The Power of Mornings: Why Successful Entrepreneurs Get Up Early

The Power of Mornings: Why Successful Entrepreneurs Get Up Early


Tapping into the power of mornings, a time of day when there are less demands, might be the key to increasing your productivity.

Scared of rising with the sun? Time-management expert Laura Vanderkam highlights what makes mornings special and how we can use them more efficiently in her book What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. Here are a few of the benefits of getting out of bed earlier.

  •  You’re less likely to get distracted in the morning.

An entrepreneur’s day fills up fast. If you wait until the afternoon or evening to do something meaningful for yourself such as exercising or reading, you’re likely to push it off the to-do list altogether. “There are going to be reasons why you can’t tackle a personal priority at 4pm – things have a lot less likelihood of coming up at 6am,” says Vanderkam.

  • You have more willpower early in the day.

Even if you aren’t a morning person, you may have more willpower in the early hours than later in the day. “Willpower is like a muscle that becomes fatigued with over-use,” says Vanderkam. During the course of the day as you’re dealing with difficult people, making decisions and battling traffic, you use up your willpower, leaving you feeling depleted toward the end of the day.

  • Mornings give you the opportunity to set a positive tone for the day.

If you’ve ever slept in past your alarm clock or forgotten your kids’ lunches on the counter, you know that starting off the day with a failure can bring down your mood and affect your productivity at work. Vanderkam says waking up earlier allows you to start the day with a victory and set the tone for a happier and more productive day.

If the thought of early mornings still makes you cringe, Vanderkam recommends these four steps to transform even a habitual night owl into a morning person.

Related: Trick Yourself Into Being a Morning Person

1. Keep a time journal.

Vanderkam says one of the reasons people say they don’t like mornings is that they stay up too late. She recommends keeping a time journal for a week to show where you may be using your time inefficiently. Vanderkam finds when many self-professed night owls look at their time journals, they often find they aren’t spending their evening hours productively or doing anything particularly enjoyable.

2. Imagine your perfect morning.

Imagine what you would do if you had an extra hour in the day. Would you exercise? Read the newspaper rather than simply skimming the headlines? “Getting up earlier isn’t about punishing yourself. You won’t get out of bed if you don’t have a good reason to do it,” says Vanderkam.

3. Plan your morning.

Once you’ve decided what you want to do with your extra time, plan how to execute it, and set up as much as possible the night before. For example, if you want to exercise in the morning, lay out your clothes the night before, or gather the ingredients for your breakfast.

4. Build the habit slowly.

Vanderkam says you are likely to hit the snooze button and sleep in if you try to switch your habits drastically. So instead of setting your alarm for 5am when you normally get up at 7: 30am set the alarm for ten minutes earlier each day. To make sure you don’t lose sleep, go to bed ten minutes earlier each night. If you have trouble hitting the sack on time, set a bedtime alarm.

Related: Access Your Mental Power

Lisa Evans
Lisa Evans is a health and lifestyle freelance journalist from Toronto.