How to Discipline Yourself to get up When You Want To

Most people are at their most efficient during the mornings and start to slow down and become less creative as the day progresses.
For me the best way to increase my productivity has been to shift my day by about 1 hour and get up at 6 am, going to bed at 10 pm.

The work I get done during that 1 hour and 30 minutes before work is worth more than the 3 hours I used to spend during the end of the day.

My toughest challenge
I have always been a ”evening person” and had a very hard time to get up early.
Every time I have tried setting the alarm for 6.00 AM or 6.30 AM I always end up pushing the snooze button until I have over slept.

I knew I had to do something in order to change my routine so that I could start getting up earlier.
It took 6 months of hard, focused effort to change my habits but I have completed it and my days are now 1 hour longer.

Here are the 6 steps I took to improving my mourning routine:

1. Make the decision that you will get up by 6 am
Making a firm decision and making a promise to yourself that you will complete your goal is the first step to completing it. If you haven’t made the commitment, the effort will be to great and you won’t be able to force yourself up on tough days.

2. Write down your goal and give yourself a deadline.
Putting your goal firmly on paper and setting a deadline is like signing a contract. You have now promised to achieve this goal. You have promised it and nothing may stand in your way.

3. Read your promise every morning and evening.
Ever morning and evening read aloud the promise you have made to get up at a specific time by the deadline.

4. Start by learning to get up as soon as the alarm rings, no snooze.
The first step to getting up earlier is to eliminate the snooze button.
Snoozing is your biggest enemy. You do not get much rest, so the time spent in snooze doesn’t help you at all and it is very hard to set a firm time if it allows you to snooze once or twice. If you do it twice you might as well do it a forth, fifth and sixth, which ruines the time you get up.

5. Start slowly setting the clock 10 minutes earlier.
Once you have learned to get up at the bell, start slowly maybe once a week, setting the clock earlier and earlier. That way you will get used to the time before moving onto the next milestone.

6. Be clever
Put the alarm somewhere far enough away that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you have gotten up you might as well stay awake instead of going back to sleep.

Conclusion
I am now a morning person and so can you be. It takes a lot of work but you can do it, if you really want to. Follow these 6 steps and within 6 months you will be able to get up at any time you chose.

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10 Responses to How to Discipline Yourself to get up When You Want To

  1. Graham Lutz says:

    I have found that my diet has a lot to do with whether I am a “morning person” or not.

    I have been limiting carbs (rice, bread, fried batters, potatoes in any form, chips, flour, etc. etc.) and have no only lost a boatload of weight, but it has been unbelievably easier to get out of bed in the morning, I’ve been nicer to my kids and wife, and more motivated in every area of my life.

    It’s wild what diet can do for you.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Graham,

      That is a great example that I hadn’t though of.
      You diet, the fuel you give yourself, really makes a difference for how well you function.

  2. There have been studies done that outlined that people who go to bed late, tend to have higher IQs. So you can consider yourself lucky! These are good points, I’m a fan of snooze button myself.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Vitaly,

      Oh no! You just got me a argument for staying an evening person ;)
      The snooze button really is a killer ;)

      //Daniel

  3. Hi Daniel,
    To me the real lesson of your post is that you have the discipline to develop habits & behavior that support your goals. Wish you success.
    Riley

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hi Riley,

      That is a good point. This methodology can be repurposed to learn any positive habit.
      Thanks for mentioning that point.

  4. Hi Daniel –
    I was a night person too. Until over time I somehow got on my husband’s schedule. Now I get up at 5:30. Even on weekends. Granted, I rarely see past 10:00 in the evening any more.
    I’m with Riley here. The beauty of what you write is in how you can change your habits. You can apply the steps you give to just about anything (except the snooze button, but I’m sure an analogy can be made). I especially like reading your promise aloud. That is a powerful tip.
    Theresa

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hi Theresa,

      I have been forced to start getting up at 05.55 this past week since I am working at another office which takes for me longer to get to.
      It takes a couple days but all of a sudden you get into the rythm of it.

      Early to bed, early to rise is a good method.

  5. Timo Kiander says:

    Daniel,

    The biggest challenge for me is not go wake up early – it is going to bed early.

    Nowadays, I still get too little sleep during the weekdays. However, I want to change that so that I can improve my productivity even further.

    Also, at some point I also want to start getting up early on weekends too. Your tips comes in handy then :)

    Timo

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