By Nor Izmawati Mostapar, Vice President, MII Corporate Communications and e-Learning
We all have dreams of our own – to start a business, become our own boss or write a book. Unfortunately, the reality is, we work long hours, or domestic and household responsibilities consume our days. By the time we finish all that we are expected to do, there is not much time nor energy left to do what we dream of. So, we end up bingeing on Netflix or food, or both, during our spare time or what is left of it.
Yet, some people manage to make time for their priorities. How is this possible?
Believe it or not, this is possible by getting up early and do what needs to be done – the early bird gets the worm metaphor applies here. Early means, earlier than the usual. This group of people use the time before work to do something other than just getting ready for work. As time goes by, they make progress and achieve as much before breakfast as other people do in a day.
These early hours are often the best time to do things for yourself, before everyone else demands attention. With a little schedule reorganization, becoming a morning person is more doable than you think although it might be hard at first to forego the snooze button.
Start by making it a habit to wake up early, a new personal norm for yourself. Once you realize the potential of having early mornings to yourself, you will discover that morning routines are indeed in many successful people’s schedules. These people will more likely begin with exercise. A study of fitness tracker data found that people who exercise consistently are more likely to be morning exercisers. People tend to follow routines in the morning because other people who disrupt your life are still asleep. This is as opposed to afternoons when unplanned and unexpected events normally happen. There is risk in afternoon routines as we are all rushing to get things done before the end of workday. There is also risk in evening routines because you cannot predict what your mood or energy level will be like by the time work ends.
Mornings are also great for focused thinking be it for work or school.
For those who need to manage other people, getting your own work done early is best if at the later part of the morning and the rest of the day, you are expected to entertain other people’s needs, questions, problems and such. This way, you no longer need to rush back to your interrupted and incomplete tasks.
We can also utilise early mornings to tap those creative impulses when other factors in life are not in dire need of attention. For example, if you wish to write a book, get up early and draft 500 words each morning. Within a year, your dream publication will be ready!
The point is, time is of the essence. We cannot create extra time, so we need to make time if we wish to accomplish our dreams, even if the dream is simply for a peaceful normal day. It is true that some people function best at night,but not many categorize themselves as nocturnal either. It is undeniable that night time has its appeal but honestly, how many of us can say that we are most productive at night? We assume night time is a better option because it is associated with rest, not work. However, in this context, the word “rest” would more likely involve watching a lot of TV that we did not mean to watch, scrolling through photos on social media of people we do not like or daydreaming until night dream take over.
So, waking up early in the morning is worth a try, for a change. Try going to bed earlier to wake up earlier and turn unproductive nights into productive mornings. Ultimately, making the most of mornings is about recognizing that they set the tone for the whole day. If bad habits die hard, good habits should die hard too. If changing your routine will help you fulfil your dream, it is definitely worth waking up earlier to do it.