Monday, March 19, 2012

Take my early morning challenge

It's Study Tipping Tuesday, and today I've got a study challenge for you.

Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to take your alarm clock, phone alarm, trained pet rooster, bugle player, or whatever else wakes you up...
...and tell it to wake you up at 5:45 AM. 


You still here? Awesome. Now let's get down to the why. 

Here is why I know this challenge can help you: 

Staying up ridiculously late, having to pull all-nighters, and not experiencing the hours in which the drive-thru still serves breakfast are all propagated as stereotypes of college students.

And while I think its important to have a social life at night (it is part of the college experience) and I understand that work is going to go late at times, extreme late night desperate studying is just not as productive or healthy.   

I never studied later than eight o’clock when I was in college. Even on nights when I had to work. 

Why? Because late at night homework had a lot of competition - sleepiness, social media, fav TV shows, late-night delirium, and friends asking me to hang out. 

You know when you are never going to have to turn down a friend to hang out because you have to study? At 5:45 AM.

You aren’t losing sleep – you are losing distractions.

I think you will be surprised at how energized you will find yourself when you begin to utilize those early morning hours.

And (although your body and mind will have the function of a zombie at first) you can learn to adjust to the early morning routine; you just have to force yourself to make that first step and get your body used to it.

People ask me how I was able to write a book while having a full-time job, speaking, and getting a Master's degree. And I have the same answer every time - I woke up at 5:30 AM almost every morning this past year. Waking up early literally made my dreams possible, and it can make yours possible too. 

There are small steps to take as well:

Eat breakfast. Understand that an early morning might require more sleep at night or a built in nap during the day. Exercise to get your brain moving. 

Don’t just wake up and vegitate for three hours. I’m challenging you to get moving earlier – get up, start your morning routine, and use the extra hours in a valuable way.

Use those morning hours to get your work done – review your notes, work on your homework, write that paper that has been waiting for you. 

Even if your first class is at 8:30 AM, you are giving yourself a few extra hours to get your work done – hours that don’t have to be squeezed in on afternoons when your boss is calling you to come into work or your friends are calling you to hang out. 

And it is amazing how much more ready for the day I am when I wake up that early - it provides the chance to focus on what is really important to you that day. 

When you give yourself a few hours to focus and work in the morning before class, you'll show up to class more engaged and focused, already feeling accomplished, rather than thinking about how much you'd like to go back to sleep. 

So I want you to give it a try. I double-dog dare you ;)

Wake up at 5:45 AM – get some work done, eat some breakfast, exercise, and be ready for your first class.

(And remember, you can always work in a power-nap later in the day if you need to.)

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