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Wake up early to be a more productive writer: Here’s how

Some of the most productive people I know get up early. I know that when I get up early, I get more done and feel happier because of it. When I was in graduate school and working full-time, I knew I had to get up extra early if I was going to meet my deadlines. I also wanted to write in my dream state.

So I started getting up between 5 and 5:30 a.m. It was hard at first but I was motivated, and I found that after a few days, I’d automatically wake up.

Writing early in the morning doesn’t work for everyone. Some people are most productive in the evening after their children go to sleep or even in the middle of the night. But if you’re thinking of getting up earlier, here’s what I’ve learned, including several tips that might help you.

1. Think about what you’ll work on first thing in the morning. Each night, I write down two or three topics for free writing exercises or questions that I want to answer in my writing. Regardless of what you work on, having a plan sets the stage and alerts your inner artist to be ready.

2. Minimize or eliminate caffeine. Everyone is different, but caffeine can interrupt sleep cycles and prevent you from falling asleep.

3. Establish a routine. I try to wind down about the same time each night. I like to read before bed and often read pages that I want to “think” about in my sleep. I find it doesn’t bother me to read my iPad or Kindle if I turn the brightness indicator down. However, you may want to experiment with this because researchers believe that using the computer, watching TV, or using backlit sources of media can interfere with sleep patterns. Learn more from this article on CNN.

For more tips and insight from others who have established routines to wake up early, read, How to be an early riser without an alarm clock by Jamie at Microtasker.net and How to Become an Early Riser by Steve Pavlina.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m a night owl who wants to become an early bird. Thanks for this encouragement. 🙂

    May 10, 2013
    • Hi Jessica,
      I think I’m a hybrid! I really love mornings and getting up early, but I also have a tough time settling my brain down at night. Sometimes I can get in a groove later at night when the house is quiet. But ultimately I know getting up early works best for my productivity. Let me know how it goes!

      May 10, 2013

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