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10 Things Morning People Do That Make Them Different

10 Things Morning People Do That Make Them Different
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Getting up in the morning is hard because your bed is so comfy, and you know you have an endless to-do list just waiting for you. It’s hard to change your circadian rhythm from being a night owl to a morning person, but it’s possible! Check out these ten things morning people do that make them different, and see what habits you can work into your own life. You might be a morning person before you know it!

1. They are happier.

Morning people are happier because they are more adjusted to the typical schedule. Night owls are possibly crankier because they stay up later, then still have to get up early to work a 9–5 job. Morning people, on the other hand, are ready to face the day by the time their office job has to start. Another possible cause for their sunnier dispositions is literally the sun—exposure to natural light has been shown to make people happier and improve moods.

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2. They are more productive in the morning.

Morning people get up and go. They make coffee, they shower, they pack lunches and watch the news. They get their day started. Morning people often have more energy early in the day, and find it’s better to schedule their challenging tasks for this time.

3. They don’t hit snooze.

Morning people don’t hit the snooze button. They don’t even need the snooze button. Morning people are ready to get up as soon as their alarm goes off. I’ve even known morning people who are awake before their alarms go off!

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4. They have a lower risk of depression.

Studies have shown that people who are more inclined to stay up late are more likely to have mood disorders. This could be because morning people spend more time in society during the day, whereas night owls go out when the world is less populated—if they go out at all.

5. They feel less rushed.

Morning people wake up with time to have breakfast and get ready for work at a more leisurely pace than those who hit snooze until the last minute. They have time to welcome the day with a cup of coffee and a smile, rather than already feeling frazzled about the time crunch.

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6. They are more prepared for their day.

Morning people have more time to get ready for their day because they have time before they need to fulfill obligations. They can fix breakfast and pack lunches. And, because they’re good with time management, morning people often prepare all of this stuff the night before. It might sound childish to lay out your clothes the night before work, but it helps save a lot of time in the morning!

7. They have better grades.

A study done at Texas University shows that students who are morning people had GPAs at least one point higher than their night owl classmates. This might be because they get more sleep and are less likely to skip class, and since they’re not up and out late at night, they’re into less trouble-causing activities. But never fear, just because you’re out of school doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from being a morning person—you can outperform your night owl coworkers!

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8. They’re more alert and organized.

Morning people wake up early because they go to bed earlier and get enough rest. Night owls try to cram too much in to the available hours, which wears them out and keeps them from getting all the sleep they need. As a result, their organization suffers. Morning people are alert for more of their waking hours, and this gives them more time and energy to be productive and organized.

9. They’re nicer.

This goes along with the risk of depression in that morning people have better moods and dispositions. They are out in society more, and socialize with a wider variety of people than do night owls. Morning people more than likely feel like they were more productive during the day than their evening counterparts, so they feel proud of themselves and are able to convey that positivism in their interactions with others.

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10. They’re more likely to stick to a schedule.

Morning people wake up at the same time every day, which sets them on a good path to stick to a schedule throughout the day. They’re more likely to set time limits for projects at work and stick to them and accomplish deadlines.

Featured photo credit: Joeri Poesen via flickr.com

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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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