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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Productivity

5 Tricks That’ll Make Your Mornings a Little Less Painful (No Matter When You Went to Bed)

If it were up to most of us, sleeping in would be the norm. Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world, and instead, most of us need to get up earlier than we’d like to head into the office.

Since starting your day at 1 PM sounds like a proposal your boss would shoot down, the real question becomes: Is it possible to become a morning person without have to strap a coffee IV drip to yourself?

No, but also yes. No, you probably won’t ever hear your alarm go off at 6 AM and think, “Yes, let a new day begin!” But yes, there are tricks and tips that’ll make being conscious before 10 AM a little bit easier.

Quora users know where you’re coming from, and they’ve suggested a few interesting solutions to helping you get through the hardest part of your day.

1. Make All of Your Decisions the Night Before

Decision fatigue is a real problem, and in the morning you need all the energy you can get, you can’t waste it making petty decisions about what is going to look cute to wear today or thinking about what you really feel like eating for breakfast today.

Ariel Banayan

Have you ever opened up your closet at 6 AM and just stared at your clothes blankly for a good 10 minutes? Chances are you’re in complete zombie mode as you try to get ready.

Make it easier on yourself by making all of those quick morning decisions the night before. Plan your outfit and set it to the side. Go through your pantry and decide what you’ll eat for breakfast. Pack your work bag so you don’t forget your computer charger for the third time this week. Your groggy AM brain will thank you.

2. Be Positive Before Bed

Instead of bringing complaints and negativity, bring positive energy to the pillow. Stop thinking about the challenges the next day. Think about how you can crush the next day like munching potato chips. Think about how you can be a super badass guy or gal.

Andy Ooi

Yes, you may only be getting four hours of sleep. Yes, you have that really annoying presentation first thing in the morning. Yes, your new boss sucks. But working yourself into a tizzy about all of those things when you’re laying in bed will only make you feel even more tired in the morning.

Instead, put a positive spin on it: You’re getting some sleep instead of none, you have the opportunity to strut your stuff during this presentation, and you have the exciting challenge of trying to figure out your boss. (OK, yes, that one’s a stretch.)

Even if you don’t believe these things, by putting a more optimistic angle on tomorrow, you’ll sleep better and feel more refreshed in the morning.

3. Don’t Keep Your Shades Drawn

Sunlight alerts your body that it’s time to wake up, so if you want to rise when the sun does, then be sure that you don’t keep drawn your blinds before you go to bed. Light is definitely an alerting signal. It tells your brain that it’s time to wake up and get up!

Ananya Neogi

It’s hard to go from pitch-black darkness to bright light (especially if you hop on your phone or computer first thing in the morning), so make it easier on yourself by keeping your blinds somewhat open. I can personally attest to the fact that not drawing my curtains means it’s a little less jarring to wake up to my alarm each morning. (And yes, fine, you can use your blackout curtains on the weekend.)

4. Go to Bed Early, Too

You’re most likely dragging in the morning due to insufficient sleep. Try this: Go to sleep at 9 PM. Wake up at 6 AM. After nine hours, you'll be more than fully recharged and ready to take on the world.

Garrick Saito

Sure, it’s obvious—but so few people actually do this. Fact: If you want to be a better morning person, chances are you need to get more sleep. When you’re consistently running on six hours of sleep (or less!), it gets harder and harder to wake up in the morning. At some point you have to recharge. So, make it a goal to get into bed by a certain time at least a few nights a week.

5. Force Yourself Out of Bed

Waking up early is hard enough, at least in the beginning. Pressing the snooze button will only make it harder. A small tip: try to place the alarm clock as far as possible. The idea is to move as much as possible before you turn it off. Thus, you’ll be less tempted to go back to sleep afterwards.

Narcis Mihai

None of the above tips working for you when it comes to physically getting out of bed? Here’s a simple (yet somewhat painful one): Put your alarm clock out of reach, so that you literally have to get moving to turn it off. Annoying? Of course. Effective? You bet.

Becoming a morning person doesn’t happen overnight (pun definitely intended), and it also doesn’t mean that you won’t still have your night owl tendencies. But, by taking some of this advice and committing to a routine, you’ll be able to fake your way to being an early riser in no time.

Have other tips for turning into a morning person? Let me know on Twitter!

Photo of man waking up courtesy of Shutterstock.