4 strategies to become an early riser and start conquering your days

Darryl Bachmeier
Sep 9, 2019

Have you ever looked at millionaires on TV who can’t stop raving on about their habit of waking up at 4.30 a.m. every day and wondered: how do they even pull this off?

Or maybe you’re in the camp that is not entirely convinced that waking up so early on a daily basis can be tremendously beneficial in so many ways. Instead of wondering how those people on TV pull this off, you question the need for such an approach to life.

Let’s sort out this matter once and for all and look at the proven benefits of becoming an early riser, and learn about the process of building this into a habit.

Why should you rise early?

You get a headstart on your day

Waking up at 4.30 a.m. every day gives you at least a +3 hours advantage over everyone else who does not. You have so much solitary and peaceful time to plan your day, read your favorite book, think deeply and write down your reflections, practice a skill, exercise, or even just watch the beautiful sight of the Sun coming up.

Getting so much done before most people wake up delivers a psychological advantage that keeps your productivity sky-high for the rest of the day. Ultimately, you end up accomplishing more in a day than many people are able to do in two.

Your creativity goes off-charts

Creative work requires long uninterrupted periods of deep thought in a quiet atmosphere that is conducive to concentration. This is why people who wake up early every day find that their creative output goes up significantly.

The peace and quiet of the morning and the fresh air all contribute to boosting creativity and allow you to get done with a lot of difficult work such as working on a book, solving a problem, or applying your mind to an innovative project.

You get time for yourself

If you’re married and have children, then it is highly likely that you do not get much time for yourself. From the moment you get home from work to when you get to sleep, you have to tend to one thing or another - prepare food, help the kids with the homework, get them to bed, and so on.

By waking up early at a time when others (especially the kids) are asleep, you are able to make time for what you want to do. You can work on your goals, go for a run, or read your favorite book - in short, everything that involves you enjoying your own company.

How to become an early riser

Now that you’ve understood the benefits of becoming an early riser and are likely convinced about its effectiveness, it’s time to take the next step in your journey. Let’s go over the 4 strategies that will help you (gradually) become an early riser!

One small step at a time

If you’re in a habit of waking up at 8 a.m. every day, there’s no way you’re going to go to sleep and magically wake up at 4.30 a.m. for the next five days. Your body will not accept this sudden and drastic change.

Instead, proceed in small increments. On the next day, try to wake up at 7.30 a.m. and continue to do so for a week until it becomes easy for you. After that, revise your wake-up time to 7.00 a.m. and try to become consistent with that. Slowly but surely, you will find yourself comfortably moving towards your actual goal.

Go to bed early

People who wake up early do not sacrifice their sleep to do so. It’s not like they’re still going to bed at 2 a.m. and getting up at 4.30 a.m. - that is only going to kill your productivity and make you irritated for the rest of your day.

The key to getting adequate sleep while waking up early is to go to bed early. Instead of lying down to sleep at 2 a.m. after you’re done watching your TV show and videos on YouTube, you need to be in bed and asleep by 10 p.m. If you don’t, there’s no way you’ll ever become an early riser.

You might be thinking: but I don’t feel sleepy at all at 10 p.m.! How will I fall asleep?

That is a valid question. Here’s what you should do: choose a ‘transition day’ in which you forcefully get up earlier than your normal wake-up time (following the 30-minute increment rule) and avoid taking any naps or sleeping during that day. By the time night rolls around, you’ll find yourself feeling sleepy earlier than your normal sleep-time.

Place your alarm clock far away from your bed

One of the reasons why most of us are unable to wake up when the alarm starts to ring is that it’s just too close at hand - before our mind gets round to processing the idea of getting up, we’ve already smacked the snooze button and dozed off again.

So put your alarm clock (or your phone) somewhere far away from your bed where you can still hear it (so that you wake up) but you have to get up and walk a few steps to finally switch it off. This will give your mind and body the required time to wake up and make it more difficult for you to unconsciously go back to sleep.

Have an exciting plan for the morning

Unless you have something to look forward to at the start of each morning, you’ll likely spend some time wandering about before going back to bed because you can’t really think of what you should be doing.

So make a morning routine and include activities that you enjoy - maybe it’s reading a book, taking a walk outside in the fresh air, or learning some new skill. As long as your mind knows that you’re going to be doing something exciting when you wake up, it’ll support you in building this habit eagerly.

Morning people can be made

It is true that some people have a natural tendency for starting the day early and others are ‘night owls’ who tend to do their best work in the wee hours of the night.

However, it is also true that even if you’re a night owl, you can still become a morning person if you make a strong intention and take the right steps. Other than that, if you’re still a bit skeptical, consider what Aristotle had to say about this several centuries ago:

“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.”

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