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Published on January 3, 2020

How to Become a Morning Person (If You’re a Night Owl)

How to Become a Morning Person (If You’re a Night Owl)

There are plenty who credit a large portion of their success to being a morning person. Yet, if you were not lucky enough to be born a morning person, you may be wondering how to become one. You could even be a “morning-person skeptic” who believes you accomplish your best work in the evening, so you can’t understand all the commotion around being a morning person.

Whether you have been unsuccessfully trying to become a morning person or you just want to experiment with it, this article is for you.

The Challenge to Becoming a Morning Person

Let’s start with the basics, why is it so hard to become a morning person?

Not Getting Enough Sleep

When you don’t feel like you have enough time to accomplish your goals, you feel as though sleeping is a luxury you cannot afford. The truth is, getting the proper amount of sleep can be the foundation of your success.

Numerous studies have found a lack of sleep increases the likelihood of someone developing serious medical conditions. These conditions include, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.[1] In order for you to have the best chance of becoming a morning person, you need to give yourself about eight hours of sleep.

If you are sleeping less than eight hours a night and having difficulty waking up in the morning, then waking up is not the problem. Your problem is you are not getting enough sleep each night. Your body is simply trying to ensure you get the proper amount of rest to live a healthy life.

If you want to wake up at 4am, then you need to be in bed by 8pm. Likewise, if waking up at 6am is your goal, then you need to be counting sheep by 10pm.

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Most people who have difficulty becoming a morning person are going to sleep at midnight and trying to wake up at 5am. While I can appreciate the hustle, five-hours of sleep is not going to cut it.

Whatever time you want to wake up, you need to count back eight-hours to determine the time you need to go to sleep.

Getting the proper amount of sleep is something many struggle with when attempting to become a morning person. You want to get this under control before it leads to health problems in the future. You do not want to be someone who sacrifices their health to build wealth and then spend their wealth to buy back their health.

Feeling Not Accomplishing Enough for the Day

Like any change, the hardest part is getting started. If you are ready to become a morning person, then you must be ready to go to sleep without “everything” being done.

One of the hardest things a night person has to deal with is the idea of going to sleep without accomplishing enough. You lay awake at night wondering if you could have done more with your day. You consider whether you can salvage a less than stellar day with some late night heroics.

Instead of asking yourself what you can do to salvage your day, ask yourself “what can you do to have a day that doesn’t need to be salvaged?”

The best thing you can do to ensure you have an amazing day is to become a morning person. As simple as it sounds, studies show that morning people are happier, more productive, healthier, perform better in school, and their employers think more highly of their work.[2] I could keep going, but I think you get the point.

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The key takeaway is if you want to accomplish your goals, your best chance of doing so is by becoming a morning person. The way you start your day is often going to be a sign of how your day is going to go.

If you have a lack of discipline and push snooze several times, you are going to have a lack of discipline throughout the day. On the other hand, if you accomplish two big goals before 10am, you have already set yourself up to have a great day.

Becoming a morning person allows you to start your day the way you want. You can use this time to invest in improving yourself. Whether you use your morning time to exercise, meditate, or clean your house, you are going to be in a better mental space than someone waking up with only enough time to get ready to leave the house.

If someone wakes up feeling rushed and pressed for time, they are likely to go through their day feeling rushed and pressed for time. When someone exercises and makes healthy decisions in the morning, they are more likely to make healthy decisions throughout their day. That is why it is essential you learn how to become a morning person, so you can live your best life.

Getting Ready to Become a Morning Person

Are you ready to become a morning person? Good. Like any transformation, you want to make it as easy as possible to change your habits.

There are two ways to accomplish this feat. You make the new habits you want in your life easy to integrate, while at the same time making the old habits you are quitting difficult to continue.

For example, if you need to stop pushing snooze, then move the alarm clock out of reach. The farther you must walk, the more likely you are to stay awake. If you leave the alarm clock within arm’s reach of your bed, you may turn the alarm off in your sleep (been there, done that).

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Another way to help wake yourself up in the morning is to do something you love first. This can help you to feel excited about waking up and it can get the juices flowing. If you enjoy movement, start your morning with a brisk walk or a short exercise session. If you are someone who enjoys a good book, only read your favorite stories in the morning. This will help you to equate sleeping-in with the loss of something you enjoy.

What if You’re a Night Owl?

For those who are night owls, you are going to need to find an effective night-time routine.

If your normal night routine is working once everyone is asleep and falling asleep in your work, then you are going to need to find a more relaxing way to spend your evening. This will help your mind to stay relaxed and get into the mood for sleep.

When you are working throughout the night, your mind can be over stimulated and that makes it hard for you to go to sleep without finishing your work. By taking it easy and leaving your work for the next morning, you are increasing the likelihood you will be able to go to sleep early.

Some activities that will help you to wind down effectively are to meditate, turn off the television, read a book, and stretch.[3]

This night routine will be useful for you: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide: Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

Final Thoughts

If you want to become a morning person, you need to keep two things in mind:

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First, you need to prepare to wake up early. You cannot go to sleep late and hope you wake up early. You need to get the proper amount of sleep to make the habit out of waking up early easy.

Second, you need to make it easy to wake up and difficult to go back to sleep. Don’t wake up and think about whether you “feel” like getting up. The longer you are lying in the bed, the easier it will be to go back to sleep.

Instead, get out of bed as quickly as possible. Once you are up, go to the bathroom, grab a glass of water, or take a shower. Each of these activities will make it easier for you to stay awake and harder for you to go back to sleep.

If you focus on these things, you will be well on your way to becoming a morning person.

More to Help You Stay Energetic

Featured photo credit: Cam Adams via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

    Reference

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