1. Go to sleep early. Most of us are used to staying up late, whether it’s to watch TV shows, go out with friends or scroll through every social media feed (multiple times). However, if your goal is to wake up early, going to sleep late and being deprived of sleep will only make this habit harder to implement. Calculate how long you usually sleep (or how long you should be sleeping) and count back from the time you plan on waking up in the morning.
2. Give yourself an incentive i.e. what is your WHY? No one would choose to wake up at 5am without a reason for it. Some people find that they get much more done at the crack of dawn. Others like to work on their side project before everyone else gets up. Some people wake up early just because they are morning people and it makes them feel good. Figure out why you want to wake up early in the first place and remind yourself of this reason each morning.
3. Don’t make any drastic changes. If you usually get up at 9am and decide that from tomorrow, you’ll start getting up at 6am, you’re bound to fail. Instead of deciding to wake up hours earlier than you usually would, try setting your alarm about 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Then every day or two, shift this time back by another 15-30 minutes, until you reach your ideal wakeup time.
4. Leave your alarm clock at the other side of the room. Having your alarm as far away from you as possible will force you to get out of bed. Also, try to get outside as soon after waking up as possible, even if only for a few minutes – this will help you to stay awake much more easily.
5. Don’t leave room for excuses. It’s vital that you don’t try to justify various reasons for waking up later than you planned. There should be no reason for you to even think about getting back into bed in the morning.
6. Use the extra morning time productively. There’s no point waking up extremely early only to waste that time playing Candy Crush or surfing the Internet. Make sure that you know exactly what you are going to do before you go to sleep. Whether you’ll be using that time to study for an upcoming exam, start a side-project or focus on your fitness, make sure you’re taking advantage of every moment of the morning.
7. Let yourself sleep in (occasionally). Although waking up early has completely changed the way I work and how much I am able to get done in a day, there are occasions when I let myself sleep in. Generally, I give myself Sundays as my lie-in day and make sure that I never sleep in more than once per week.