How I Wake Up Early Even Though Sometimes I Feel Like I’m Ditching Heaven for No Reason (Part 1)

image Unfortunately, that is not my bedroom… by Nick West

Sometimes, I hate waking up.  The warm feeling of the sheets, the darkness of my little bat cave, my dreams of frolicking in a cloud world made of candy canes and marshmallows.  Then, the alarm goes off, and I immediately turn into a mix of Einstein and some famous rational thinker:

“Hmmm, ok, I can pull off another 26 minutes. No, wait, based on the Law of Me Skipping My Breakfast, and dividing my shower by 2.5, I can easily pull off a solid 32 more minutes of sleep. Wait, wait, tired self. Take 2 steps back. I actually just mentally chose my outfit for the day, that would’ve taken a good 3 minutes. 35 minutes more of sleep, Yahtzee! Mission: Accomplished…SNOOZE.”

This genius level thinking, often time, can get us into serious trouble. We rationalize our way out of giving ourselves enough time to get in what I like to call ‘the morning zone,’ aka, the time at which you go from drowsy to fully aware and awake. Even worse, sleep can be so tempting that it hurts our potential productivity as we push back our morning responsibilities. My goal with this two part blog post is to share my tricks for 1) Giving myself enough time to maximize my sleep and 2) Supercharging the time it takes for me to go from the walking dead, through the morning zone, and into Clark Kent mode. (Please note: None of this is scientific, although I did get an A- in Marine Bio senior year of high school. Holler, Mr. Geltzeiler).

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Just because. Fish.

In the vein of my super productivity yearning, occasional type A self, I’ve experimented with several proven ways to wake up early. First though, I’ll go through a quick process on how I go about teaching myself new tricks.

1. Read articles to prove that what I’m trying to do has positively affected people I look up to: (i.e., 23 Successful People Who Wake Up Really Early)

2. Time map every key process that goes into my current way of doing things, while taking note of key roadblocks (For me these roadblocks in the morning are missing a vital carry-on item, (i.e. keys, wallet, apartment key, glasses, headphones, cell phone) figuring out what shirt I haven’t already worn this week (lay off me, I like variety), and just generally being slow in getting ready))

3. Research supplements (for working out this would mean something like protein, but for waking up this could mean something like a new alarm clock app, or a quick coffee maker) — There are supplements for every process. Sometimes you can go au naturale, but other times, people have truly came up with great add-ons to help you be more effective.

4. Re-wire your approach. Test it, re-wire if needed, test it again.

For sleeping, I had noticed a couple of things that immediately stressed me out and set me back in the morning as I mentioned above (ensuring all carry-ons are with me, my outfit is worked out, and my shower, and breakfast making doesn’t take too long.)

How I’ve solved these:

Outfits – To some, this may be their ritual, but to others they’re haphazard and run into the same problem as me — Just choose it the night before. It’s one thing off your plate, and something that you won’t be subconsciously thinking about as you fall asleep. The more you can get off your mind before falling asleep, the better.

Staying Organized – Create a central location for yourself where everything but your outfit will hang or sit.  “Grab and go” is the goal.

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My setup: Flea market item holding my watch, keys, badge, relevant mail, wallet, and a pen to kick off my day preparedly. How thoughtful of me…for me.

Phone Alarm:
1)Understand the science behind how terrible hitting the snooze button really is: Don’t Hit the Snooze Button (via Slate)

2)Place your phone as far away as humanly possible in a place where it will still wake you up (actually getting out bed is the first step to success)

3) Find an alarm clock app that helps get your brain going, or just generally annoys the shit out of you — my favorite is ‘Sleep If U Can’ on the iPhone — It makes you take the same picture you took the night before to turn the alarm off: Sleep If U Can (Video) 
OR just buy one of these: 20 Alarm Clocks to Wake You Up Creatively

…Okay, now you’re up and out of bed, and you’re set up for success.  How do we then maximize our mornings to ensure for a productive, and energy filled day?  FIND OUT, on Days of Our…erghhh, in my next post later this week.

Read on to Part 2 Here

Good Morning,

Nick

(Share your tips on waking up early in the comments!)

Bonus: A Vine of My Morning Routine

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