You’ve probably read the work of countless productivity gurus touting the benefits of waking up earlier every day (5 a.m. is a commonly recommended rise time) to reap the benefits of an earlier start to your day. The benefits are many: having quite time to work on passion projects, time to organize your workday before work demands start filling your inbox and distracting you from the task at hand, time to meditate or get a workout in before the day fills up with busy work and there’s no time to work on your personal health goals.
The pressing question, though, is how to get motivated to drag yourself out of bed so early each day when all you really want to do is take a sledgehammer to your alarm clock and hide under the covers. If you’re ready to start taking control over your days, here’s how to conquer your alarm clock.
Don’t Sacrifice Sleep
One thing you shouldn’t do if you want to start waking up earlier is sacrificing your sleep. Sleep is crucial for both body and mind, and if you cut it short, you’ll find yourself feeling foggy, you’ll have difficulty concentrating, and you’ll end up being less productive anyway. It’s not worth the tradeoff, so get to bed at an appropriate time to ensure you’re not missing out on quality sleep.
Find Something to Get Excited About
Did you ever have to get up at some appallingly early hour to take a trip out of town, catch a flight, or go to an interview for your dream job? You probably didn’t have much trouble getting out of bed, did you? Put that power to work in your everyday life by finding something to be excited about every day. (It helps if you love what you do for a living, but that’s a topic for another article.)
Hack Your Alarm Clock
For many people, an alarm clock is their lifeline. By ensuring that you drag your tired body out of bed in time to get to work, it helps you keep your job and pay your bills. But alarm clocks, as helpful as they are, can be too easily avoided. Just ask someone with a chronic snooze-button habit. One old but useful trick is to place your alarm clock across the room, forcing you to get out of bed to put a stop to that horrendous noise. Once you’re out of bed, it’s easier to stay out of bed.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Consider ditching your annoying alarm clock altogether in favor of newer technology with an alarm app that aims to make the process of getting out of bed easier. Still an alarm, yes, but so much more than your standard alarm clock. Take the Sleep Cycle app: It analyzes your sleep through the night, sounding a gentle alarm with increasing volume at just the right time to wake you up during your lightest sleep cycle (within a 30-minute window set by you – so you’ll still get to the office on time). The result? You feel surprisingly less groggy upon waking and more refreshed. Sleep Cycle is just one of many useful apps designed to take the struggle out of getting out of bed.
Do Something Energizing First Thing
If your problem isn’t getting out of bed, but staying out of bed, you’re facing a different animal, but you’re not out of luck. If you find yourself so sluggish that you end up crawling back under the still-warm covers soon after getting up, do something energizing first thing in the morning. Drink a full glass of ice-cold water, exercise (even a 10-minute brisk walk can do the trick), or take a shower right after emerging from your slumber.
Cynthia Lopez is the Managing Editor at Happier Living Today, a free resource offering expert information on wellness and personal development.