Jeff Finley’s (VP of Cleveland Web Design firm, Go Media) new book Wake Up: The Morning Routine That Will Change Your Life comes out Tuesday, April 14. In anticipation for the big release, here are 11 ways artists and designers can benefit from waking up early every day.
Time to Draw
Finally, give yourself some quiet time to draw and let your right brain do the work. This is especially convenient that you can start drawing immediately after you wake up from some vivid dreams. Before you get started with the left-brain, logic oriented work-day, start off the day illustrating your dreams and imagination!
Uninterrupted Time Without Distractions
As creatives, we flourish when we are left alone to focus intently on our work. What better way than to get out of bed before everyone else and tackle that difficult task without anybody bothering you. Don’t forget to turn off distractions like email, social media, or wi-fi!
The Sunrise is Beautiful
Take time to bask in the beauty of the planet. Sip your coffee or tea as you watch the sunrise without any pressure to rush off to work. Realize that this happens every single day and you’re missing out most of the time. As artists, we are especially attuned to recognizing beauty and letting it inspire our work. Start the day off by breathing in some fresh air and watching mother nature wake up.
Get Your Exercise Out of the Way
If you’re like me, exercising doesn’t make it high up our priority lists. I’d rather be making music or working on my creative projects. However, waking up early lets you get your workout in early so you don’t have to think about it for the rest of the day. I found myself enjoying yoga in the mornings as it went well with my other morning routine habits like meditation and journaling.
Reflect on Your Life
The mornings are a wonderful time to reflect on your life. Are you on track to your goals? Are you happy with where your life is headed or are you spinning out of control? Do you like your job? The habit of journaling is one that has allowed me to become a better writer and pave the way for realizations, aha moments, and astonishing life lessons. I use Day One app for Mac to write in my journals and I’ve logged over 1,000 entires since I started two years ago.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Waking up early sets the tone for the rest of the day. Not only do you get more done, which allows you to feel more at ease the rest of the day, but the early mornings are calmer and more peaceful. Combine this with mindfulness meditation, I recommend 5-10 minutes per day, and you will notice more clarity and inner peace throughout your day.
Establish a Morning Ritual
One of the best parts of waking up early is creating your own morning ritual. What does your ideal morning look like? Here’s mine. What activities would you do? Would you wake up and check your email right away? Would you make a big breakfast? Go for a walk, ride your bike, meditate, write in your journal, plan the trip of a lifetime? Use your mornings as a launch pad to creating the life of your dreams.
The mornings are often the most predictable parts of our day. Look at your current morning routine, you probably do the same stuff day in and day out. If you woke up early, you could add a 90 minute distraction-free focus block to work on your important projects. Finally finish your website that you’ve been putting off! I’ve notice that I get more done when I tackle the important stuff right away before I check email or social media. Check out my 2 hour podcast episode on Procrastination!
Be More Productive
When you’re not procrastinating, you’re being more productive. Combine this with silence and eliminating distractions and you’ll be getting more done before 8 AM than most people do during an entire day. Spend the morning taking action on your biggest goals and aspirations.
Discover Your True Self
One of the most life-changing results of my wake up early habit was the discovery of my true self. In other words, I woke up to a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in my life after practicing meditation, journaling, and yoga combined with my voracious appetite for learning – a whole new world opened up. Waking up early can help you begin a path to self-discovery and self-mastery.
Learn Anything You Want
When you’re up early enjoying the sunrise and sitting in silence, why not read those books you’ve been putting off? I think I read something like 30+ books during the my first year waking up early. It was insane! I also listened to audiobooks and podcasts while I worked out or took walks in my neighborhood. Follow your curiosity, what do you want to learn that you’ve been waiting for “the right time” to learn? Practice your guitar, learn a language, watch 100 documentaries, etc. You get the idea!
Bonus: 12 Get into Lucid Dreaming or Astral Travel
This is a personal favorite of mine. If you start waking up early and keep a dream journal, you increase your chances of having lucid dreams, out of body experiences, or astral projections. Say what? If you don’t know what this is, I’ll let you look it up. I had my first out of body experience by accident. It got me totally hooked on the topic! As creative types, we have a proclivity to explore the dream realm. If this resonates with you, I really encourage you to follow your curiosity here!
Are You Ready to Wake Up Early?
That’s 12 ways you can benefit from waking up early. What if you woke up early for a week straight? Or a month? Or a year!? Imagine what you would get done or how your life would be different? I woke up early for a whole year and it drastically changed my life!
Jeff Finley’s new book ‘Wake Up: The Morning Routine That Will Change Your Life’ comes out April 14th. It will teach you how to establish the wake-up-early habit for yourself, build the perfect morning routine, and help you begin your path to self-discovery and self-mastery. Look for it on his website MakerMistaker.com or on Amazon.