I am not a morning person. I get most of my work done at night and feel increasingly energized as the day moves along. Like many people, I still get up early because I have responsibilities scheduled during those hours. Not being a morning person may not be an issue for you if you aren’t a student and don’t work a traditional job. But for most of us getting up in the morning is a routine part of our lives. There are good reasons for getting up early other than social obligation. Many of the world’s most successful people swear by waking up early (link). Exercising during the day, limiting caffeine intake to the morning, and eliminating blue light exposure before bed are all sensible strategies to sleep better and feel more energized in the morning. But there’s another strategy I want to address that tackles the root issue of having low energy early in the day.
The sun has not caught me in bed in fifty years.
Our minds have an internal clock called a circadian rhythm that tells us when to be alert and when to be tired. It operates on a 24-hour cycle and is based on internal factors like our thoughts and environmental factors like sunlight. A big factor governing how much energy we have at any given moment are past memories and future expectations. On Christmas morning, I rarely have a problem getting up early. In fact, my energy Christmas morning is better than my energy in the evening on any other day. The same basic observation holds up on vacations and weekends.
Contrarily, when I was in college I used to hate getting up early to go to class. If I had a dollar for every time I hit the snooze button, I would be a rich man. I used to feel much better in the evening when I had fewer obligations and could go to the gym or watch a live sports match. These examples clearly and powerfully demonstrate the psychological factor at work. People who love the morning tend to look forward to the opportunities presented by a new day. Others loathe the morning because they see only challenges. If we repeatedly refuse to get up early, even at risk of being late for an obligation, this may be evidence that we are resisting our lives. And that is an anti-progressive attitude.
The fastest way to become a morning person is to practice controlled visualization. Rather than subconsciously linger over all the challenges that await, a better use of the imagination entails visualizing the morning as a breeding ground of opportunity. Opportunity to create the life we desire rather than to mindlessly go through motions, like a pig on a leash. In the process, we may discover that being a morning person has less to do with who we are and more to do with how we think.
For more on visualization, see my article entitled the key to successful visualization.