Hunched your desk, books spread out, notes scattered all over the place. You look over to your clock and see that it’s midnight. How did time pass by that quickly? And how do you still have so much work to do?
Does this sound like you? If so, then you’re probably—like me—a night owl. You thrive on working late nights and dread waking up early to get to school. On some of my crazier school nights, I’d sleep as late as 3 AM and would wake up at 5:30 AM to get to school on time (which is something I DO NOT recommend doing unless you want to be a zombie at school the next day).
In my search for the perfect routine to combine productivity with overall a better mindset towards school, I tried the art of becoming—you guessed it—a morning person! Now, it was no easy feat. I definitely sleep in a lot now that I’m on a gap year—it turns out staying up late isn’t avoidable when you do a lot of conference calls to the US. But my senior year of high school consisted of sleeping at 11 PM or 12 AM and waking up between 4 – 5 AM to get some work done before heading to school. Here are some tips that I’ve learned in trying to shift from being a night to a morning person:
Set multiple alarms and label them
Realistically, unless you have amazing self-control, you won’t wake up or will snooze your first alarm. You’re tired, groggy, and the temptation to sleep in is strong—I totally get it. To combat this, set multiple alarms in 3-5 minute intervals to ensure that you do not sleep through the snooze button. In order to make sure this doesn’t end up getting you late, set an alarm for 4:45 AM if you intend to wake up at 5 AM. Be realistic when you know you won’t exactly jump out of bed at 4:45 AM on the dot. Pace yourself and give yourself time to wake up a bit before leaving the bed to conquer the day.
To add an extra punch, label your alarms with inspirational quotes or simple messages that can get you out of your very comfortable bed. My personal favorites are “get your butt out of bed” and “get ready to conquer the day”. If you’re a coffee addict like me, “make a cup of coffee NOW” could work to motivate you too. Alternatively, if you have an exciting day coming up or simply have a small thing to look forward to, set that as the label of your alarm so you’re reminded of what the day holds!
Create a morning playlist
When you wake up, the silence of your room may tempt you into going back to sleep. What I like to do when faced with this is play some music from my unofficial morning playlist. These songs pump me up and are usually incredibly bubbly. If you share a room with someone, this might not be the best suggestion unless you have earphones you can plugin for some privacy.
Try to avoid the sad love songs on your playlist as well to avoid early morning blues. Don’t have any songs in mind? Check out pre-made Spotify playlists for happy vibes and morning commutes! Some of my favorite artists to listen to in the morning include Indonesian artist NIKI and classic Taylor Swift.
Wash your face and drink a lot of water
Don’t expect yourself to get out of bed and feel completely present. To best prep yourself for an early morning study session, get a glass of water then wash your face to wake up. I tend to do a full-blown skin care routine, but if you don’t have one washing your face with water will work, too. I like to take that early morning time for myself to reflect on my goals for the day and appreciate the silence before a usually hectic day kicks in. I usually have a glass of water ready the night before, so that when I wake up I immediately drink a full glass and imagine that it’s a bit of charge that goes into me before the day begins.
These are only some of a ton of tips on how to become a morning person! When trying this lifestyle shift out though, keep in mind that it’ll take some time. Like learning any new skill, it will take consistency and practice. With that, good luck and I hope you can use these tips to squeeze more out of your mornings!