27 Jan 12 Things Focused People Do To Wake Up Early
The difference between those that have higher levels of focus and those that don’t- is discipline. They practice exercises to increase focus and do it every day! Don’t get me wrong, focused people fall off the wagon too, but they get back on and do things even if they don’t want to.
Here’s a little story about The Letter To Garcia:
Author Elbert Hubbard told the story of “letter to Garcia” during the Spanish-American War.
It was imperative that the president got a message to the leader of the insurgents. His name was Garcia and he was known to fighting somewhere in the mountains of Cuba, but no mail or telegraph could reach him. Someone said, “There’s a fellow by the name of Rowan who will find Garcia for you if anybody can.”
Rowan took the letter without hesitation. He sealed it in a leather pouch strapped over his heart. He landed in the dark of night off the coast of Cuba and make his way to the mountains, and after much difficulty, found Garcia. He handed him the letter, turned around and headed home. Hubbard tells his story in the book. Rowan didn’t ask, “Exactly where is he?” or “I doubt if I can do it.” There was a job to be done and he did it.
Instead of making a dozen excuses why you can’t complete the task, think about Rowan. Deliver the goods!
We all know the struggle: Your alarm goes off at a ridiculously early hour, and you hit snooze seven times until you absolutely must drag yourself out of bed in order to make it to work on time. It’s not like you did anything too taxing last night, but rough mornings like these are becoming far too common—and they’re taking a serious toll on your morning productivity!
Here at 12 focus exercises you would do if you were up and at it earlier today:
- No Tech Before Bed: In a world that revolves around constant communication and the convenience of all things digital, it’s hard to even think about setting aside a full tech-free hour every evening. But it’s definitely worth a shot, even if you have to start with 15 tech-free minutes, then 30 tech-free minutes, and then 45 tech-free minutes, before finally making it to an hour. The blue light emitting from your device interferes with melatonin production.
- Get into a Pre-Bed Routine: Creating a pre-sleep routine goes hand-in-hand with tuning out tech before bed: In the hour that you’ve given yourself to be laptop-, tablet-, and phone-free, you can make time to do what relaxes you most. Meditate or Take a hot shower, hold some relaxing yoga poses, or curl up in bed with a good book. Once you’ve settled on a pre-bedtime ritual that you enjoy, do your best to follow it every night—doing so will let your body know it’s bedtime and help you fall asleep faster when you finally do turn out the lights.
- Go Old School Alarm(No Phones): You’ve heard before that it’s smart to stick your alarm clock on the other side of the room: It forces you to get up to turn off the alarm, after all, which in turn forces you to wake up a little faster. But why the “real” alarm clock? Isn’t it totally commonplace to use our phones nowadays? It sure is, but the combo of the harsh light of a smartphone screen and the temptation to check notifications created by leaving your phone near your bed are damaging to your sleep habits. And hey—you can find a regular alarm clock for pretty cheap.
- Mid Night Glues: Don’t glue your eyes to the phone anytime you wake up in the middle of a good night’s sleep. Sneaking a peak is problematic for a number of reasons: The bright lights of the clock will jar you awake and make it harder to fall back asleep, you’ll likely worry yourself awake by calculating the number of hours you have left to sleep, and if you’re using your phone to check the time, you might be tempted to check any notifications you’ve received. In the end, it’s better to save yourself the trouble and just shut your eyes again if you wake up before your alarm is set to go off.
- No Alcohol: Sure, that glass of wine before bed totally helped you fall asleep right after you drank it, but it also messed with your sleep cycle all night long. Drink too much too close to your bedtime, and doing so will only disrupt your sleep patterns and leave you feeling extra-drowsy the next day.
- Be Consistent (in the night): The key to waking up easier is setting (and following!) a reasonable and consistent bedtime. At this point, you know how many hours of sleep your body really needs to function at its best during the day, so determine the time you want to wake up and then count backwards from there to set your bedtime. Of course, there will be nights when you won’t follow your schedule perfectly, but it’s the overall consistency that counts.
- Be Consistent (In the morning): Just as setting a consistent bedtime is important, so is setting a consistent wake-up time. Ultimately, you want to avoid compromising the amount of sleep you’re getting for an extra-late night or a super-early morning. Transition to the new wake-up time slowly: This will make the big adjustment that much easier—and you won’t be cheating yourself out of a ton of Z’s.
- Wake Up And Take Out The Tech: In the first 10 to 15 minutes after you’ve woken up, let yourself exist without technology. Connect with yourself before you start connecting with the rest of the world.
- Get Up and Stretch: Arch your back, bend your knees, or lift your arms up high, because getting out of bed and stretching is an excellent way to ease you into the motion of the day.
- Light it up: Open your curtains, pull up those shades, and soak some in. Your body is programmed to respond to natural light in the mornings, so just by exposing yourself to a lil’ sunshine right after you wake up, you’re setting yourself up to be energized and ready for the day ahead.
- Make Your Bed: believe it or not, this simple task is an excellent way to wake yourself up and set yourself up for a productive day. When you make your bed, you’re starting your day by accomplishing a task you can be proud of by making a clear division between day and night. An unmade bed invites you back in before the day has even begun, but a made bed motivates you to move on. Plus, who doesn’t love pulling back the covers on a beautifully made bed at the end of a long day?
- Set Goals: Before you jump into the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life, take a minute to sit up straight on the edge of your bed and think about what you hope to accomplish today. Set three or so concrete goals for yourself—they don’t have to be big, but to a certain extent, they should challenge you. Setting these goals gives your day a sense of purpose, which in turn should energize you and make waking up that much easier!
The thing is, being focused doesn’t have to be so hard. With the help of these 12 fool-proof tips, you can improve focus and build it if you already are! Get up, go forth, and show that to-do list who’s boss.
Nehita is a mindfulness expert who writes extensively on lifestyle management, wellness and ways to lead a healthier and a happier life. She is a part of Aware’s expert team on meditation. She is also an avid artist who spends most her time dribbling amazing stories through art.