10 Things You Could Have Done If You Got Up Early

Big Alarm Clock

You were going to get up early today.

Instead, you stayed up late last night.

Now, after resetting your alarm twice, you are rushing to get out the door.

What could you have done if you had gotten up early today?

Up Late, What Did you Get Done?

You stayed up last night, but what did you accomplish?

Were you productive?

Or did you watch the late late show? Or maybe surfed the web endlessly? Or played Angry Birds?

“Early to bed and early to start your day.

That is how you get things done.”

Next time, instead of burning the midnight oil, get to bed early so that you can get a fresh start on tomorrow.

The Early Bird Gets the Head Start

Some people say they are more productive at night.

However, I am big believer that the early bird always gets the head start.

So, before you hit the snooze button again, ask yourself, “What do I want more than a few extra minutes of sleep?”

Here are 10 Things You Could Have Done If You Got Up Early:

  1. Workout – The best time to workout is first thing. What better to wake you up and get the blood flowing? And you know that if you put off that workout until after work… that it won’t get done.
  2. Read – You want to read more, but when to find the quiet time to do it? Read early and start your day with new ideas and stories.
  3. Think – One of the best times to come up with new ideas is first thing in the morning. You will find that you have many ideas that your subconscious mind came up with while you were asleep.
  4. Catch Up – Double check your list. Now is the time to catch up and complete any last tasks that you didn’t get to yesterday.
  5. Make a Plan – Before you start your day, make a plan. Review your calendar and know your obligations. Review and add to your todo list. Know what you are going to do today, and have a plan as to how you are going to accomplish it.
  6. Work on that Big Project – Trying to get extra time to work on that big passion project you have? Get up early and make time to work on it each and every day. Maybe it is a hobby, maybe it’s your blog, or maybe it is the business you are starting.
  7. Get Your Forever Task Done – What task has been lingering on your todo list for weeks? (or months!) Get it done while you can give it some undivided attention.
  8. Prepare for Your Day – Having a plan is good. (See #5) However, the real secret is to prepare for your day. Review the materials for your meeting. Scan your notes for the presentation. Practice the pitch you have to give today. Knowing what you need to do and being ready to do it are two different things.
  9. Relax – While everyone else is sleeping is a great time to just relax. If you are a parent, this may be the only quiet time of the day you see. Enjoy the peace, quiet, and solitude.
  10. Get a Head Start – Go ahead and get started on your todo list! Knock out some of your most dreaded tasks now, even before the day begins.

Get Up Early and Get At It

You can be the early bird. You can get up early and get ready for your day.

By the time you are at work, you will have already have accomplished more than most people will do all day long.

Others will be stumbling into work wondering when their first appointment is, what they need to do, and where they need to be.

Meanwhile, you will already be three steps ahead of the pack and ready to take on your day.

Question: What do you get done when you get up early? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

35 thoughts on “10 Things You Could Have Done If You Got Up Early

  1. I get everything I need to get done between 8 and 11 p.m. I have a full-time job, married with 2 kids, and I write a blog 5 days a week. The whole idea that night owls are up playing Angry Birds and being unproductive is a huge stereotype. There’s more than one way to get stuff done.

      1. The impression this article gives, though, is that morning people are of a superior class or something. Of course either way works. The last few years there has been an explosion of content about how important it is to be a morning person. Most suggest you should change into one if you aren’t already and you’ll be much more successful. That’s what this article is basically saying. There’s 24 hours in the day. Your goal should be to use them wisely. After that, who cares?

  2. I’ve worked for folk who constantly went on and on about getting up early. They would call breakfast meetings for no real reason for 7am. If there was no meeting, they would be seen placing their hand on your car bonnet (hood) to see if your engine was still warm and indicating weakness as you hadn’t arrived at the office by 7.30am. It was macho culture (always men) and verging on bullying when it was your boss doing it. Presumably that was the way their body clock worked, or maybe they just needed less sleep than me?

    If I were to regularly follow your suggestions, I’d be asleep at my desk by mid-afternoon! Let me work (and workout) at night, please, when the kids are in bed and leave me alone in the morning!

    1. There are plenty of night owls out there, too. 🙂
      (See my link in comment below)

      Do what works for you.

      Interestingly, I am on a podcast this weekend where we are debating early morning vs. late night. Will post the link when it airs…

  3. You know that there are innate physiological differences between “morning people” and “night people”, right? Personally, my best hours of work are between 5 and 9pm, and that has been consistent for decades. Morning people sometimes have the unfortunate habit of assuming their physiological differences are a mark of superior character.

    1. Darren,

      I think the idea of the article is “don’t hit the snooze” button more than it is a praise for morning people. You can hit the snooze button and get up 30, 40, 60 minutes later than originally intended (thus wasting that time) no matter if you are waking up at 5 AM or 9 AM.

      As far as morning vs evening people, I am pretty sure noone will ever find a definitive answer as to which one is better because they are just different and equally good. Many authors work better in the morning (Leo from Zen Habits), while others are night owls (Tim Ferriss). As long as you get the job done, when you do it makes no difference.

  4. You have forgotten, have a good breakfast. This means that you are less distracted due hunger through out the day. Also, it is singularly the best way of keeping in good shape and it cuts out craving for snaking during the day.

  5. I can understand why night people would get defensive about this but as an ex-night person I can relate to this. I have put this into practice myself (before coming across this article) and found I was and am 100% more productive. For one I can go out in the mornings and walk. This clears my head and helps me to order everything in my mind, from my to-do list to my reflecting on past events and how to deal with them. Furthermore, there is no quiet time like the morning when everyone is ASLEEP. There is a stillness and a quiet that you cannot get at night, both outside and in your head and I’m convinced that working out in the morning is far more productive.

    1. there is a big difference though – during night it is dark ! for me that´s the ultimate concentration tunnel. sitting on my desk looking out of the window into the dark night, only seeing and concentrating on the stuff that´s focussed by the cone of light on my desk. brilliant !

  6. Night time is quiet time. No distractions. Easy to be productive, especially if you’re a creative person.

    (oh oh, I said “Creative Person”. Send in the trolls.)

  7. Apparently if you start a habit in the morning, like exercise, you’re more likely to stick at it. At the moment reading I find a great start to the day – the mind is fresh and you take it in much more.

  8. All of these can be done when you get up late too. In fact, they can be done at any time of the day, The article makes no sense.

  9. Get up early has completely improved my productivity! I now have 2 hours every single morning to work on my blog and it has been extremely helpful! Another key for me is to keep waking up early on the weekends. I get a lot of my work done on Saturday mornings! Thanks for the article!

  10. This article was probably written for someone like me. I go to bed about 10:30 every night but I don’t get up until 8:00 or 8:30. I have insomnia so it takes me about 10 hours to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep. I’m not a morning person but I’m not a night person either. But I can’t get everything done. If I got up earlier – maybe 7:00 or 7:30, I think I would probably be a lot more productive and probably feel better.

  11. I’m both a morning and night person. I can work productively during both, but early afternoons kill me. I think morning people and night owls are actually more similar than they think: both times offer a quiet, distraction-free work period.

  12. I work for night shifts supporting a different time zone, with around 4 hours of sleep each day, tend to wake up early, train my horses at the club, gym workout, and swim for an hour. Delegate time to the family, help them finish up the left over work. Read about industry updates, get the knowledge on latest happenings, comment on my favorite blogs (like yours ;)) and then my official work starts late in the evening to early morning!

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