I have been on both the sides of the table. Someone who has slept late and got up late and vice versa. For a while now I have been an early riser and I can see the distinct advantages of the same. I try and sleep early and have been getting up between 3:30 – 4:30 am everyday. Has it benefited me or am I just exhausting myself more?
There is no easy answer to this. Many people would say that I am exhausting myself and burning out but I feel the complete opposite. I feel I am more planned and more resourceful than I ever was earlier. Waking up early has given me a distinctive edge is what I feel. The advantages that I have had while getting up early can be summarised as below:
Zero Interruptions or disturbances. No Phone calls, No Messages, No screen time. Our mobile phones have become an integral part of our daily lives and many of us have actually got addicted to it. Ask yourself, if you can imagine your life today without the device? In all probability the answer will be NO. So at these early morning times, I am 100% sure you would not get calls or messages so the time would be all yours to think and plan. Also no noise or any kind of interruptions like kids yelling or people talking would be there. The Silence lets you think better and with a presence of calm mind. Research proves that the best of the ideas come when your mind is calm. Sitting in silence increases oxygen to your brain as your breathing generally becomes deeper and more controlled. This helps reduce migraines, high blood pressure, and overall taxation on your body to name a few.
Extra hours per day/week/month/year. As per research an average human being wakes up at about 7 am globally in their respective time zones. So let’s assume if you wake up at 4:30 am instead of 7 then you would get about 2.5 hrs extra everyday which is 17.5 hrs every week, 910 hrs every year = 38 days EXTRA. Psychologists say the human brain can multitask but can only function in the 100% performance zone for not more than 8/9 hrs a day mentally. Also most of the times post 5/6 pm we all get into a mental block when it comes to planning and we start pushing to close the day’s work which takes away the thinking and ideation aspect. By the time we come home we are mentally tired and occupied with many other things going in our mind. Hence the best time to Think & Strategize is mornings and especially if it’s quiet around us it’s much better. Also Imagine getting more than 1 complete month extra in a year to get things done.
Less Likely to procrastinate. Since the time I have been waking up early, I have had hardly any delays at my work or an action postponement. The plans have been executed properly and within timelines. Waking up early in the morning has been one of the secrets to success by most of the successful people around the world.
Builds discipline. It builds a healthy discipline and people who wake up early are more likely to get their work executed properly and in time. It gives you a better mental edge over other people and helps build a good momentum for the day ahead. People who wake up early have proven to be better organised.
Good Time to Exercise. It’s probably the best time to exercise your mind and your body. The noiseless environment helps to not only focus but also to get the exercises done faster in a better controlled fashion. No doubt the best athletes in the world prefer an early morning exercise or run.
Waking up early means your biological clock will push you to sleep early and in a way pushing to get that good 7/8 hrs of rest which is so important for us adults. Better rest equals to more energy and hence the next day you can feel the charge throughout the day.
Better Problem Solvers. Obviously a rested mind is more prepared for what the day has to throw at it. Because you will be more organized and energized (as explained below), you are also more prepared to take on what life throws at you. Not only will your mood be better equipped to handle any issues that arise, but long term problems are more likely to be solved with more ease due to your brain’s ability to problem solve through the night if you are getting a good night’s rest.
Serenity. In short, rising early can give you the time you need to really enjoy the space around you. You may have just done nothing for the entire night during your sleep, but you weren’t really awake to enjoy that were you? By giving yourself the time to literally do ‘nothing’ you are also giving yourself the gift to unwind, and remove all mental stimulation that keeps you going all day.
Time to Relax. Rising early doesn’t have to be done with productivity and organization in mind. Sometimes just being able to take your time through your morning routines is exactly what you need mentally to face the many challenges of the day.
Some examples of the most successful people who are early risers are Richard Branson (Chairman – Virgin Group), Tim Cook (Apple – CEO) , Bob Iger (Disney – CEO), Michelle Obama (Former First Lady of US), Tim Gunn (Project Runway), Ursula Burns (Xerox – CEO), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo – Ex CEO).
To be continued…