A guest post by Hulbert Lee of From Bottom Up.
Because you’ve probably read many resources already on how to become an early riser, I don’t want to bore you with another how-to, step-by-step article on early rising. Also, I don’t consider myself an early riser so it would be kind of unreasonable if I started giving you instructions on something I don’t do.
Instead, I gathered all the information I could on bloggers who actually wake up early in the morning, what their experiences are like during this time, and how they became an early riser. Then I put all this information together in one piece so you can see it from different perspectives. Here are the facts of five early riser bloggers from around the world, including your own Jean Berg-Sarauer, who share their experiences of early rising.
Wake Up Time: 5 AM
Duration: Oscar has been doing this for 3 or 4 months.
Benefits: Time, mental clarity, can accomplish many more tasks that would require many hours if he were to wake up later in the day, fresh mind, and no distractions.
Why he became an early riser: Time, couldn’t finish tasks in the evening.
How he did it: Did a 30-day challenge on his blog, people motivated him there, they thought it was cool, and wanted to hear from him.
Reason why people fail: They fall back to sleep again.
Advice to people: Practice getting up as soon as the alarm clock rings, go outside, wash your head with cold water, and go away from the room.
How long for results: It should take 3 or 4 days to get comfortable with it and 3 weeks to get used to it.
Miscellaneous: The winter mornings in Italy are not really cold.
Quote: “I saw that other people were doing it and they said it was fantastic so there was no reason for me not to try it.”
Location: North America
Wake Up Time: 4 AM to 5 AM
Duration: Jean has been doing this since the beginning of this summer.
Reason: Wanted to go to more of a summer schedule with her blog so she could do her blogging work and still have time to enjoy the summer weather, be outside, and do things.
Benefits: Time alone, being who you are, no distractions, makes her a calmer person, doesn’t feel pressured or obligated to spend time with loved ones in the morning as much compared to if they woke up all together at around the same time.
How she did it: Some people told her to ease into it for 15 minutes at a time, but she was too impatient to do that, so she set her alarm clock 1 hour earlier, but put the alarm across her hall in another room. Once she’s gotten up that far from her room, she’s up. She is also gentle to herself while waking up in the morning. She needs to be in bed by 10 PM to 11 PM at the latest.
Advice to people: Be clear on why you want to do this, set your alarm where you have to go quite a distance, see if there’s anyone that can be an accountability partner for you such as a spouse to nudge you before they go back to sleep or a walking partner, have something to look forward the night before (e.g. good coffee, good tea, books laid out, etc.).
Miscellaneous: When Jean was younger, her mom had a hard time getting her up for school. When she was into the party scene and that kind of stuff, 4 AM or 5 AM was about the time she was thinking about going to bed. The thought of waking up at that time was too painful.
Quote: “Well for me the biggest benefit is just the experience of the solitude. It just feels like you have the whole world. Like you own time.”
Wake Up Time: Just before 6 AM
Duration: Annabel has been doing this for 4 years.
Benefits: Needs time on her own, getting up before the rest of the family, permission to think about creative things, exercise, walks towards the beach, catches the sunrise over the sea, hears the sound of the water, sees birds (e.g. White-faced Heron and Rainbow Lorikeet), helped with getting over depression.
How she did it: Has something to look forward to every day, put the alarm clock in the bathroom, and meets a friend once a week at 6 AM in the morning for a bike ride.
Reasons why people fail: Going to bed too late and going to bed at a different time every night.
Advice for people: Make sure you go to bed at the same time every time, stick with it for one week, and have something to look forward to in the morning like writing, walking, or seeing birds.
Miscellaneous: Once rescued a baby possum during one of her walks to the beach.
Quote: “I never thought that I’d go to bed at night and actually look forward to getting up at quarter to six in the morning.”
Wake Up Time: Usually gets up at 5 AM.
Duration: Justin has been doing this since the spring of this year.
Benefits: Quietness, sereneness, puts him in a relaxed state (not tired) and a nice working mood, has more time to dedicate to work or business-oriented activities, has personal development time to reprogram his mind by listening to audio, reading books, does not feel hurried, and works at a nice, steady pace.
How he did it: Recognizing he needed to create time to do personal development stuff (an activity he enjoyed), realizing that the best time to do this was in the morning for him, associated it with something he looked forward to doing, and acted on it right away.
Reasons why people fail: Not realizing why they want to do it, some people force themselves to become early risers even though they may work better at night.
Advice for people: Make a decision right now from your core to make a commitment, don’t do it just for the sake of doing it, act on it right away, and consider having other people join you (e.g. a walking club) where everybody holds each other accountable.
Miscellaneous: Justin is the kind of guy that when he has something new that he wants to do, the initial excitement is enough to keep him going for the first couple of days.
Quote: “I love going outside into the stillness of the world. It’s just like nobody’s up yet. There’s just something really mystical about it.”
Wake Up Time: Around 5 AM
Duration: Celes has been doing this since 2009.
Benefits: Peacefulness, quietness, no mental chatter, gets a lot more done, psychological feel-good factor of just being up ahead of the world, makes her feel like she wants to maintain that lead, getting started on tasks in her schedule before others, and very motivating.
How she did it: Started a 30-day challenge on her blog, putting multiple alarm clocks around far away from her, hiding her alarm clocks, and sleeping early.
Reason why people fail: Sleeping too late which results in bashing oneself up in the morning and waking up grumpy with mental chatter that tells them to go back to sleep.
Advice for people: Go to sleep earlier, meditate or read to reduce mental clutter, have a good diet, plan out schedule the night before you go to sleep, have a reason for why you want to do this, and have something to do when you wake up in the morning.
Miscellaneous: Goes to sleep at 12 AM and is comfortable getting 5 hours of sleep per night.
Quote: “One of the habits which my readers wanted to cultivate was waking up early, and it’s interesting because the first few days of the program one reader was saying how she succeeded in waking up at 5:30, which was the time she wanted to wake up but then she went back to sleep because there was nothing to do!”
Mental clarity is something that is rare find these days, and although there are obviously different times in the day where we can blog, there are definitely a lot of benefits of being an early riser when it comes to blogging or just putting us in a position where we can become better bloggers. Silence, room for creative flow, high energy, and a “fresh brain” are to name a few.
As for me, I’m still in the process of becoming an early riser. This week my record has been waking up at around 5 AM for four days in a row, something that has never been accomplished before in my life. It’s definitely inspiring to hear others who have done what you want to do.
Even though we all live in different parts of the world, I think it’s cool that we can share the same experience of waking up early in the morning together through blogging. Hopefully, the reasons and efforts of your fellow bloggers have inspired you to do the same.
Your turn: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Bio: Hulbert Lee is an interviewer who interviews people across the world. He owns a personal development podcast blog at From Bottom Up. His goal is to acquire valuable information from experts in various topics of personal development to help others improve their lives in any way possible. Visit his blog to hear the latest interview.