Who are these juggernauts that have command over the morning hours?
In theory, your productivity level shouldn't differ if you rise at 4am or 11am. What matters is the quality of sleep that's giving your mind and body sufficient time to recover.
These early rising juggernauts, these unstoppable agents of productivity, they see things differently. They see these early hours as their chance to lay claim to their share of the day. They rise with purpose, act with determination, and achieve ruthlessly.
The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years. - Thomas Jefferson
The world is in awe of these special people, so let's take a look at what pops them out of bed like a toaster strudel and what gets them up, sometimes before the alarm!
- Appointment With Waking: The harsh truth about the human body is that we're creatures of habit. In some ways this can be extremely inconvenient when trying to take on new things. However, if we allow ourselves to live within the rules of our body's natural cycle, which is a 24-hour circadian rhythm, we will be pleased with the body's functionality.
This means that when you find a waking hour that will work best for you each day of the week, you should stick to it. This will allow your body to want to support you in your endeavor of waking up, and rise you out of bed feeling fresh as a daisy.
- The King and The Pauper Way Of Eating: The way our bodies function optimally is if we eat like a king in the morning and a pauper in the evening. This means that it's best to eat heavier, bigger portions in the morning because these meals will give us high energy throughout the day and then burn off.
Eating like a pauper, meaning small light meals, in the evening allows us to go to sleep on an empty stomach. If your body is functioning normally, and you don't have stomach ulcers, going to sleep on a mostly empty stomach will allow you to sleep better. This nightly fast allows your body to take it's focus away from digestion and put it towards repair and rejuvenation of the body's cells.
- Living With Purpose: Young children will do anything to avoid going to sleep at night. These same children are also the ones that can't wait to get out of bed first thing in the world. The simple reason for this non-lazy behavior is that they don't want to miss a thing.
As adults we may need more persuasion than 'not wanting to miss a thing'. This is why we take extra steps in creating fun, life changing goals, and scheduling specific ways of how we'll get a step closer to these goals during this coming day. What we all need is not necessary a cause we're willing to die for, but at least a cause we're willing to LIVE for.
- Plan Your Day: We can say we're going to live with purpose, but unless we plan, we can tell ourselves that we'll start living with purpose next week, or the week after that. Planning is one of the fundamental ways to maximize your mind to achieve your goals, and as such it plays a critical role in allowing us to have an awesome day, everyday. We need not do more than take 15 minutes the night before to succinctly organize the next days schedule.
A schedule complete with waking time, most important things of the day, eating and recreational allowances. Having a tight schedule allows me to live out my day with definitive purpose, while getting more done, having more fun, and not wasting precious moments of my life.
“Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results” - Dennis Wholey
- The Water Hack: A bit of water before bed and half a liter as soon as you get up. The water before bed will serve in the rejuvenation process we mentioned above. While you sleep all your cells will fill up with this fresh water and create an over all well being within your body.
The water in the morning does two things. One is it provides your first dose of water to get your mind and body going. Another function, as told to me by my endocrinology teacher (a very qualified person to say this), is that a dose of water in the morning triggers a cascade of physiological functions that engages your digestive system and causes you to excrete feces. You'll feel nice and light first thing in the morning!
- Work That Body: In number 1 above I mentioned that our bodies adapt around a 24-hour circadian rhythm. This works for sleep, eating, exercise, and many other bodily functions. We're a pretty efficient physiological machine when you think about it. This is why getting a dose of exercise is optimal in the morning. It gets the blood flowing and stimulates you to function on a higher level.Once you're used to this routine, your body will prepare by providing you with high energy before you start to work out. As you can see, if you wake up with this high energy, you're going to just pop out of bed.
"Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." - Edward Stanley
- Have 'Me' Time: No morning is completely satisfying unless you've scheduled in some 'Me' time. Whether you enjoy meditating to clear you mind and give you laser sharp focus, or reading to gain some new knowledge about the world, make sure you schedule in this time.
There may very a variety of things you enjoy doing, so this will be custom tailored to the individual. The point is that when you have something you REALLY enjoy doing right when you get up, you won't be able to wait until that alarm goes off till you jump out of bed and get to it!