Mornings can be a wild dash for most of us – racing the clock to meet the needs of kids, get dressed and fly out the door. Not to mention the stress of misplacing items, battling traffic, or arriving late only to feel you’re playing catch-up all day. Some of us act like “Good Morning” is a contradiction of terms!
So, does the early bird really get the worm?
Yes! Studies show the most successful people wake up early – say 5 or 6 a.m. – to accomplish things that are often impossible to take care of later in the day. While many of us are still sleeping, these people are scoring daily victories to improve health, careers and personal lives.
Why does “before breakfast” work so well? If we wait until the end of the day to do the meaningful but not urgent things – like exercising, praying, writing our book or strategizing a new career path – chances are our most important goals probably won’t happen. Research shows that tasks requiring self-discipline are simply easier to do while the day is young. Willpower, like a muscle, becomes fatigued from overuse as the day goes on.
The answer is to pay yourself first! Since early morning hours have the most potential for productivity, schedule your most important priorities first. By turning your high-value tasks into rituals, you conserve energy for later battles. The willpower you use to get up early will become a habit over time and actually save energy, boosting your sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with life.
According to Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit, waking up early is a “keystone habit” – a ritual that has the power to start a chain reaction that can profoundly impact many different areas of your life. For example, exercise can have a profound effect on mood, sleep, vitality, motivation, metabolism, concentration, decision-making and self esteem. Duhigg says that any habit, no matter its complexity, can be rebuilt. Even the most dysfunctional people – or organizations – can transform themselves.
So, not only does the early bird get the worm, he’s generally happier, healthier and has a high overall satisfaction with his life!
Need more inspiration? Watch this TEDTalk by Matt Cutts – “Try Something New for 30 Days.”
What would you do with an extra hour in your day?