What do you do soon after you are awake?

Do you check your email? Or Facebook, Twitter?

Well, if you do, you’re like 80 percent of 18- to 44-year-olds who check their mobile devices soon after they are awake.

You want to stop doing that. Because this seemingly harmless habit may be more destructive than you think.

Rise early to get more (important) things done

When I was working on being more productive, one recurring theme was about getting up early. It just make sense that if you get up earlier, you get more done.


Rising early not only gives you a head start, it also allows you to act on wildly important tasks that you would otherwise not have time for. These tasks can range from exercising to writing to making breakfast for everyone.

If you need more examples of successful people who rise early, here’s 29.

But… I’m a night owl

My main challenge for rising early is that I’ve never saw myself as an early riser.

In fact, between 11pm and 2am were my most productive hours for many years. It was during those hours where there were no distractions from wife, co-workers, or clients. And as a result of that habit, I’ve come to identify myself as a night person.

Then one day, after working my tail off till about 5am, I was hungry and decided to grab some food. While having my food, my phone’s notification went off. It was an email from a client. And since I was awake I decided to answer it right away. Soon after I clicked sent, I received a reply from her cheering me on as an early riser. And for some reasons, that label appealed to me.

How to get up early

That was when I started researching on how to get up early. And surprisingly, it was not difficult.

Since our bodies require a minimum number of hours of sleep in order for us to function optimally, it was simply an adjustment of my sleeping time. And so that’s what I did.

I figured I needed at least six hours of sleep and hence in order to get up at 4:30am, it meant I had to hit the sack by 10:30pm. It was not easy as the body required some adjustments to the time I go to sleep and the time I am awake.

Besides, getting up as early as 4:30am means that by mid-afternoon at about 3:30pm, I would get really tired and sleepy.

Besides, I wasn’t successful in getting up at 4:30am every morning. In fact, most days I did not.

What to do now that I’m awake

Next, I need to figure out what do I do now that I am rising early!

For the first few days, I did the laundry when I’m up. Then I realized this wasn’t the best use of the time.

That’s when I went back to revisit what did the highly successful people did when they got up early. Here’s the top three:

  1. Exercise
  2. Read
  3. Work

Notice that the top two (exercise and read) are Quadrant 2 activities. These are activities that you act on it as the activity won’t act on you. The third (work) is about getting things done.

So, what are you going to do first thing you’re awake tomorrow?

Published by Melvyn