14 Sep The Importance of Becoming a Morning Person for Business Success
Not everyone is able to wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed first thing in the morning. Some of us struggle to get out of bed by ten, awakening bleary-eyed and whatever the opposite of “bushy-tailed” is. Unfortunately for the night owls, though, it seems that those who rise with the sun really do accomplish more throughout the day. No one knows the exact science behind this, but it seems that early birds really do catch more worms, and here are some possible reasons why:
1. People naturally have more motivation in the morning.
Okay, so you probably don’t feel especially motivated before you’ve had your coffee, but research shows that people are generally more energetic and have more willpower earlier in the day. As the day goes on, it’s easy to become more and more lethargic.
In fact, the University of Nottingham and the National Institute of Education in Singapore did a study on self-control throughout the day. They found that motivation is finite and seems to decrease as the day progresses. The earlier you get started, the more self-control you’ll have to complete your tasks throughout the day.
It’s possible that you’ve noticed this phenomenon and just haven’t admitted the fact to yourself. Do you feel groggy and unfocused around late afternoon? That feeling usually grows as the evening goes on. While it’s easy to say that you’ve still got hours left in the day to complete your to do list, it’s usually much harder to complete difficult tasks at 7 p.m. than it is at 7 a.m. In fact, if you wait too long to get started, it’s possible that you’ll skip the item altogether and tack it on to the next day’s to do list instead.
2. Arising early gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
If you’re like the rest of civilized society, you probably don’t feel especially proud of yourself when you crawl out of bed at noon. You might know people who jog at 6 a.m. and wonder how they can even function at that early hour, but there’s nothing particularly impressive about an 11 a.m. alarm.
Late sleepers may feel disappointed in themselves as soon as they wake up, which is not a good way to start the day. Rising early may boost your sense of accomplishment, which gives you a much better outlook for the rest of the day.
3. It’s easy to focus in the morning.
Mornings are generally free from distractions. Once you’ve had your coffee, gotten dressed, and taken care of your morning chores, it’s easy to focus on the important tasks. By contrast, afternoon and evening hours are often filled with errands, children arriving home from school, spouses and roommates coming home from work, dogs that need to be walked, families that need to be fed, and the list goes on and on.
By getting an early start on the day, you’ll have more time to focus on the things that really matter. That’s why experts say to do the most difficult task first thing in the morning. If you’re already focused and alert, it makes sense to spend that energy wisely.
4. The rest of the business world gets up early.
Of course, one of the most obvious reasons for getting up early is that everyone else is doing it. If you want to be successful in the business world, you need to play by the rules. And the rules state that the typical workday starts at 8 or 9 a.m. and ends at 5 or 6 p.m.
No one’s quite sure who made these rules; we all just follow them blindly because they’ve worked for a while now. Who are we to question the rest of society?
5. People think late risers are lazy.
Now, everyone knows that stereotypes aren’t necessarily true. In fact, it’s just plain wrong to judge someone without knowing all the facts. But it’s hard to explain that to everyone you know. The fact of the matter is that morning people are generally considered go-getters and late risers are considered lazy.
It’s possible that you stay up until the wee hours of the morning getting your work done, but no one else knows that. If you don’t answer the phone or conduct business before 10 a.m., it’s possible that you’re losing business because people don’t think you’re dedicated to your job. It’s not a fair assumption, but life in the business world isn’t always fair.
You can change your schedule.
Now that you’re convinced to become a morning person, you’re probably dreading the actual transition. It won’t be easy, but there are ways to make the transition smoother.
- Don’t try to wake up hours earlier all at once. If you usually wake up at ten, try waking up at 9:30 the first day instead. Gradually adjust this time back by 15 or 30 minutes until you hit your desired wake up time.
- Don’t sleep in on weekends. The workweek is draining to almost everyone, but you shouldn’t use the weekends to sleep in. If you wake up at six on Friday, you should wake up at six on Saturday and Sunday, too. Otherwise, your sleep cycle may get out of whack again.
- It may take a minute or two to fully awaken, even after you’ve had coffee and started your day. During these first few minutes, work on tasks that are easy so your brain doesn’t work too hard. Once you feel alert, move on to the most difficult thing on your list and continue from there.
The workday has historically started early in the morning for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Originally, it was necessary to work while the sun was up, since it was the only source of light and being able to see is very important for business success. Time has changed, though, and table lamps and computers do wonders for the average work schedule. Thanks to these modern conveniences, it’s easy to get stuck on a late-night, sleeping-in type of schedule, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to succeed.
If you find yourself staying up later and later and waking closer and closer to lunchtime, it may be time to adjust your schedule and reap the many rewards of becoming a morning person.