1 Good MorningAre you a morning person or do you prefer to stay up late?  Productivity experts say it is best to get up early.  You can get a lot done with no distractions or interruptions.  It sounds like good advice, but it seems easier said than done. 

However, to accomplish something you have never done before its is probably a good idea to listen to the experts.  It is a good idea to also listen to those who have achieved the type of success you are looking for.  Maybe getting up early is a good idea. 

What’s more, there is research that shows that early risers tend to be happier and more proactive. 

Here is a list of some of the people who have adopted this type of schedule:

  • Howard Schultz of Starbucks – 4:30 am (I am sure a unlimited supply of free coffee helps)
  • Jeff Immelt of GE – 5:30am
  • Ursula Burns of Xerox – 5:15am
  • Serio Marchionne of Chrysler – 3:30am
  • Jack Dorsey of Square – 5:30am
  • Tim Cook of Apple – 4:30am
  • Bob Iger of Disney – 4:30am

You might think that getting up early is only a matter of discipline, but it actually takes much more than that according to Julie Morgenstern.  She is a time management consultant and author of Never Check Email In The Morning.  It seems that our culture has been built around sleeping later.  Unfortunately, as a entrepreneur it seems that is not an option for us.

The key to changing your routine starts the night before.  Here are six ideas you might want to consider.

Change your mind about mornings:

People fight going to sleep because they want to get more done.  However, if you start to consider going to sleep as the start of your next day it changes your perspective on why you are going to sleep.

Change your bedtime:

This sounds easier than it is but it is worth it!  You know how much sleep you need.  Lets say its seven hours and you want to start getting up at 5am.  That means hitting the sack by 10pm.  The hardest part will be breaking your current patterns, but as entrepreneurs that is what we do, right!?

Adjust your after work activities:

Morgenstern suggests adjusting when you eat dinner and your after dinner activities.  She says, eating dinner two to three hours before bedtime is optimal for being able to fall asleep and sleeping well.

Prepare for the next day the night before:

Sometimes you stay in bed not because you are tired, but because what you have planned is overwhelming.  Make it less so overwhelming by prepping the night before.  Set out your gym clothes, pack your gym bag.  If you are working from home clean up your work space before going to bed. 

By prepping the night before you are setting yourself up for success.

Unplug!:

Morgenstern suggests turning off anything that is plugged in or requires a battery to operate an hour before bedtime.  That means shutting off the TV, checking Facebook, or even using an e-reader.

She suggests replacing it with something relaxing such as reading a book (made of paper), prepping your meals or even drawing or journaling before bed.

Create a bedtime routine:

A consistent routine will help your body clock realize you are about to go to bed.  Clean up the kitchen, turn out the lights, stretch or even taking a leisurely walk.  Your nightly routine will help you fall asleep faster and increase your chances of waking up when your alarm goes off.

While a late schedule may make more sense for some occupations, most people can benefit from waking up earlier.  Getting a head start on others in your industry, and finding time to exercise are just a couple of benefits. 

Make Your Day Great

Hans Oliver

P.S. If you want to use your extra time to create your own online business that you can operate from anywhere, and be super excited about check this out