When you hear stories of successful students or business people, one seemingly odd detail might stand out in your mind: High achievers often tend to be early risers. You know that getting up earlier could cut back on morning stress, help you feel more organized, and give you a jump start on a productive day… But that snooze button is so inviting! Follow these six tips to get yourself on a better daily schedule.
Analyze past mistakes. If you’ve tried and failed to become an early riser in the past, ask yourself what stopped you. Were you overly tired because you didn’t get enough sleep? Is the house cold and uncomfortable first thing in the morning? Do you dread the first task you do each day? You could probably manipulate your environment or schedule to overcome this obstacle. And on that note…
Manipulate your environment. It’s easier to get out of bed when your alarm clock is across the room, or you have a nice warm robe or slippers waiting. If you have a favorite morning beverage, set the espresso machine timer. Small comforts go a long way.
Transition gradually. Set your alarm just a minute or two earlier every day, until you’re waking up at your ideal time.
Accomplish something each morning. It’s easier to stay motivated when you feel the satisfaction of accomplishment. So, try to reach a small goal each morning as you get up earlier. Pack a nice lunch for yourself, fit in a short workout, or organize a binder. Choose goals that are meaningful to you.
Remind yourself why you’re changing. Hardly anyone sticks with a long-term change if it isn’t meaningful or rewarding for them. Is your goal to become a better student? Maybe you just want to feel less hectic and more organized? Are you hoping a morning workout routine will get you in better physical shape? Identify your reasons for waking up early, and remind yourself of them regularly.
Change your self-talk. It might sound a bit silly, but we really do behave according to how we see ourselves. If you see yourself as a messy person, this gives you an automatic excuse to keep a sloppy room. If you believe you’ll fail your science test, you probably won’t study all that hard. And in this case, if you call yourself a “night person” or “not a morning person”, your behavior is going to match up with that belief! Frequently refer to yourself as a morning person, or share how organized and successful you feel when your schedule isn’t rushed. The words we say are powerful, and can subtly influence our unconscious actions.
That last tip is a good idea for all students to remember, early risers or not! Remember to think of yourself as an organized, responsible student, and speak of yourself that way, too. Your thoughts and words really do guide your actions – and your success.