You Woke Up Early, Now What: 6 Steps to Having a Great Morning

what to do when you wake up early

Last Updated: Oct. 29, 2018

Wondering what to do when you wake up early? Here are some tips.

This post is for those who are already doing it – who are up before dawn, ready to jumpstart their day, have a successful morning ritual, set themselves up for a productive day and fill themselves with positivity and peace.

Getting up early (the earlier, the better) is the very first step. But many wonder what’s next.

I’ll tell you!

Next, you can choose from a bunch of productive, healthy, inspiring and optimistic things to do that will let you have a great morning and experience it fully.

The goal is to create some sacred time (15-60 minutes) before you leave for work (or go to the home office) and dedicate it to activities that will help you reduce stress, get in a good mood, brighten your whole day and get you motivated to get things done later on.

So here’s what you can do in the early morning:

What to Do When You Wake Up Early

1. Welcome the day.

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Your first thoughts and actions for the day are crucial.

Don’t let them be something like “Oh, it’s so early!”, and crawling to the coffee machine.

Instead, get up with a light smile on your face, peacefully and slowly make your bed, stretch for a minute or two and great the day by appreciating it, by being aware of the fact it’s given to you without having to do anything about it.

That will make you grateful, and thus filled with thankfulness, peace and contentment.

2. Get a glass of water (and coffee).

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If you’re a coffee drinker, here’s the time to do it. I suggest you brew it yourself as it’s an inspiring process that takes a bit more time but lets you experience and enjoy the whole thing. Then, you can drink it in small sips and be mindful of each.

Also, have a glass of water first thing in the morning.

The body is dehydrated from the sleep, and the metabolism wants something to start working and burning calories. It doesn’t make any difference between food and water and just wants you to consume something so that it can know the day has started. So let’s choose water over anything else.

3. Make a plan for the day with all the things that need to be done.

It’s even better if you develop the habit of writing your tasks down the night before, but now is also a great time for that.

So list all the things you have to accomplish and the tasks you have to complete today. Even things like personal habits (maybe new ones you’re trying to build), things you have been putting off for some time now, stuff you want to get done, etc.

Having the whole picture in front of you helps a lot.

Also, there’s this desire inside of most people to cross items off a list that’s in front of them. It just feels good and gives a sense of accomplishment.

You can also decide where to start, once you’re done with the morning routine.

Define the 3 most important tasks and focus on them first, that’s the core of prioritizing. Then move onto smaller, but significant things.

This way you’ll have done the hard work by noon, and will still be productive and motivated and can continue executing the rest of the tasks on the list.

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4. Meditate/do a quick workout.

Another productive and healthy thing you can do when you wake up early is to meditate or work out.

Some people find doing both of these too hard. And it really can be overwhelming to try implementing two serious behaviors like these in your day.

So start with one. Each may take even 2 minutes in the beginning.

Remember, new habits are built over time. You focus on just starting, then your daily action is your priority (which is a super tiny step) and meanwhile, you give your best to stay consistent.

5. Write/read.

Another thing to do in order to have a great morning and welcome the day properly, is to include an inspiring and creative activity like writing or reading.

It may be something as small as writing down 3 things you’re grateful for or reading 2 pages of a book that inspires you.

Something I’ve found quite helpful is the morning pages exercise.

It’s a simple practice – you just wake up early and get down to writing before you do anything else – but can have a profound effect and change many areas of your life over time.

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6. No distractions before work.

That one may not work for you as well as it does for me.

But I’ve found out that I do my most productive work on an empty stomach, in the first part of the day, before I’ve talked to anyone (family, friends, etc.).

All these are just distractions for me and I do them after noon (which is right after my first 4 hours of focused work).

But there are people who feel bad without breakfast in the morning. That’s why I don’t urge you to implement this. But just give it a try for a day or two. It may be what you’re looking for.

I believe there are many more successful activities, habits and little things we can do after waking up early that can boost our energy, productivity, confidence and well-being.

Here’s a list of 36 mini morning habits I came up with. Each takes no more than 5 minutes but helps you improve in the long term.

You don’t need to aim for perfection.

Still wondering what to do when you wake up early? Just focus on making tomorrow morning better by leaving bed in the early hours of the day and taking a step or two from what I mentioned in this post.

That will be a great start. Change doesn’t happen quickly when it comes to personal development.

It’s better to go slowly, but steadily and let your brain get used to the new behavior you’re trying to ingrain without feeling overwhelmed.

So which of these 6 things do you think will help you have a great morning? What other suggestions do you have on what to do when you wake up early?

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