No Time for Something Important to You? Try Getting Up Earlier.

Of all the changes in my daily routine wrought by my happiness project, one of the most fundamental is that I get up at 6:00 a.m., every day. And I get up at 6:00 a.m. every day, even on weekends and vacation, because I love it. I get an hour to myself, at my computer, before my family wakes up for the day. It’s quiet, the light is dim, and the world feels very serene.

I love this time so much that I would get up at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m., but that would mean that I’d have to go to bed at 8:00 p.m., and I just can’t live life that way. I’m fuddy-duddy enough as it is.

From what I hear, one of the most common happiness challenges is lack of time for something important. People want to exercise, or work on a novel, or meditate, or read for pleasure, and they just can’t fit it into their day. I absolutely know the feeling.

But here’s what I’ve noticed. For many people, the end of the day is a pleasant interlude of free time, when work is done, the office isn’t e-mailing, the kids are in bed, and the TV or the internet is at hand. It’s pleasant, so it’s easy to stay up late to watch one more episode of The Wire or to read the most recent article about Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s break-up or to do back-to-school shopping or to research the works of J. M. Barrie. And then it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning.

This end-of-day time is pleasant, but it doesn’t give much happiness bang for the buck. It’s filled with a fairly low-value kind of activity. With that same hour or two, you could be exercising, writing a novel, keeping a journal, wood-working, etc. “But by that time, I’m too tired!” you think. And you are too tired. So here’s a possible strategy: go to bed earlier, and wake up earlier, and use that reclaimed morning time for the activity you wish you could add to your day. Or, if you wish you had more time to do things with other people, you could do tasks during the morning period that would free up time elsewhere during your day.

“An hour isn’t long enough,” you may protest. Well, give it a try. You can get a surprising amount done in an hour. We tend to over-estimate what we can do in a short term  (say, one afternoon) and under-estimate what we can get done over the long term, if we do a little bit at a time. It’s a Secret of Adulthood (cribbed from Voltaire): Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Don’t let the fact that you can’t write for three hours prevent you from writing for one hour.

It is so nice to start your day knowing that you’ve accomplished something important to you. It’s done, it’s crossed off the list.

Early rising can also work as an occasional, rather than daily, strategy. My college roommate gets up at 4:30 a.m. to go for a sixteen-mile run every Sunday. This is the only running she does all week! I wouldn’t have thought this possible, but that’s what she does. I talked to a guy who loves going for very long bike rides, but now that he and his wife have two young children, his wife objects to his absence for a whole day on the weekend. So one day a weekend, he gets up at 5:00 a.m., rides his bike, and is home by lunch, which she doesn’t mind.

True, it takes a while to adjust to a new sleep schedule. You might try getting up at the new time, without trying to accomplish anything much, for a week or so, just to get accustomed to the new wake-up time. And it helps to wake up at that time every day, even on the weekends and on vacation.

This may sound a bit grim, but the fact is, I love my morning hour so much that I want to wake up early. I don’t want to miss it. You never realize how wonderful the morning is if you sleep through it. You have to be there, to experience it.

However, it turns out that people really are “larks” and “owls,” and this strategy very well might not work for an “owl.” I’m a lark, so getting up early isn’t much of a strain for me. And obviously, if you have a little kid who wakes up at 5:30 a.m., this strategy probably isn’t going to work for a few years.

How about you? Is there something important to you that isn’t fitting into your schedule? Could you try doing it in the morning? Or have you already tried this strategy?


Happier at Home hits the shelves in less than a month! To celebrate, I’m giving away one book each day for the next few weeks.

Enter your name and email in the sign-up form here, and every day, someone will be picked at random. Open to readers in U.S., Canada, and U.K. only–sorry about that restriction on the give-away.

If you’re wondering about the book, you can…

–learn more about it here

–read a sample chapter on the subject of “time” here

–email me for a one-page reading group guide here

listen to a clip from the audio-book here

pre-order the book here (pre-orders give a big boost to a book, so I really appreciate pre-orders!)

–watch the Behind the Scenes video here (though you’d probably enjoy that more after you’ve read it)


  • Kaye

    More than ten years ago a condition that affected my sleep caused me to wake up around 4:00 am. Now I wouldn’t give that up for the world. Those early-morning hours are the best part of my day.

  • Melissa_P_HomeValley

    I completely agree, Gretchen! I started doing this when my now two year-old son began sleeping through the night and I started my Master’s program. So serene to work in the AM, with no one’s energy pulling on you as they are all still peacefully asleep. Now that I am 38 weeks pregnant, I’ve had to let this morning routine go (I need all the sleep I can get these days). Not sure when I will get back to it, but I can’t wait for that time to come again.

  • Sarah Ricard

    If I don’t work out in the mornings before taking kids to school, I won’t do it later in the day. I’ve always been a morning person, and I also enjoy quiet time to read the paper before everyone else is up. When my now 12-year old son was 2, he would get up between 5:00-5:30. I used to be frustrated because I didn’t have time to myself in the mornings, but then I dubbed him my “morning buddy.” We would go to garage sales on the weekends and just hang out together. Now that he sleeps late and I have my mornings back, I’m glad I had that time with my “morning buddy,” and I miss it.

    • I love that !

    • Ruth

      Your “morning buddy” was probably also glad to have had that time. One of my clearest memories from my early childhood is of sitting on my dad’s lap early in the morning (he’s a morning person; my mom is more of a night owl) while he read the paper and drank his coffee – and sometimes made shadow bunny rabbits on the wall for me.

  • Goodieb

    Three years ago I made the goal of trying to get 30 straight days of exercise. Although I haven’t yet reached that goal, what I have done is get an average of 20 days a month of exercise and all if it is done at 4:45 in the morning. I tried fitting my workouts in after dinner, but that took me away from my small children and often I felt too tired to put my best effort out there. My workouts are more energized and consistant since I began getting up earlier. My mood is good throughout the day and I feel more productive in general rising before the sun comes up.

  • Val

    A couple years ago I decided not to reset my clock at the end of daylight savings. I had thought of myself as a night owl, but suddenly had time to unload the dishwasher or work out, chores that rarely got done after work. Now it’s writing/exercise time. It was a great change!

    • gretchenrubin

      That is a GREAT idea.


  • Diana Cherry

    When I was in grad school and my husband was too, our 2 girls were very young. I really wanted to have dinner together as a family and had heard how important that was for family life but my husband and I were alternating evenings spent away for class. So, I decided to get up earlier, cook a nice breakfast each day and have our first meal of the day together as family instead. Now that we are both home at dinnertime and my husband gets up much earlier for a longer commute, we’ve switched our meal time together to dinner. But, I still have very fond memories of those early morning breakfasts together.

  • kathy

    I just started doing this on the days I have to work about a year ago. I am a part time, dayshift RN in a hospital. I wake up at 4am to enjoy a warm cup of coffee, do some journaling & meditation, light yoga, and prepare my food for the day. I also write my husband and daughters a “good morning” note because I don’t usually see them before I leave and my shifts are 13 hours. They love this and they actually get upset if I don’t leave one. 🙂 Needless to say, I treasure this time and I feel it puts me a calm frame of mind as I head into my crazy days at the hospital. I try to get up by 6 or 6:30 on my days off but I am not always successful. I am always happier when I do it, though. I had mostly been a night owl, but I agree that the activities I do in the morning set the tone for my day and tend to have a more positive & energetic quality. I just read The Happiness Project and I am looking forward to your next book. It inspires me to actively reach for my own happiness. 🙂

  • I started doing this while reading The Happiness Project, and I love it! I have to admit, though, that I don’t use this time for productivity directly. I am slow to “come to” in the morning, and get going on my day, so I spend this hour leisurely waking up, reading, drinking my coffee. It’s seems ironic to get up earlier to have a slow waking up time,but it works for me! By 7:00am, I am ready to get going on the day, and I’ve already had the pleasure and luxury of some leisure.
    Thanks for your suggestion and example. It’s been a blessing for me!

    • lisa Aube

      That is exactly what I do!! I require that slow to come to time before I face the rest of the world. 🙂

    • Leslie, this is more my speed, as well. If I ever get up that early (6am) I don’t / can’t just rush into exercise or being productive. I am slow to get moving in the morning…so yes, having that extra time allows me to feel like my day won’t be rushed, and it sets the tone for the rest of the day. This is very important to me — to set my day up to be non-stressful. I find it gives me that feeling like I got to indulge, and at no one’s expense. It’s ‘free time’ in the best sense of the word! 🙂 [And now….I need to do this again! It’s been over a year since I woke up at 6am. I’ve just talked myself back into the idea!]

  • I have difficulty getting up early, because my blood sugar tends to fall during the night. But I do make good use of that late night hour when everyone else is asleep – I tend to write up my intuitive readings at that time, since I can get into the meditative mode more easily when it’s really quiet.

  • Couldn’t agree more. I have to get up at 5:30 to have any time to myself…but that time is so valuable, sets the tone for my whole day.

  • phoenix1920

    I think that this is an Eyeore/Tiger or Owl/Lark thing. I love how you are very gentle in your POV and accepting of other POVs. For me, I’m an owl. The evening free time routine is a time for me to relax and unwind, to spend time with my husband. Thoughts of giving up that special parent time with dh so I can be more productive in the morning baffles me, but at times, I contemplate trying it.

    As for mornings, when I wake up, it’s a race to get the door. Some may think it’s too stressful, but I actually like a race. It’s more like a game and it makes me wake up the moment I jump out of bed. (Mind you, it would not be as fun if there was not a 15-minute cushion, but we have our “target” and we try to see if we can hit it or beat it) This routine actually helps me wake up so the morning isn’t so . . . morning-ish. One morning, I woke up the entire family when we were staying on the beach so we could watch the sun rise. After the light pinks faded into light blue and the day began, the entire family went back to bed. There is something so delicious about snuggling under the covers with two living space heaters on both sides and watching their beautiful faces drift back to sleep as dreams overtake them.

  • Louise

    Just got my pre ordering prize in the mail. I love it! Thanks! The art work you use makes me happy just looking at it. My daughter and I will be waiting to see you at Brookline Booksmith in Mass on Sept 13th. Can’t wait to get my new book in the mail too. Thanks so much! Louise Olafsson

  • Leah

    I’ve always wanted to get up earlier, but find that I can’t really get up much before 8 a.m. without being exhausted the rest of the day. I’m not really an owl either, though, so if I want time for a special project, I postpone crashing in front of the TV for half an hour and commit that chunk of time (usually sometime between 8 and 10 p.m.) to that project. I can only manage about 4 times a week, but it’s better than nothing!

  • I started waking up at 6am most days (I still can’t get myself to do it during vacation and sometimes even on some weekends) and the extra hours in a silent house makes the whole difference! Even though my roomates don’t understand that I HAVE to go to bed at 10pm I just love having a long breakfast and doing some calm reading every morning.

  • Oh I wish I could be an early riser!
    Sometimes I get up early but that doesn’t mean I’m up… My brain is still sleeping until around noon…
    Larks seldom get this, thanks for mentioning that we are different in this regard.

  • Jane

    Does this mean you go to bed before your husband? This has been the sticking point for me in trying to get up earlier–losing that time in the evening with my dear husband!

    • gretchenrubin

      He stays up later, reading. Fortunately I’m so sleepy from waking up at 6 that I go to sleep, even when he doesn’t bother with the book light.


  • So true! On occasions where I wake up earlier than planned, I’m always pleasantly surprised by how much I accomplish in that time, even freeing up time later in the day. When my work schedule changes in the fall, I will have to wake up no later than 6 to get my gym time or other ‘me’ time in, but I’ll follow your lead and make it happen!

  • shoe

    I recently discovered this and found that I have to do something a little physical to wake up – I chose fold laundry. Weird, but we always have laundry to fold and it doesn’t take long and 5 minutes later I’m awake enough to do something I really want to do.

  • J Cosmo Newbery

    Works for me – but I am an early-bird anyway.

  • Jess

    While I have always been a morning person, my fear of choosing myself over my job has always been a struggle. I resisted the idea of doing anything for myself early in the morning because I was afraid of not being able to perform at full speed if I did any kind of morning exersion. Once I started reading the Happiness Project in March, I realized that I only needed to change my wake up time by 20 minutes and I can do the weight lifting I have always dreamt of trying. If I wake up at 5:40, I have enough time to workout, shower and get to work. The funny part is that now I find I have more energy and end up at work even earlier than if I had the 20 minutes of extra sleep! I guess that is what they mean when they say start the day off on the right foot!

  • carol

    I adopted this practice in order to sew for an hour in the morning. The first thing I made was curtains for my son’s bedroom. It was satisfying to get some part of the project done every day. And I realized that it was good to do something that “stayed done”!

  • lmcollina

    I started waking early about 12 years ago to get in my daily exercise. Another bonus of being a “lark” is that I’ve learned to set aside projects that may worry me in the evening, knowing that in the morning, when I’m energetic and sharp, they can easily be accomplished.

  • Rachel

    I don’t get up early but I use that time you mentioned in the evenings instead. Every evening, after the chores are done, I go out to my study and write for at least an hour. I feel different since I’ve been doing it. I feel happier and energised.

    • romney

      I’m definitely an owl too and use late evening time for exercising, knitting, quilting, paying bills, cooking, etc. With a small child, I don’t like to do anything early morning anyway, as he is more likely to be on the brink of waking up then. Its great that you (Gretchen) cover both points of view in this article – after all, it comes to same thing in the end, a bit of quiet time to get things done, or not if you like!

  • Chantel

    It’s funny that you posted this today. Earlier this week, I posted two entries on my blog about being Addicted to Busy and Saying No to Busy ( and I loved your observation about how evening down time has such a low return on investment. I’m an early riser, too. You’ve given me the words to explain to others why that’s so important. Thank you!

  • Annie Mueller

    So I was sitting at my desk at 8:30 this morning – not early – listening to the kids talk as they watched a movie, trying to “sneak” in some quiet planning & writing time… and realizing that I really really really need to get up early again. I’ve done so off and on and a 5am wake-up is AMAZING. I’ve just slipped out of it. So I’m jotting this down in my journal, then I check my email and here is this post… Serendipitous. Thanks for the encouragement to do what I know I’ve been missing!

  • I actually began doing this just a few weeks ago, for the exact reasons you mentioned (particularly the late-night-time gets used for junk but early-morning-time gets used well reason), and it has been amazing. Great recommendation for sure!

  • I so agree with this post. I wake up at 4:22 (exactly) to go for a morning run. When I get back home I enjoy my morning coffee and breakfast and some pre-recorded tv while my family sleeps. Sometimes one of my kids wakes up near the end of my quiet time, but the funny thing is that at age 4 and 8 they are already aware that if they join me it is quiet time – my show is on and we cuddle. The other nice thing about this hour – my blackberry is quiet. The only person who I message is my virtual workout buddy. We check in every day. It’s usually a groggy I’m awake. Have a good workout followed by a yay! done! feel great! And honestly, when I “sleep in” it means getting up by 7 which is still an awesome start to the day. My bedtime is kind of early – around 10.

  • mel727

    One of the side effects of perimenopause for me seems to be a kind of reverse insomnia, where I have no trouble getting to sleep at night, but I can’t stay asleep. But the upside to this is the morning productivity you describe. I can get up at 3:38 a.m. and get in 90 minutes of personal productivity, without anything interrupting the “flow”, and still have time for a 90 minute nap before anyone else gets up. I actually resent it when life upsets this routine.

  • Kate MacNicol

    I love my early writing times too. I get up at 5:30, drink some coffee, do a ten minute guided meditation and then toddle off to my office to sit down and write. I love it most in the winter (I live in the Midwest) when the morning stays dark longer and if it’s snowing—well so much the better! Great post!

  • Linda

    With the incredibly hot summer we have been having, I’ve been doing this so I can run/walk/exercise the dogs. But I am really more of an owl and I’ve been draggy and out of sorts a lot this summer. My resolve is to give up some computer time in the evening!

  • joopdorresteijn

    Nice post. Funny because I’m about to watch an episode of the Wire, not that I would get up at 6 to sit behind my computer but I could use the time to learn a foreign language.. I am compelled to try it out!

  • Sarah

    If I start my day with my family at 7:00 a.m. then my coffee normally gets set on a counter and neglected. I have to keep reheating it because I forget about it when running around to get the kids ready for the day. If I wake up at 5:30 I get to sit for thirty minutes and savor it while I read my Bible. I also get at an hour to run outside before the sun gets too warm. I love the morning. My Mom had six kids and she always woke up early to enjoy the quiet home.

  • I have tried this.. Two days a week when I have to meet my trainer at the gym, I get up at 5:15. I am trying to turn this from 2 to 7 days, but habits take some time to form! Impressive that you have done it! It can be without question the most productive time of the day without distractions taking higher priority for the things you want to do, like write or exercise or meditate.

  • Goodswan

    About a year ago, I started getting up at 5:30 (6:30 on weekends) so that I could spend a half hour sipping coffee and watching the news, then exercising for 45 minutes. It was the best decision I ever made. A key is making sure the coffee maker is set to automatically brew so it’s waiting for me, and allowing myself the flexibility to sleep in on days when I’m feeling particularly overtired. It works! I can now happily say I exercise about 5 times a week!

  • Publius

    This has to be hell on your sex life, unless your hubby is on the same schedule.

  • Sailendu

    I started getting up earlier 2 months ago. I love to play piano in the morning time.
    Before 2 months I used to play it in late night, as the night time is usually silent and there is nothing to disturb me. Then I thought of playing in the morning time. So now-a-days I get up by 6am and that time is also silent and I feel really nice.

  • Nneka, Working Mystic

    Hi Gretchen, I like your concept that the hour at the end of the day, though pleasant, isn’t really high value. I wonder what it would take to make it high value. Perhaps journaling, or appreciating, or sitting in silence. Hmmm…

  • ChiropracticConsultant

    I do agree with this habit because I actually do it myself. I tend to wake up early in the morning to enjoy coffee and do a little bit of thinking. It’s very peaceful. What about you guys? What are the things you love to do every morning?

  • Jannine

    So many early raisers here where are the owls? I cannot get up early unless is Enrique Iglesias singing live in Good Morning America. I have been trying to get up early since I saw this post and it has been a huge pigeon of discontent for me. I am going back to my owl practices.

    • gretchenrubin

      Yes, I think for “owls” the strategy is different. Are you able to make good use of the night-time? to do high-value activities then? Some owls I know really do use this time well — which is hard for a lark like me to imagine!

      • jannine

        Thanks Gretchen, now that I have accepted I am an owl, I can focus on how am I going to get the most out of that time at night when I am very sharp and focused. I usually end up wasting it.

  • I have been doing this by default this week and it has been great. My husband has started back work whilst I still have this week off but since he has been getting up at 6.00am anyway I’ve been doing the same. I have had a huge happiness boost from looking at the clock, realising it is still early, and celebrating how productive I have already means. I’ve found that it also means that when I do have some down time later in the day I feel that I have REALLY earned it. I also really like a tip that you give about putting your shoes on after you get dressed even when you have nothing planned. Such a simple thing really does give a sense of purpose!

  • Lisa

    I am much more of a night person, and I have found that instead of just zoning out in the evening (or lying in bed, being unable to fall asleep), I can really channel the energy I have that time of day to get a lot done! Being active at night seems to tire my alert nightowl-self out, which helps me sleep between once I do go to bed.

    • romney

      They say don’t exercise before you go to bed as you’ll be too wound up, but I find it helps me sleep. If you’re one of those people that falls asleep during the meditation at the end of a yoga class this might suit you too!

  • Megan A

    Thank you for adding the caveats about larks vs. owls and having small children. My husband and I are both owls, so “early” is a relative term for us. I do get up earlier than he does, and I enjoy those quiet moments, even if all I do is put on some laundry and start breakfast. My day feels much less rushed, even if it is starting later than the average morning person. Baby #1 is due in a few weeks, so I’m interested to see how those early morning feedings affect my “owl” personality.

  • I love this one — my thing is dedicating 10 minutes at a time to things that I really care about. So in that hour that I get up early, I can tick off a handful of things that really matter to me before the kids have even stirred — reading, news, a little thinking time. No matter what happens the rest of the day, I know I’ve already had a rewarding day (for more on using 10 minutes at a time, check out

  • Brenda

    I had this revelation a couple years ago. I felt the evenings I wasn’t able to get time for myself. So undecided to start getting up earlier and enjoIng my mornings. It started as just get uP check emails and chill. Now I have a regular meditation practice and do some yoga as well. The only thing I am still working on is a consistent time. Getting to bed at the right time is a challenge. Work in progress!! But I love it!!

  • Rachel

    This has transformed me! I am not a natural lark but doing a 6am start for the last 3 weeks has been wonderful. I am a nicer person for it because I have time to think, get ready for my day, check emails and read another chapter of The Happiness Project! Then, when the family get up I am a nicer person…cheery and pleased to see them rather than a terrible grouch! I treasure this time now although the odd lie is nice too…camping this weekend so I think it will be a little after 6 when I rise!

    • gretchenrubin

      I’m so happy to hear that this was a good approach for you.

  • Thea

    I wish this strategy worked for me, I really do. I tried it when I was going to school full time on top of working full time. I even got a “Lark” silent alarm, one of those vibrating ones you put on your wrist and sync with your iPhone. It works great for waking you without waking your partner, but only if you WANT to be awake early. I tried it for a few weeks, but just couldn’t rouse myself out of bed when it was still dark out.

    I am most definitely, positively an “owl.” My natural sleep schedule, if I’m left to my own devices, is to go to sleep somewhere between 2am and dawn, then wake up between 10am and the early afternoon. I dislike it immensely – I think it’s depressing to begin sleeping when the world is just getting light out. But it’s my body’s choice, not my heart. Unfortunately I have a toddler and a job with a long commute, so I have to get up at 6am anyway, and since I can’t get to sleep easily in the evening, I always feel tired.

    Trying to adhere to a toddler’s 7am schedule and my job’s 8am schedule when I’m more on a 10am schedule makes life difficult every day, and nearly impossible to squeeze any extra time out of my day. I’d love to hear any suggestions on how to fix it.

    • gretchenrubin

      It is really hard to be an “owl,” because so many things are set up on the “lark” schedule. As a lark, I don’t have any good suggestions for this. Owls out there, any thoughts?

  • terry cottle

    Love it, one hour earlier every day without expectations of accomplishing anything until it becomes routine! Starting tomorrow 😉

  • Lee Davy

    Great post.

    I am an ‘owl’ but this is part of the problem. Because I have labelled myself as such I find it much more difficult to get up in the morning. So it’s important to understand that these are just labels. If you want to get up in the morning thinking you’re an ‘owl’ won’t stop you.

    It’s incredibly important to be waking up to something that fills you with happiness. People believe they can’t wake early because they have memories of the alarm clock screeching and then heading off to a job that you hate. So of course you are going to re-affirm that you are an owl.

    Find something you love and you will be dying to wake up at 06.00am even if you ‘twit and hoo’ I promise you.

    Lee Davy

    • gretchenrubin

      If you’re interested in larks and owls, and whether people who are “owls” really do have different time clocks, I highly recommend the book Internal Time.

      • Lee Davy

        Thanks Gretchin I will be sure to check it out

  • Natalie

    I’ve tried getting up earlier to exercise (go for a run with a friend) and I hated it. Grumbled every day. Gave up after two weeks. But I don’t like staying up late either, which I assume is what an owl is. Maybe I’m a sloth.

  • Matt Durrant

    I agree and have been actively trying to wake up early but it’s just to easy to hit snooze. So I got a fitbit. For tthose of you who don’t know what a fit bit is, it’s a small bracelet you wear and it tracks your every step, calorie burned and your sleep. It connects to an app via bluetooth and graphs out your activities. Anyway, it has a silent alarm and is a great way to wake up and track your sleep. It’s worked great I’m consistently up at 06:00 with a smile everyday. GOODLUCK!

  • Jeanette Gustafsson

    Great ! I love to get up early in the morning. Have done it since I was a teen and worked out befor school al highschool! Now I live with a man who love’s it just like me and it’s Great! Thank you!

  • tiana

    I’ve recently started working on launching an online business and with a one year old to take care of, day time is virtually impossible to get any actual work done. At first I would squeeze in an hour or two during my sons nap, but I found that right when I would get into the groove of working, he would wake up. Then by night time I like to have kid-free hubby time.

    So I decided I would start getting up at 4, and without any effort at all, I’ve done it practically every single day (except when the kiddo is teething). I’m listening to the morning birds as I write this sipping my coffee in peace. I am a total lark, an eager one at that !

  • Ltpar

    Spent most of my career working graveyard shift. I absolutely loved the cool quiet night and absence of traffic and people on the streets. It was also easier to identify the bad guys at 2 AM in the morning. Even now in retirement, I find myself staying up all night and going to bed when the sun comes up. Guess I would have made a great Vampire in ancient times?

  • Derek

    I think there is an interesting distinction to be made between physiological Larks and Owls vs. “Liking the morning”.

    As @lee_davy:disqus said below, the self-belief that you are one way or another plays a part in your perception of the morning or evening.

    So while for a lark 4am may be equivalent to an owl’s 7am, the perception that an owl hates mornings (regardless of what time that morning is) may be due in part to their perception that they are an owl and they should hate the morning. (Likewise, for Lee’s point about the negative association with alarm clock and jobs they hate.)

    I still agree that owl vs. lark plays a part, especially in objectively measured performance, but I think mindset is equally as important when it comes to how one “feels” about getting up in the morning.

  • Linda Johnson

    I’ve started getting up at 6:00 too but equally important is that I take my shower and do my hair and makeup right away so I’m ready for the day. Otherwise I sit around in my jammies all morning wasting time and avoiding the cleanup. This has changed my,life much for the better.

  • Sherri Williams

    It’s very hard for me to get up early in the morning – I feel like a zombie and can’t think straight for the first couple hours, so I feel like I just waste the time anyway. Whereas I can easily stay up all night working on something I’m engaged in or need to finish. But I really WANT to be a morning person – I think it would make life a lot easier and fit better with my husband’s and clients’ schedules as well.

    So I had an idea that I haven’t tried yet but maybe I will now that I’ve been reminded of it by this article. It’s the perfect time of year to start getting up with the sun every day. I know it won’t work for everyone, but for freelancers like me who have flexible schedules and are currently getting up well after sunrise, it would be an improvement. And the beauty of it is that you automatically get up just a few minutes earlier each day to follow the sunrise, you get to see the beautiful colors each day, and by summertime you should have a nice early rising time!