It’s fun to analyze successful people and discover what makes them tick. One of the things that sets them apart is waking up early. Studies show that early risers tend to have higher GPAs, are more proactive and optimistic, perform better on the job, advance their careers, and make more money than those who don’t wake up early. Self-empowerment gurus like Robin Sharma can show you how, and powerful women and men like Ann Curry, Padmasree Warrior, Gerry Laybourne, Brett Yormark, David Cush, and Tim Cook can show you why.
Here are some reasons why you should start waking up early too :
1. Clear your mind
Waking up earlier than normal gives you the opportunity to clear your mind of the daily clutter that normally consumes your thoughts. That executive summary you need to hand in, the late afternoon meeting you need to prepare for, the school play, the PTA meeting, the dishes that are still in the sink, the taxes you need to file, the exam you forgot to study for, the bills, and on and on and on – all that can be put on hold. When you wake up early, you naturally get yourself out of the daily grind and you have time to think about thinking. In those moments of clarity you can revisit your life’s philosophy, put perspective into all areas of your life, and reprioritize.
2. Get a head-start – (get an edge over your competitors)
“Rising before the sun is more than just a personal bonus – it’s an edge in a cutthroat corporate environment,” says Forbes. Get on that conference call with Asia, organize your next demand-gen webcast, attend competitors’ webinars, research business articles, read other blogs, write your thoughts, network with industry analysts, reach-out and do whatever you need to do to be one step ahead of everyone else.
3. Improve your health
Never have time to exercise? Putting 50-hour work weeks and still have the kids to take care of when you come home? Have a social life after work that you just aren’t ready to get rid of? Studying for a degree? That’s ok – when you wake up early, you now have that little extra time to go for a run, hit the gym, go for a walk, or do whatever physical activity you enjoy. Once you get your body used to exercising in the early mornings, you’ll also find yourself making better food choices throughout the day as well. The endorphins are awesome too.
4. Reclaim your power (which is rightfully yours)
When you commit to waking up early, and stick to it, you’re strengthening your will-power. In the Harvard Business Review, Christoph Randler explained his research into early risers, saying that when it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards. His earlier research showed that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them.
5. Teach yourself to be unreasonable
Sometimes when we want to do something empowering that’s out of our comfort zone, we rationalize why we can’t do it. Many of us come up with reasons why we can’t wake up early – we work too much, have a baby that wakes up at night, we need eight hours of sleep, we deserve to rest, etc… But when we’ve studied the benefits of something seemingly impossible and committed to making it a reality despite all the ‘reasons’ we come up with, we train ourselves to be ‘unreasonable’. And when we become ‘unreasonable’, we make the impossible possible.