It’s frustrating, isn’t it? You want to become an early riser.

You know that waking up early is one of the best ways to be more productive. You know that many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs are early risers.

Yet no matter how hard you try, you can’t seem to stop hitting snooze.

You don’t have to let productivity slip through your hands forever. Here’s how to finally wake up earlier:

1. GET UP JUST ONE MINUTE EARLIER (EACH DAY)

Setting your alarm earlier doesn’t always mean you’ll rise earlier. If you find yourself constantly hitting “snooze” until your regular wake-up time, your body probably needs time to adjust.

Instead of a 5 a.m. wake-up right away, set your alarm one minute earlier every second day until you’ve reached your goal.

For example:

Current wake-up time: 6:30 AM
Goal: 5:45 AM
Tomorrow: 6:29
Two days later: 6:28
Another two days later: 6:27

In a month, you’ll wake up 15 minutes earlier and hardly notice. You’ll have made it “so easy you can’t say no.”

You’ll take longer to reach your goal, but taking a few months to build the habit is better than never building it at all.

2. MOTIVATE YOURSELF BY CHASING SMALL WINS

Waking up at 5 a.m. certainly gives you a lot of extra quiet hours to get things done, but if your normal wake-up time is 8:30 a.m., you won’t succeed at waking up at 5 a.m. right away.

Consider financial expert Dave Ramsey’s debt-snowball method of repaying the smallest debt first. Some argue that the indebted should focus on debts with the highest interest rate.

This is logical because you’ll save more money, but we’re not motivated by logic.

Dave Ramsey’s method generates small wins, which are motivating. This explains why we can lose weight easier after we’ve lost one pound. Progress encourages us to continue.

Instead of relying on logic and setting a goal of waking up two hours earlier, try half an hour earlier. When you reach that goal, you’ll have generated a small win.

You can re-visit your wake-up time after you’ve met your first goal, but you must walk before you can run.

3. USE PEER PRESSURE TO WAKE UP ON TIME

Set a meeting with other early risers first thing in the morning.
This is effective because:

  1. It creates accountability; you won’t want to let them down.
  2. It uses biological signals; studies have shown that when we have something important to do at a certain time, our bodies will wake us up naturally. That’s why you wake up right before your alarm if the task is important enough.
  3. You’re putting something at stake—your reputation as somebody who follows through.

When your alarm clock is the only thing counting on you to wake up early, a warm bed is more compelling.

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