By Leo Babauta
Quick intro: This is one in a series of Top Productivity Hacks – little tips and tricks that are designed to make you more productive. At the end of the series I’ll post them all together in an overview.
Productivity Hack #9: Wake up early.
I might get flamed for this hack by night owls, so let me qualify this tip by saying that if you stay up late at night and get a lot done, then do what works for you. Late night hours are really not much different from the early morning hours, as both times are much quieter with fewer distractions. However, as a former night owl, I recommend the morning hours simply because many times I would stay up well past midnight, but be very tired and not get anything done for the last 6-7 hours. Mornings are much more productive for me.
I started becoming an early riser last year, gradually waking earlier over the course of more than a month (see How I Became an Early Riser). This month, I’ve been trying to develop the habit of a Morning Routine, and the great thing about a morning routine is that you can develop whatever routine works best for you, and tweak it as you go. Decide what you’d like to accomplish each morning, and build your routine around that. Like to exercise? Put that in there. Healthy breakfast? Go for it. Check email? Fine.
The morning is your time.
The mornings are a fresh start, peaceful and free of ringing phones and constant email notifications. If you get your Most Important Things done in the morning, the rest of the day is just gravy.
Top 10 Productivity Hacks
- #10: Take care of your Most Important Things first
- # 9: Wake up early
- # 8: Simplify information streams, crank through blogs & email
- # 7: Declutter your workspace; work on one thing at a time
- # 6: Get to work early; work fewer hours
- # 5: Avoid meetings; when you must meet, make it effective
- # 4: Avoid unnecessary work
- # 3: Do the tough tasks first
- # 2: Work off-line as much as possible
- # 1: Do something you’re passionate about
- (More on Productivity)