For the most part, people can be divided into two categories. The first group of people leap out of bed ready to start the day, sprint into the kitchen, and start preparing breakfast. They shower in a record time, get dressed, and jump out the door ready to start working.
The second group of people barely make it out of bed and sluggishly stumble through the first few hours of the day, but not after snoozing their alarm clock a few times, of course.
Unfortunately, I fall into the second category. Waking up is a pain, and I often struggle to get through the first two to three hours of the day without feeling distracted. While I pick up speed later in the day (and excel after 6 pm), the first few hours of the day are a bit of a blur for me.
Luckily, adopting good morning habits has allowed me to adapt to the normal early riser schedule and make the most of each day, despite my genetically imprinted night owl habits. Here’s how I do it:
- I practice getting out of bed every month. Steve Pavlina’s guide to waking up early is crucially important here and definitely worth reading if you’re a late riser.
- For the first 10 minutes of the day, I relax and do breathing exercises. Doing so helps me wake up, come to terms with the fact that I can’t waste time in bed, and get on with my day.
- I take cold showers, which have a huge number of medical and wellbeing benefits. You get used to it quickly.
- I drink coffee within 15 minutes of getting out of bed, normally right after I finish my breathing exercises. This way, I’m fully caffeinated by the time I sit down to to work. To save time, I use a capsule coffee machine (a Nespresso Inissia — you can view a list of the best tasting capsules here) as it requires virtually no clean up.
- I eat at least 40 grams of protein with breakfast, which seems to help me feel energized and full. I’m not anti-carb, but I find that carbs in the morning rarely leave me feeling satisfied and normally result in hunger problems later in the day.
- I open the curtains as wide as possible and keep two to three windows open for the first few hours of the day. I live in a hot climate, and the fresh air makes a big difference to my ability to focus and think.
- I work for an hour at a time, then take a 15 minute break. Doing so seems to keep me more focused than longer blocks of dedicated, endless work.
- I take it easy on the weekends. Life is no fun when you have to wake up early everyday. If you’re a night owl, hold yourself accountable with an early riser schedule during the week, but don’t be afraid to kick back and sleep in on Saturday and Sunday morning.