November 8, 2017
To the average college student, being awake before the 7 a.m. hour is an ungodly time and starting the day before the sun is up sounds like a request from the devil himself. By the end of this post, my hope to is to convince you of a lifestyle that embraces the advantages of the morning. I believe you’ll be more successful and that the payoff of this discipline will reach far.
Imagine your alarm going off and not having those feeling of dread. Think about the anxiety of rushing out the door to be a thing of the past.
Make yourself a strong cup of coffee and let positive thoughts about the day ahead brew in your mind (not to mention that you’re already a step ahead of your peers who are still in bed).
Research shows that young morning people are generally happier and have better grades among other positive scientific evidence.
I read about one study from the University of Toronto.
[They] surveyed more than 700 adults on their sleeping habits, mood, health, and other questions, they found that morning people (who naturally get up around 7 or earlier) had up to a 25 percent increase in feelings of happiness, cheerfulness, and alertness.”
The same article expanded on a study done by Daniel J. Taylor, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of North Texas.
“[Researchers] performed a study of more than 800 students found that early risers had a GPA that was a full point higher than that of their night owl peers (3.5 vs. 2.5).”
Statistics for this better life can be motivating in themselves; but once you get in the habit, I’m cautioning that you may actually start to enjoy it and these benefits will just be a plus.
The early bird really does get the worm; there is an extra hour in the day, you’ve just been sleeping through it. It’s hard to have sympathy for people who complain about not having enough hours in the day when their day didn’t start until midmorning. Higher productivity is a natural result of being awake. Here’s how I use my extra time…
6:40 am: Alarm goes off, check news & social media apps, make bed (huge advocate for always taking the 2 minutes to do this), take supplements and drink lots of water
7:00 am: Hit the gym and listen to a sermon or leadership/business podcast
8:00 am: Shower, do hair, makeup, dress for the day
8:45 am: Do Bible devotional & journal, eat breakfast (typically a banana and bowl of Kashi cereal, make some hot tea to-go
9:30 am: Leave for class
Preparing for the morning is key. I lay out my workout clothes and what I’m going to wear that day the night before. This way I don’t waste time picking out an outfit (& limit disturbing my roommate). I pack my lunch for work and a snack before bed too (additional plus preventing me from picking up that candy bar or bag of chips the next day).
Try waking up an hour or two earlier for just one week. This may go without saying, but you’ll need to get to bed earlier for this to truly work effectively. Your roommate may think you’re crazy (ask mine), but having a full night’s rest is essential for the productive morning that you’re looking for.
On the other hand, never let this routine take away from your college experience. Never say ‘no’ to important fellowship with friends and don’t feel guilty about Saturday mornings you get to sleep in. Use it as a general guideline for your days not as an absolute.
Are you a morning person? Comment below what you hope to get out of being an early riser for a week.