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10 Things Early Birds Do that Make Them More Likely To Be Successful

10 Things Early Birds Do that Make Them More Likely To Be Successful
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Are you an early bird? Most people have heard the phrase “the early bird gets the worm,” but they may actually be getting much more than that.

Early birds are more likely to be proactive, happy and healthy – check out 10 things that early birds do that make them more likely to be successful.

1. They Can Accomplish Tasks As Soon As They Start Their Day

It doesn’t take long for our days to get started; family, friends, career obligations, emails, and tidying mean that there are things to start doing as soon as you wake up. Early birds get a head start on this first thing, accomplishing most of their tasks in the morning.

This is good in another way, too – as early birds accomplish tasks when they wake up, they are more likely to have a relaxed evening.

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2. They May Be Wired To Be An Early Riser

Researchers have discovered that around 10% of us are born early birds. This means many early birds are actually wired this way, and forcing themselves to sleep in will reduce how proactive they are. So embrace your early bird status to achieve success!

3. They May Be More Intelligent

A 2008 study from Texas University discovered that the students who identified as being early birds actually scored a full point higher on their GPAs than the students who identified as night owls.

4. They Are Most Focused In The Morning

Many people feel more focused first thing in the morning, and early birds really get to embrace this as they get up when most people are asleep, creating far fewer distractions.

The most efficient way to work is in two to four hour block sessions – and by 11 many early birds have already completed their first block.

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5. They Are Following The Habits Of Extremely Successful People

It appears greeting the day early is one of the keys to success. Many successful entrepreneurs are early birds themselves; CEO of Apple Tim Cook is up for 4:30 a.m. and Richard Branson is up for 5.45 a.m. This may be because getting starting early gives you a head start on the day.

6. They Get A Good Night’s Sleep

A good night’s sleep is essential to a productive day, and early birds often have more opportunities to sleep.

Many people struggle to fall to sleep straight away, and many wake up during the night. If this happens, you may need an extra half an hour in the morning – and as early birds rise so early, they have the opportunity to get a little extra sleep if they need it.

7. They Are More Proactive

In a 2008 study at Harvard, Christop Randler discovered that morning people are more proactive.

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The early birds were more likely than the night owls to agree with proactive statements like “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself.”

A proactive attitude naturally leads to higher productivity, which means early birds are more likely to be successful later on.

8. They Have Time For Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many people do not make time for a proper breakfast, or even a rushed one. Early risers have more free time in their mornings than other people, so they have fewer excuses to skip breakfast.

A survey from the Harvard School of Public Health discovered a possible link between not eating breakfast and a higher risk of coronary heart disease, so having a good breakfast can benefit you in many different ways.

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9. They May Be Happier

A study at the University of Toronto has actually shown that morning people are likely to be both happier and healthier than night owls. The health part is partially logical; as early birds are up earlier they have more opportunity to eat a good breakfast and exercise.

The happiness is the more interesting part; morning people report higher levels of happiness, which could be due to how proactive they are.

10. They Have Great Personality Traits

Studies have shown that early birds are more likely to show some traits than night owls. Night owls are more likely to exhibit creativity and pessimism, while early birds are more likely to exhibit optimism, conscientiousness and satisfaction.

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Amy Johnson

Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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