“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Are you looking for a little more time in your day to work on your most important projects?
Recently, I was thinking I needed to find a way that I could work on some really awesome projects, maintain my existing writing schedule and spend quality time with my family. It is true that we all have the same 24 hours so it’s all about how we use that time.
Time is fickle
Time slips away when we are not using it. It doesn’t wait for us; it just continues to move forward. It leaves us feeling lost, overwhelmed and guilty. Without a time-management plan, before we know it our 24 hours will be up and we will not have accomplished what we had set out to do.
Using time efficiently
Since time is not waiting for us, what are we really doing to use it better? I believe there are many people that are just so busy; they can’t imagine how they will gain extra time in their day. Family responsibilities, work activities and sleeping take up big chunks of time. We have to figure out a way to make the most of the time we have.
Sleeping is overrated?
So what about sleeping? How much sleep are you getting and are you using your sleep time as well as you can? We need sleep for our brain to function most effectively, but other lifestyle habits are also important. Can creating higher quality sleep habits change the amount we need? Yes, I believe it can. By creating habits and supportive environments can we reduce the number of hours we are sleeping while still being productive.
Benefits of Becoming an Early Riser
What are the benefits of becoming an early riser? Here are a few:
1. Early rising allows you to greet the day. Being able to say “good morning” to the sun rise can have a profoundly positive impact on your day. Say a morning prayer, be grateful for everything you have in your life, take a few deep breaths, and prepare for your day.
Rising early gives you time to move slowly and really appreciate your life, instead of getting up in a rush. This is your own time. You can do a little light reading or a blissful workout while the rest of the world is asleep. In the morning, you can take the time to focus on yourself and your priorities.
2.Early rising allows you to experience the sunrise. Waking up after sunrise every day means that you miss one of nature’s greatest gifts. Imagine sipping tea on your front porch or in front of a big window, watching as the sky slowly brightens and the day comes to life. This alone may be reason enough to wake before sunrise every day.
If you need some motivation, vow to get up to see the sun rise just once this week. You may be so moved by the colors, sounds, and cool air that you vow to experience sunrises every week, maybe even every day.
3. Early rising allows you to enjoy a healthy breakfast. Rising early means that you’ll actually have time to sit down for breakfast. Breakfast is an important part of hitting the ground running, as it gives you energy to keep you going and keeps you fueled until lunchtime. It has also been shown eating breakfast boosts your metabolism and can help keep you slimmer.
Imagine having the time to slow down and enjoy breakfast while reading a book, browsing through the newspaper, watching the morning news, or drinking your morning coffee. These moments of relaxation may be reason enough to get up earlier.
4. Early rising facilitates the experience of a more productive day. As half the world is still asleep, there’s plenty that you can achieve in your morning routine. Get a jump on your to-do list and benefit from the boosts in productivity that you can experience when you wake up earlier than normal.
You might even pencil in specific to-do list items for early mornings – little things that you can accomplish more easily when nobody else is around, such as prepping lunches for your family or even catching up on bills.
These are just some of the benefits that rising early can afford you. If you need more motivation and inspiration, try giving early rising a chance for a week or two and reflect on how you feel. Waking early in the morning isn’t for everyone, but it may be just what you need to be more efficient in everything you do.
How to get started:
- Prepare to sleep well. Be intentional about getting a good nights sleep ahead of time. Take at least 15 minutes for down time before going to bed and get prepared for a good nights sleep.
- Set a time. Just saying “I would like to get up earlier” is not going to cut it, you need to make a firm decision. “I will get up at 5:00 am every day.” Now you have a place to start.
- 15 minutes a day. It may be that you have a pretty big gap in the time you are getting up now, to the time you would like to get up. It is NOT a good idea to do it all in one day. Take several days, even several weeks to adjust your scheduled by 15 minute intervals until you have reached the time you set.
- Plan your day. Now that you have this extra time, you need to be sure that you use it wisely and focus on tasks that are most important. Taking 5-10 minutes to plan, either the night before or first thing in the morning will ensure that you are successful.
- Relax. I believe that it is a requirement to use part of the time to be with yourself. Take time to relax, spend some time in meditation or prayer, or take a quiet gentle walk in nature.
I am sure that you can think of a few other ways to make use of the extra time. What would be your number one goal for becoming an early riser and what would be one thing you would do during that time?
This is a guest post by Lori Lynn Smith. She is a passionate and authentic teacher who shares her real life experiences about creating a more nurturing and fulfilling lifestyle. As a woman, mother, lover, sister, or friend we often forget that we need to re-charge our batteries. We need to take care of ourselves; we need to love ourselves FIRST!