A couple of Mondays ago, I planned to wake up bright and early at 6:30, ready to crush my daily tasks and turn on my computer 90 minutes later, wide awake and excited for my 8 AM Tatler meeting. But when 6:30 arrived, I reached over and hit snooze, only to awake an hour later. Okay, not as great as 6:30, I thought to myself, but still time to eat and shower before class. That was before I hit snooze again. Soon it was 7:30, then 7:45, and then finally 7:57 when I finally got up, already exhausted with my day. If you’re anything like me, you’ve done this too. Luckily for you, in this article, I’m going to explain why to wake up early, and more importantly, how to.
We’ve all seen content about waking up early. Those who do it lord it over everyone else. Navy seal Jocko Willink, a man who resembles a large, murderous thumb, wakes up at 4:30 AM every morning when he posts a black-and-white picture of his watch to prove to his Instagram followers that he’s done it. Apple CEO Tim Cook famously rises before 4AM every day, which must really annoy Jocko. Research shows that, sadly, they might be right. Sleep inertia, the brain fog you get when tasked with a first-period icebreaker, can last from minutes to hours. The longer before school you wake up, the more awake you’ll be for school. Studies also say that early risers are more successful, get better sleep, and are more organized. Some studies say they’re even happier.
These benefits are appealing, right? But how do you put it into practice? How do you make sure the person who has to deal with the 6:30 alarm is the same person who set it? The simple answer, the answer Jocko Willink would give you, is to just go do it. Don’t hit snooze. Don’t think about how early it is. Just get out of bed the second your eyes pop open, and then it’ll be hard to get back in.
More practically, here are some other tips to help you out. Drink coffee! Drink water! Make your bed, giving yourself a quick feeling of accomplishment that can carry you into other tasks. If you’re feeling extra-hard, wake yourself all the way up with a cold shower. Trust me, it works. You need to decide for yourself if its efficacy outweighs the sheer misery of dousing yourself with freezing water at 6:30 in the morning. Most importantly of all, just set a clear and purposeful intention. Tell yourself the night before, and again when you wake up, why YOU specifically are waking up early, and what you hope to accomplish from it.
Hopefully, these tips will aid you as they aided me in my first moments of groggy morning decision-making. I really believe it makes a difference to wake up early. Depending on what you do when your alarm goes off, you can set yourself up for a day of doing what is comfy, or you can set yourself up for a day of doing what you know you should do. It’s easy to lose track of goals and purposes in our murky remote world, but discipline in just one small thing can create a rolling ball of completed goals that will carry you all the way to whatever your endpoint is. So just wake up when you said you were going to wake up, for Christ’s sake. I promise you won’t regret it.