Did you know Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, wakes up at 3:45am every morning to workout, catch up on mail, and grab Starbucks before heading to work? Or did you know that the Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour, starts her day at 5:45am to play tennis before work? Are you sensing a pattern here? Brilliantly successful people start their days off ridiculously early. They do so in order to make time for their personal leisure and sort out their priorities before tackling the workday.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day” – I couldn’t agree more. Of course, this practice is easier said than done. I would love another hour of sleep as much as the next college student does, but now I realize how valuable this extra time is being productive, taking care of myself, and having an overall better day.
Being a USF student comes with the San Franciscan struggles. Working long hours to pay that ridiculous rent for a shared closet, catching the muni on time to get to class, finding an opportunity to go to that aesthetic coffee shop you’ve seen pictures of on Instagram, or competing for that awesome SFMOMA internship. I have found early mornings to be my saving grace in all of these areas. Here are some reasons you should consider and/to become a morning person:
1. YOU Time
Netflix, exercise, catching up on homework, you name it! Take this precious time to catch up on episodes of your favorite show or simply meditate to get a happy and peaceful start to your day.
2. Real Breakfast
Whether you want to break in that waffle maker your mom bought you or whip up some delicious pancakes instead of eating sad cereal or buying an overpriced breakfast sandwich, treat yourself to a plentiful breakfast for your most important meal of the day
This may be the most important reason why you should seriously consider the early morning wake up call. Studies have shown that oversleeping (nine or more hours) may lead to impaired brain function, raise the risk of depression, and increase your risk for diabetes. You can also utilize this time to hit the gym before it’s packed or go on a calming sunrise jog.
Trust me, it may seem like an awful way to start off the day, but it is SO worth it. Get your dreaded homework assignment out of the way and you will feel so much better knowing that you won’t have to go home to battle procrastination and resist the temptation of Netflix or Hulu.
Now you’re probably thinking, how in the world am I supposed to wake up at an ungodly hour like these ultra-successful people? No worries! I recommend beginning your early mornings by waking up one hour earlier than your typical routine. From there, you can slowly progress to an earlier time. Here are some tips to get you up and moving for the day:
1. Set an alarm for your bedtime
This way you can have decent amount of sleep (approximately 8 hours).
2. Establish your sleep schedule and stick to it (even on weekends)
Oversleeping on Saturday and Sunday will mean trouble waking up on Monday. Stick with your routine as best as possible. (I personally go to bed around 11pm and wake up at 6:30am—and it’s worked out great!).
3. Put the alarm clock out of reach
4. Let the morning sun shine through and be your secondary alarm clock.
Exposure to light and darkness is essential to our circadian rhythm.
Drink 16 oz. of water upon waking and rehydrate after your 7–8 hours of sleep.
6. Make your bed!
Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity throughout the day.
7. Prioritize your day
Establish your top priorities and think about how to tackle them. Make a list of things you need to get done for the day such as groceries, going to the bank, do this homework assignment, etc.
I want to end with a quote by Andrew Merle from the online article PersonalGrowth:
“To put it simply, the early morning is “you time” — a time to lay out your priorities for the day and make progress against them, before others are demanding your time and attention. It puts you firmly in control of each day.”
Take control, be productive, be active, and enjoy!