I love sleep. There is nothing quite like laying in a warm bed on a cold morning. So needless to say, I really don’t like the idea of waking up early. I dread getting out of bed. But, it has nothing to do with my attitude towards the day. It is purely because I feel like I can never get enough of the comfort and warmth offered by my bed. Unfortunately, I am a morning person and I thrive on getting stuff done early in the day. I always have. I was the guy that scheduled all of his college courses for the morning hours. I was almost always done by noon and I never had a class that ended past three o’clock.
In my mind I only have so many hours in the day and I want to maximize my time. In college, I decided I could sit through my classes and get my homework done by the time everyone else was starting to get out of class between 3 and 5. That left me plenty of time to be on top of my work, but still able to go play some pick-up basketball or ultimate Frisbee in the afternoons. My evenings were then open for hanging out with whomever, being involved at my campus ministry, or working for a few hours if necessary.
Now my schedule is still pretty much the same. I get to work by 7AM and I work through lunch so that by the time my 8th hour rolls around at 3PM, I am basically done for the day. I can go home, work out, spend time with my wife and work on other projects.
But this is only possible because I bite the bullet and wake up early. On a bad day, I am out of bed by 6:20 and out the door by 6:40. On an ideal, perfect, wonderfully well-managed day, I will be up and out of bed by 5:30 or 5:45. When I wake up early, I have those extra 30 minutes to invest in something. Normally, I just sit and enjoy the quiet. Other times I read, pray, or mentally prepare for the day.
But, here is the truth.
I struggle to wake up before 6. I want to hit snooze a million times, but I know I am only prolonging the inevitable. And as painful as it is to wrench myself out of bed hours before the sun will rise, I know that those extra 30 minutes of peace and quiet will set the tone for my day, in the best way possible. I am more positive and upbeat, ready to conquer whatever the day has in store.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
If you have never done it before, I encourage you to go to bed a little earlier tonight and wake up early tomorrow. Make it a goal to see the sunrise. You might even get to see something like this: