[Applied Psychology] Early Rising Benefits

If there’s only one benefit with waking up early, as you peer through the obscuring trees of your mind’s doubts telling you to go back to sleep, it’s getting your shot to advance at something. Maybe it’s preparing for an interview, attending a meeting with an important customer, or refining a skill. I’ve found that my motivations to rise to any challenge of getting any shot goes away when I sleep in. Why is that?

My main reason might be that I forget the value of “the shot.”

There have been many days over my career where I felt tired, wanted to use a sick day, or mentally went through excuses to shield myself from facing the day. What would usually encourage me to head into the office on those mornings was my chance at getting “that shot,” such as meeting with a customer, which I’d always review on my calendar the business day before.

Executing the excuse should be more difficult than actually doing the work.

It’s easy to sleep in on a day off. It’s easier to forget your motivations. Those are the days where you have to introduce your “morning shot” into your evening routine. As you’re brushing your teeth, taking your vitamins, and setting your alarm clocks, visualize that task you need to do. This morning was easy: write. Especially with the title “Early Rising Benefits,” I couldn’t sleep in.

You may not always feel like it. Good! That’s the best time to push through.

Keep your alarm clocks outside of arm’s reach so you can’t instinctively turn them off from the comfort of your bed. Get up and stretch. Moving your body will get your blood flowing. Focusing on something trivial helps distract me from feeling tiredness. The taste of drip coffee without sugar or cream, for me, always reminds me of the 2AM night shifts where I needed be stay awake.

The friction of waking up early is perhaps my greatest motivator.

That’s because while my internal motivation is a dream shot that’s still years away, my daily external motivations are daily tasks that will help prepare me for that dream shot. The friction of lumbering around in the morning, and the psychological feelings of sleep-deprivation while drinking coffee despite being almost fully rested, actually help me complete those daily tasks.

Here’s the psychological trick: your shot is being prepared to take on the day.

I haven’t achieved anything that will get me closer to my goals from the comfort of my bed. Being tempted by the safety and security of sleep wouldn’t have inspired me to get this cool shot of the Space Needle months ago. Being intolerant of my alarms going off won’t help me me build the character to tolerate the effort it takes to get my shot at advancing toward something.

Every day, you choose your own adventure.

Do you want to begin your adventure late, ill-equipped, and without plans?

If that means waking up two hours early, do it!

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.