud of and actually love:

  1. Prepare - It's easier to wake up early when you know when and why you want to wake up. Go to bed early. Think of something fun you want to do in the morning and set the alarm for a time when you will actually feel excited to wake up.
  2. Jump Out of Bed - Putting the alarm far from the bed, like across the room, can really help. It forces you to get up, which makes you much more likely to avoid pressing the snooze button. If you have the option choose music will enjoy waking up to (classical music works nicely for me).
  3. Don't Check Your Email - Do not check your email in the morning. I've written about this before. Email is too distracting, it's all about what other people want you to do, it kills your creativity and probably stresses you out. Set a specific time to check email, like 10am and 3pm, and never write an email beyond five sentences. Keep it simple and keep yourself sane.
  4. Focus - What is the most important thing you have to do today? I know, I know, you have a lot to do today. I'm asking you to choose just one thing that, if it's the only thing you get done today, you'll be proud you did at the end of the day. I write mine down the day before so I wake up excited to work on it.
  5. Kick Your Own Butt - You've already woken up early, so you're off to a great start, but you know you should exercise everyday and keep yourself healthy. Do some push ups, park the car further away in the parking lot, take a walk with a friend or turn a business meeting into a walk in the park. Don't make excuses, stay active and have more fun.

My tea is almost finished, so I'm off to spend the rest of the day doing what I choose to do. I hope you are too.