9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person
Rise and shine, sleepyhead! Today’s the day you start taking steps to becoming a morning person.
I know it’s hard to drag yourself out of bed when that comfy cool pillow is hugging your face, but, as they say, the early bird gets the worm.
That’s not all the early bird gets, either. Here’s are several more reason why shaking off the sleep and getting your day started early is beneficial. (See also: 5 Effective Sleep Tips You Haven't Tried Yet)
1. Increased Productivity
Whenever I wake up early and start working right away, I get more done and the day seems to go by faster. Plus, I don’t have to rush. Waking up at 6 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. means that I have three extra hours before the calls and e-mails start flooding in, leaving me with a window of opportunity to actually concentrate.
2. Ample Time for Exercise
If you follow my posts, you know that I’m not a fan of exercise any time of day, but I must confess that it’s easier to motivate myself to get in a workout before I start working for a couple reasons. The first benefit to exercising early is that I don’t have to shower beforehand. I hit the gym looking and smelling like I just woke up, put in my time, and then get dressed and ready to greet the day. The second benefit is that it frees up more time in the afternoon/evening because I don’t have to allot an hour or two to going to the gym, getting undressed, working out, showering, getting dressed again, styling my hair, etc. When I leave exercise to the afternoon, I often skip it because I’m too tired or have an event, or I make up an excuse because I don’t want to ruin a good hair day.
3. Less-Stressful Commute
I don’t have to tell you that there are fewer cars on the road at 6 a.m. than there are at 8 a.m. — and fewer cars means that you’ll get to where you’re going more efficiently and with less hassle. Plus, if you have a job that allows you to put in your eight hours at any time, you may be able to leave earlier so you can fit more into your evening, which brings me to the next benefit…
4. More Time to Relax in the Evening
When you’re more productive in the morning, chances are you’ll have more time to relax and take a breather in the evening. Maybe even cook yourself a nice meal, pour a glass of wine, and catch up on your summer TiVo. Newly recorded episodes of “True Blood” and “The Real Housewives” are reason enough for me to get up with the sun.
5. It’s Healthier
Of course there’s the benefit of exercise, but getting up early also leaves you time to have breakfast — the most important meal of the day. Eating a balanced breakfast will give you the energy you need to stay productive and ward off those hunger pangs that send you to the vending machine before lunchtime.
6. Scheduling Earlier Appointments
I love early appointments, so I can get things out the way. There’s nothing more annoying than having to stop what I’m doing — especially if I’m in a creative zone — to honor a dentist or doctor’s appointment in the middle of the afternoon.
7. Planning and Preparing Gets Done
When I start work after 9 a.m., I feel like I have to jump headfirst into the projects that are on my schedule; I don’t have any time to sit back and think about what I’m going to do. When that happens, my work suffers because I’m trying to plow through it to meet a deadline. I’d rather get my lazy bum up a bit earlier so I can plan, prepare, and complete the work at a reasonable pace that allows me to pay closer attention to detail.
8. Be Alone With Your Thoughts
You can get more work done or exercise or visit the doctor — or you can pour yourself a hot cup of coffee and appreciate the alone time you have in the morning. I don’t have kids, but if I did, I would definitely try to get up an hour or so before them so I could mentally prepare for the hurt they're going to put on me throughout the day.
9. Sneak in a Little Recreation
If your days, afternoons, and evenings are full of activities — as mine are — the morning may be the only time you have to do something that you want to do. Whether it's reading, playing video games, or working on a craft project, being an early riser will allow you to participate in those activities at your leisure. Which also has another benefit, by the way — I’ve found that engaging in a stimulating, non-stressful activity early in the morning sharpens my creativity and focus. I seem to be much more on my game after an hour of playtime in the early morning hours.
Are you a morning person? What benefits do you reap? Let me know in the comments below.