10 Reasons to Wake Up Early
When that alarm sounds and you're all cozy in bed, slapping the snooze button seems like the only reasonable thing to do. But before you doze off for the third time in a row, consider all you can do if you woke up–not only on time, but one hour before you normally do. You could get more done, feel and look better, and lessen your day-to-day stress and anxiety.
As per Elite Daily, "Studies show people who get up early are generally happier than their late-sleeping counterparts." And Business Insider adds, "(Early risers) say they feel healthier than their friends who prefer the night life."
Here are 10 things you can achieve by waking up one hour earlier. Just be sure to hit the sack at a reasonable hour to assure adequate sleep, and tomorrow will be the start of a new you.
No more excuses for not having enough time in the day for working out. Rise and shine and get moving right away. You will feel proud that you're working on your fitness, and the energizing boost will keep you in the zone all day. As per Huffington Post, "Working out boosts endorphins and other mood-elevating substances that can help lift your spirits as you take on the day. Morning workouts result in better energy levels throughout the day and give you more mental alertness and sharpness." Once you start seeing results, you'll appreciate your early wake-up call.
Why wait until you get to the office to check your email? It will interfere with other pressing tasks at hand and you may wind up rushing through them – missing vital info and perhaps replying without having a chance to reflect on your responses before hitting "send." Wake up and review your email carefully, weeding out the junk and thinking out your replies. Even if you don't have a chance to respond immediately, at least you know what's lurking in your inbox, so you can organize your thoughts and prioritize.
Prep Healthy Food
When we're in a rush, healthful eating can go out the window. It's much faster to whiz through the drive thru than to fix our own meal at home. But with a whole hour free for culinary adventures, you can prepare healthy meals for the full day. Go ahead and chop a fresh salad for lunch and get some chicken or salmon marinating for grilling come dinnertime. Cut up veggies and portion out nuts and dried fruit for snacking throughout the day. Whip up a protein-packed smoothie for a go-to drink that's filling and good for you. Your healthy eating will not only do your body a service, but you'll have the fuel you'll need to conquer your day. For some menu inspiration, check out PayPath's A – Z guide to mind-boosting foods.
Catch Up on News
There are times, especially in the current climate, when we want to avoid the news altogether, but staying up-to-date with what is going on in the world is important. You want to be in-the-know of worldwide and local happenings, so you are aware of and engaged with the status quo. Aside from gaining knowledge and perspective, you will be better equipped to participate in meaningful discussions with co-workers and friends. Read the paper, tune into the morning news, pop on the radio, or search online for the latest coverage.
Get to Work on Time
Showing up late to work is not only irresponsible, but it causes undo stress and an air of chaos. Wake up earlier and you'll have plenty of time to get things done before heading out of the house, allowing you to leave yourself ample time to account for any heavy traffic or other commuter issues. You may even arrive early, providing quiet time to get your day in order and to settle in without disruption. Plus, if you get in early, your boss may allow you to head home early too.
Have Some Alone Time
We can all benefit from some time to ourselves. "Me time" is recharging and a great way to reflect on ourselves and those we interact with. If you have kids, be sure to rise while they are still sound asleep or else you alone time is sure to go out the window. During this peaceful time, consider meditating, going outside to watch the sunrise, or simply enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea. Entrepreneur suggests keeping a journal. "Journaling helps process previous events, clarify thinking, understand life's context, notice feelings, record significant lessons and ask important questions."
Do Household Chores
After a long day at work, the last thing anyone feels like doing is tending to the household chores. Loading laundry, vacuuming, and washing the dishes are not exactly welcome home gifts. If you wake up earlier, you can get these nuisances out of the way and they'll be off your mind. Not to mention, coming home to a spic and span house is a pleasant way to end the workday.
Eat a Wholesome Breakfast
With an entire hour free, sitting down to a healthy breakfast sounds tempting. No more sticky granola bars or fattening muffins for you. Now you can not only eat healthier, but actually have the time to enjoy a decent meal. Consider a protein-packed omelet, slow-cooker oats, whole wheat pancakes, or a fresh fruit salad topped with seeds and nuts. If you aren't quite ready to eat so early, you can prep an on-the-go breakfast to take to work. Thesethree easy-to-make recipes will have your mouth watering.
Read a Book
You've been itching to get back to reading but can't seem to find the time. Your friends are all discussing their latest read, but all you've had time for was the blurbs on the back of the cereal box. Not anymore. Wake up an hour earlier and have time for that page-turner you've been hearing about. And you don't even have to get out of bed. Keep your book on your nightstand and read until it's time to get up.
Plan Your Day
Waking up in a frazzle is no way to begin a productive day. Give yourself a full hour to plan your day from morning 'till night. Make a calendar of events, set reminders for meetings and appointments, and be sure to schedule family and social activities too. Keep your planner on your smartphone or on paper -whatever works best for you. You won't forget important to-dos and you'll be able to set up the day, so you are able to accomplish everything you wanted to.
Every time payday rolls around, I’m on top of the world. Jeff Bezos-level rich - even though I’m anything but. And then somehow the very next day, rent is due.
The cycle continues. The next payday, bills for my apartment. I find myself without a surplus of savings since I just moved and newly-furnished my apartment completely.
Even more terrifying is the looming presence of the holiday season. Halloween’s officially over and before we know it, hello Thanksgiving…and then there’s Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s. It’s insane.
I’ve been feeling very British lately. Not in a Union-Jack-obsessed, “Keep Calm and Carry-On” way. I went through that phase in 2012 with everyone else… no thank you. And it’s not even a surge of patriotism catalyzed by the Queen dying — I’m firmly team Diana and team Meghan.
Now that fall is officially here, the holidays will sweep in and I’ll have to contend with the fact that I won’t be spending them with my family in the UK. I went home to London earlier this year, so there’s not much left in my travel budget for another trip across the pond. A few domestic jaunts might be in my future, but the closest I’ll get to England this winter is watching Love Island and Love, Actually.
So in that spirit, I’ve been filling my days with content from my favorite Brits. I’m listening to all the old British rock bands I grew up listening to, patiently awaiting the new Arctic Monkeys album, and rewatching anything with Michaela Coel in it. I even shipped myself an order of British Baked Beans, so you know it’s dire.
I’ve also been watching British YouTubers like Grace Beverley — my favorite. Generally, I only go on YouTube to watch Vogue Beauty Secrets and AD Open Door videos. But I’m so glad I stumbled on Grace. Her content is a mix of London lifestyle (what lured me in), relatable entrepreneurship, and mindful productivity. I’m not a hustle-and-grind-girlboss, but as a creative person in a 9-to-5, I need all the help I can get to stay plugged in. So, the video “how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmed” changed my approach to WFH.
Grace outlines her own productivity method: the to-do table. Instead of making a simple to-do list, she divides her tasks into a table that anyone can follow. As someone who’s survived with to-do lists for years, I recently implemented Grace’s method, and it’s revolutionized my workdays.
how to be really really really productive without getting overwhelmedwww.youtube.com
I follow her routine to a tee. Here’s how it works:
Essentially, she divides her daily responsibilities into four categories: quick ticks, tasks, projects, and non-negotiables.
- Quick Ticks: Actions that take less than 5-minutes
- Tasks: To-do’s that take up to 30-minutes. Probably don’t take too much brain energy.
- Projects: Long-term list items. These help guide your priorities, even if you’re not crossing them off in one day.
- Non-negotiables: Pick 3 things each day that you must get done. This is how you’ll truly measure success.
With everything written down and sorted, next address your schedule. Meetings, deadlines, and time blocks — whatever works best for you. Write it down. Then make a pact with yourself to stick to them.
This way of categorization provides a roadmap for prioritizing your day — making you far more productive. Have you ever spent the entire day on small tasks and then suddenly realized you hadn’t moved the needle on any task? Or do you spend way too much time on tasks that aren’t a priority? No more. With your non-negotiables laid out, you know what to laser-focus on and what to dedicate energy towards.
Also, it pays to know your working style. I’m not a morning person. Yet, I have to be up and at ‘em super early. So, first thing in the morning, I march through my Quick Ticks to warm me up. I set a time limit, so I can knock out some easy wins which is totally inspiring. Then I move on to bigger things without lingering on emails or admin. For others, it might be more helpful to tackle the big things with all that early-in-the-day brain power earlier.
Grace has great tips on avoiding overwhelm and burnout. My favorite is taking more intentional breaks rather than scrolling through social media. I call this scrolling “productive” because I’m “coming up with pitches.” Oh, the lies we tell ourselves. It’s more productive in the long run to giving my brain a break with non-screen related stimuli.
Grace’s solution? Set a timer to read a real, an actual book. I’ve never thought of this. It’s a genius way to check off some books on my TBR and kickstart my creativity. After reading a good book, I’m completely inspired to write. So having books near my desk helps me step away from the computer during my lunch break for an actual reset. (And yes, the current books I’m reading are by British authors: Assembly by Natasha Brown, and Love in Color: Mythical Tales from Around the World, Retold by Bolu Babalolu.)
In my pursuit of switching out my WFH set-up and getting my life together, I’ve engineered my workstation for success. With my new WFH essentials and Grace’s productivity technique, I’m revitalized for work — despite the fall blues and my melancholy about the pending holidays.
Here are the things getting me hyped for work and helping me crush my Grace Beverley-inspired to-do tables — no lists in sight:
Pack your bags — Southwest Airlines is having a major sale! Fares are as low as $59 one-way if you book by October 3rd.
This end-of-summer super sale is a game-changer for your travel plans through the end of the year. Summertime travel gets all the glory. But why not take advantage of your long weekends, holidays, and PTO this fall. You’ll be surprised at how much travel you can fit in. Keep the fall/winter season exciting with domestic trips that give you all the excitement without breaking the bank. All thanks to Southwest.
Here’s the breakdown:
Where can you go?
You’ll find discounted tickets to and from most airports. Sale fares apply to cross country travel, and even Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean! Whether you’re visiting a new city or revisiting your last beach vacation, this sale has fares to make your travel dreams come true.
What do the fares cover?
Southwest Airlines has multiple fare tiers, each with various benefits. Wanna Get Away fares start at $59, while Wanna Get Away Plus fares start at $89. You can also find great deals on Anytime fares, which offer priority boarding and express lanes. Then there’s Business Select tickets for a luxe experience at an affordable price point.
Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member?
You may think these sale fares are too good to be true. Is there a catch? Do you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member to access them? You’re in luck — anyone can attain these fares for a limited time.
But, insider tip, you should consider signing up for Southwest Rapid Rewards. With a free sign up, you earn points and miles with each trip you take. And with this sale, each dollar you spend on these discounted tix can stretch super far until you eventually earn free travel. The only thing better than a sale is free stuff.
I’ve been browsing the Southwest Airlines site, checking out flights and dreaming.