Here’s the Thing…
Although I am a frequent early riser, it was not always this way.
During my Sophomore year of college, I had a job at Panera Bread and I was their main opener. I would wake up 5 days a week at 4am, be at work at 5am, then would be off by 1pm. Although I had to wake up really early, I loved getting off work in the early afternoon and having the rest of the day to go to class, catch up on homework, etc.
Now, that routine of waking up early has stuck with me. Although I don’t wake up at 4am anymore (thank goodness), I find it difficult to stay asleep past 7am, but that okay because I definitely prefer to get work done in the morning than at night.
In fact, back when I did have a full-time office job, I would wake up at 5am to get a couple hours of my personal work done before I had to go into the office. Sure, it was difficult to get out of bed that early, especially knowing I had to work a whole day at another job. But there was something there, pushing me every day to work harder and to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve my dreams.
Working for Myself
Now that I no longer work in an office, I could easily sleep until noon and just do work whenever I want to. But with that method, I would literally never get anything done.
Without a boss telling me what to do and giving me deadlines, I have to do that for myself. However, more importantly, I have to follow through with the tasks and deadlines I create for myself. This is not easy! Time management is not easy! Self-management is not easy!
Luckily I have found a method of productivity that has been working for me, but don’t be fooled that working for yourself/at home is easy: it’s truly difficult to stay motivated sometimes and actually get things done.
At the end of the day, I have to treat each item on my to-do list as if it were an appointment with someone else.
Love What I’m Doing
However, through the difficulties that come with all this, I truly and completely love all that I am doing. I love writing, I love freelancing, and I love doing these from wherever I want to (I outlined this post while on a plane and now I am writing it while in Portland, Oregon).
This may sound really cheesy, but sometimes I can’t fall asleep at night because I am so eager to begin working again the morning.
I think that’s how you, me and everyone else in the world can know if they are truly doing something that they love: when the work you do gets you motivated to jump out of bed in the morning.
So That’s the Thing…
That’s why I wake up early. Because I am eager to continue the work that I am doing.
That’s how I wake up early: Because I am so motivated by what I am doing that I just don’t want to waste time sleeping!
I promise you I don’t have some magic potion that allows me to get really great sleep and I don’t have any methods for feeling like you got more sleep than you actually did. Plain and simple, my work does those things. I am passionate and I am excited about what I am doing.
If you aren’t jumping out of bed every morning, I would evaluate your surroundings and determine if there are any realistic steps you can take to create a life you can’t wait to live.
Life is too short to be anything but happy.