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5 Ways To Wake Up And Stay Up

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5 Ways To Wake Up And Stay Up

How many times have you told yourself that you’re going to start waking up earlier? How many times has it worked? For me, I seem to go through cycles of extreme motivation followed by astonishing laziness. We attend a self-development seminar and get all fired up, set 52 goals we’re going to accomplish by tomorrow, go to bed excited to wake up and get started….and then hit snooze five times and sleep in.

Who are we really? Who is the real “you”? Is it the person who was motivated the night before? Or is it the person tangled in the sheets in the morning who is convinced that you need more sleep? I think the answer is a little bit of both. We have to understand that we all go through these cycles and that we can’t be 100% motivated all the time. But I truly believe that waking up early and staying up can be one of the best ways to sustain motivation, feel better about our lives, and accomplish our goals. So here are some tweaks you can make to wake up and stay up.

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1. Keep Your Alarm Out Of Reach

This one is so simple yet so effective. Sometimes we hit snooze and fall back asleep before we are even conscious of turning off the alarm. However, if the alarm is all the way across the room, you’ll have success for two reasons. First, you’ll be getting out of bed quick to turn it off so as not to disturb any roommates, spouses, neighbors, etc. Second, you HAVE to get out of bed to turn it off. And once, you’re out of bed and a little more awake and aware, you’re going to have a much higher chance of not getting back under the covers.

2. Make Your Bed Right Away

Right after you turn off your alarm, turn around and make your bed. This will help wake you up but also help you from getting back in. Two more benefits are a clean, organized room that will help you feel more effective and a nicely made bed when you’re ready to go to sleep. Make this a daily habit and the first thing you do in the morning.

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3. Use The Cold Water Trick

There are few things that wake people up better than ice-cold water. This could include a few splashes on your face from the bathroom sink, sticking your head under the bathtub faucet, or taking a full-on cold water shower, which apparently has numerous health benefits.[1] Along with your ice bath, you can drink 8-12 oz. of cold water. Your body is usually dehydrated when you wake up, so this will help to hydrate as well as to kickstart your metabolism.

4. Get Your Body Moving

Shoot for 10-15 minutes of exercise each morning, even if you’re planning on working out later in the day. Some easy exercises include yoga, jumping jacks, pushups, situps, or any other physical activity that will help to warm up your muscles and increase your heart rate. Remember to start slow with some stretches and moderate activity to prevent any injury.

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5. Sleep The Correct Amount

This might be the most important tip on the list because if you sleep the correct amount, you’ll be ready to wake up anyways. Most researchers recommend seven to eight hours of sleep for adults, so decide the ideal time you’d like to wake up and count backwards from there. Then be sure to stick to your set bedtime. If you’re sleeping seven hours but still waking up groggy, try adding on sleep in 15-minute increments until you find an amount that works well for your body. The consequences of sleep deprivation are scary, so don’t risk it. Get the sleep you need.

Making these small tweaks to your morning routine will help you to wake up and stay up every single morning, which in turn will allow you to accomplish the other goals you’ve set and make sure that you’re squeezing every ounce of productivity out of every day you can.

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Reference

More by this author

Cody Bringham

Founder at Motivation Mountain

5 Ways To Wake Up And Stay Up

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Last Updated on October 21, 2021

How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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