Boosting Productivity in Business and Marketing, Part 2: Learning to Start Your Day Early

When I first started writing this post, I had every intention of calling it “Learning to Get Out of Bed”. Because really, isn’t that big, warm, soft, comfortable bed the biggest obstacle you face when it comes to  maximizing your productivity by starting your day early?

Then I heard the melodious sound of my roommate’s shower running at noon and realized that no, no it’s not. Just getting out of bed in the morning isn’t enough to get your day started. (They’ve been up since seven.) You have to actually motivate yourself to step away from the email and the television, put down that cup of coffee and get moving.

But we’ll still start with learning to get out of bed!

Learning to Wake Up Early

For those of you who think training your body to get up early is just a matter of setting your alarm clock an hour early, I say…good luck. You’re going to need it.

Myth: Going to bed earlier will let you get more sleep so you can get up earlier.

In theory,going to bed early works great. After eight hours of sleep, you wake up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and ready to go, right? Problem is, if you’re used to going to bed at midnight and you try and go to sleep at seven, guess what’s going to happen?

You’re going to lay there for 3-4 hours before you finally fall asleep.

Your body needs different amounts of sleep to recharge, so here’s what experts suggest. Go to bed when you’re sleepy (but not overtired), then get up at the same time. Every day. And no matter how tired you still are, you have to drag yourself out of bed when the alarm goes off. If you tend to sleep through your alarm, get one of the annoying buzzing ones that put an earthquake to shame. If you constantly hit “Snooze” get something like Clocky the Moving Alarm clock to make you get out of bed.

Whatever you do, don’t leave your clock where you can reach it without having to get up. You’ll slap it off in your sleep, and it’s all downhill from there.  

Getting Started Once You’re Up

shadow, computer

Avoid staring at the computer screen when you're still a shadow of your bright-eyed, bushy-tailed self.

Getting out of bed is half the challenge. The other is to motivate yourself to get started once you’re up. Word of advice: Don’t check your email, surf the web or hit social media sites while you drink your morning coffee. An intended fifteen minute coffee break can easily turn into 3-4 lost hours if you’re not very, very careful.

Instead, get out of bed, exercise (even if it’s just a ten minute walk around the block), and head straight into the shower. Even if you’re working from home, make yourself get a shower and get dressed. This cues your brain into the fact that it’s time for the day to start. Grab coffee and breakfast, and sit down to eat without getting sucked into any other activities. I find this is a good time to make my to-do list for the day so I know where to get started.

As soon as your breakfast is done, put your plates in the sink and get started on the first item on your list. It should all roll up from there.

Having trouble sticking to your to-do list? Try tackling it 20 minutes at a time! Tune in to Part 3 to learn how to prioritize your to-do list…and why you’re probably doing it wrong.