Getting up early is a gift you give to yourself. Few disciplines have the power to transform your life as does the habit of early rising. There is something very special about the first few hours in the morning. Time seems to slow down and a deep sense of peace fills the air. Joining the “Five o’ Clock Club” will allow you to start controlling your day rather than letting your day control you. Winning the “Battle of the Bed” and putting “mind over mattress” by rising early will provide you with at least one quiet hour for yourself during the most crucial part of your day: the beginning. If spent wisely, the rest of your day will unfold in a wonderful way.
In The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, I challenged readers to “get up with the sun” and offered a number of ideas to help them cultivate this new life discipline. From the many letters, e-mails and faxes I have received from people who have improved the quality of their lives by getting up at 5 A.M., I can safely say that this is one success principle that is really worth integrating into your life. In doing so, you will join the ranks of many of the most influential people of our time ranging from Mahatma Gandhi, Thomas Edison and Nelson Mandela to Ted Turner and Mary Kay Ash.
One reader of The Monk, a marketing executive, wrote that her stress level fell so dramatically once she started rising early that her team at the office presented her with a paperweight bearing the following inscription: “To our MIP (Most Improved Player). Whatever you are doing, keep doing it. You are an inspiration to us all.” A consummate late riser, she vowed to stop sleeping in and spending her days making up for time lost while under the blanket. So while her family (and the world around her) slept, she began to get up first at 6 A.M., then at 5:30 A.M. and finally at 5 A.M. During the free time that she found she had created, she would do all the things she loved to do but had somehow never found time for. Listening carefully to classical music, writing letters, reading the classics and walking were just some of the activities that she used to rekindle her spirit and reconnect with a part of herself she thought she had lost. By getting up early, she began to care for herself again. And by doing so, she became a much better parent, spouse and professional.
To cultivate the habit of getting up earlier, the first thing to remember is that it is the quality rather than the quantity of sleep that matters most. It is better to have six hours of uninterrupted sleep than ten hours of restless, broken sleep. Here are four tips to help you sleep more deeply:
- Don’t rehearse the activities of your day while you are lying in bed trying to get to sleep.
- Don’t eat after 8 P.M. (If you have to eat something, have soup).
- Don’t watch the news before you go to sleep.
- Don’t read in bed.
Give yourself a few weeks for this new habit to take hold. Saying that you tried to get up early but gave up after seven days because it was just too hard is like saying you tried taking French lessons for a week but gave up because you could not speak the language by then. Life change takes time, effort and patience. But the results you will receive make the initial stress you experience more than worth it.
The above article has been taken from the Book “Who will Cry When You Die” by Robin Sharma.