There are a dozen sayings that illustrate the reward of waking early – from getting worms to being healthy, wealthy, and wise. That's well and good, but they all leave out the most important step – how in the heck do you get up that early?
Photo By Casey Serina
You're a busy guy. You've started working longer hours at the office, you're trying to maintain a workout regiment, you're trying to find, build, or maintain a healthy relationship and on top of all that are life's burdening necessities that pound at that back of your head.
You're already going to bed at midnight or later but you just can't seem to find the time to get everything done.
If only you had more time.
There's a reason your dad and the military wakes up at 5:30 in the morning. There's a lot to get done and not enough time to do it. You are potentially wasting several hours of productivity by not waking up early.
If you're reading this article you've probably tried to become an early riser before, but with little success. I can relate, often times it feels like I am two people. At night I am a guy with lots of motivation to wake up early and get things done. But in the morning when the alarm clock goes off it seems like I can justify my way out of anything.
“If I wake up now I won't be able to get to the gym, do a full work out, and get ready in time to go to work so I might as well just stay in bed for another two hours.”
“What? There's an earthquake? Well, if I get up now, I'm dead anyway.”
Photo by Natman
It's time to take control of this lazy slacker morning guy and show him who's boss. With these 7 impenetrable tips you'll be up and at 'em in no time!
The deal with any of these methods is that you're tricking your body into waking up. This is assuming you haven't tried the obvious ideas of going to bed earlier, not exercising, and not drinking caffeine several hours before bed.
Stop the Buzzing
One of the biggest reasons to hit the snooze button is to just turn off that God awful buzzing sound. The key to not snoozing is to find a sound that can wake you slowly without wanting to smash the clock.
Download a utility that transforms iTunes into an alarm clock. (There are many free ones out there, but Aurora is a popular solution.) Find some great orchestral music that isn't too energetic and that will allow you to return from your slumber peacefully. I highly recommend Yo Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone. There's nothing that makes you feel more like a man than waking up to Ecstasy of Gold.
Another option is to buy an album with nature sounds or something similarly rhythmic.
Lose the Snooze
If you allow yourself to have a crutch to lean on, you will lean on it. “You went to bed late so you'll only hit the snooze once,” which turns into five. You need a way of telling yourself that if you don't get up when the alarm goes off you might not wake up at all, and consequently be late for work.
Find an alarm that doesn't have the sinful snooze option.
Find a Way to Talk to Your More Motivated Self
If only Motivated Night Guy could talk to Lazy Snooze Loving Morning Guy, I could remind myself of the reasons I want to wake up and inspire LSLMG to get the eff out of bed.
One thing that has worked surprisingly well, though admittedly embarrassing for others to stumble across, is to print out some words of inspiration and hang them above your bed or place them on top of the alarm clock, forcing you to read them before you can turn it off. Some examples that have worked are, “Successful people do what unsuccessful people do not. Wake up.” Or simply, “Carpe Diem.”
I would advise removing your printed, internal dialogue before you invite the lady over to forgo any awkward explanations.
See the Light
Back in the day when men had to wake early and get to work in the factory or in the field their bodies woke naturally from the morning sun shining into the bedroom. Our bodies and circadian rhythms are naturally programmed to wake with the morning light, though years of late night studying and working (read partying and gaming) have suppressed our natural ability to get up with the rising sun.
A simple and very effective solution to waking early is to open the blinds in your bedroom before going to sleep. Depending on the time of year, soft morning light will begin to fill your room around 5 or 6 AM allowing you to wake up naturally.
The Best Part of Waking Up
For a long time I was convinced that if I could just get a cup of coffee in me when the alarm went off, I'd be able to stay awake and get moving. I started preparing my coffee maker the night before, placing it in my bedroom, and setting its internal alarm to start brewing in the morning. Waking up to the smell of a fresh pot of coffee is really nice and knowing that it is ready 7 feet away is great way to drag yourself out of bed.
There are several solutions, including a coffee maker with a programmable timer. If your current brewer doesn't have a timer, you can buy an appliance timer at Radio Shack that will turn it on automatically based on the time you set for about $10.
Make the Bed Unbearable to Stay In
It's possible you just don't respond well to auditory alarms. One unconventional solution is a vibrating bed pad used by the deaf and hard of hearing. Attached to an alarm clock, these pads begin to vibrate the bed, hopefully causing you to jump out of bed and get a start on your day.