A recurring theme plaguing many of us is the lack of time we feel we have to accomplish our goals and dreams. It often feels as if there are not enough hours in a day. If you can relate to this menacing reality, keep reading! Over the next few weeks, I will try to shed light on how I conquer the time struggle.
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
– H. Jackson Brown
#1 WAKE UP EARLY
Regardless of job title, career or profession, we can all wake up a little bit earlier. You would be amazed at the amount of work you can get done in an hour. I challenge everyone reading, to wake up just one hour earlier and see how it changes your life. Many of us complain about not having time to do things that could easily be accomplished if we simply made a pact with ourselves to wake up one hour earlier every day.
Whether you want to lose a few pounds, catch up on office work, or even take much needed time to yourself to organize your thoughts, waking up early can solve your time deficiency woes.
I have committed to waking up earlier because I would rather sacrifice my own time than take a second away from my family. I spend a lot of time away from home: speaking, training, and flipping real estate across the country. I feel it is my responsibility to wake up and organize myself on my time. If I need to squeeze in a few extra hours of training or structure a busy day, I make sure I schedule time early in the morning to do so. Though our sunrises are as beautiful as they get, I’m at a disadvantage because I live in Hawaii. We are always at least a few hours behind the rest of the country, as far as time is concerned.
I’m not the only successful person that practices the early bird theory: Howard Schultz (C.E.O. Of Starbucks), Richard Branson (founder and chairman of Virgin group), and Bob Iger (C.E.O. Of Disney) all wake up before 5:45am to start their day.
If you’re thinking, “I’m a night owl and that’s just who I am,” you are partially right. Science has proven that many of us are biologically prone to waking up later than others. However, just like many other biological conditions we face, there are ways for us to cope with and sometimes even conquer our genetic predispositions.
If waking up early still seems impossible, I’d like to offer a pair of scientifically proven tips that may help:
Go to sleep earlier – The most effective way to alter our sleep schedule and wake up one hour earlier is to go to sleep an hour earlier. If you don’t believe me or still think that it doesn’t really matter what time you go to sleep or whether you wake up early, consider the science.
A scientist at Germany’s Aachen University conducted a study where he ran brain scans of early birds and night owls. The results showed that night owls are at a higher risk of depression and more prone to disruptions of normal cognitive functions. White matter (which is fatty tissue in the brain that facilitates communication among nerve cells) were diminished in the results of the night owls cat scans.
More sunlight, less blue light – Another recent study showed that increasig daytime exposure to sunlight and limiting night time exposure to artificial (blue) light can have a significant effect on our ability to get to sleep and wake up earlier. Translation: It may be healthy to put away your smart phones and electronic gadgets a few hours earlier to help the body to relax naturally and shift sleep-wake cycles.
If you are a night owl, making the transition from night owl to early bird can eventually be the difference between mediocrity and success.
I hope you all heed this advice and make a conscious effort to dedicate yourselves to waking up at least one hour earlier every day. Remember, it’s still the early bird that gets the worm.