I talk about waking up far more than going to bed and this comes out of my experience that how I feel getting up sets the tone for the rest of the day. Now I am a morning person, so most of what I get done in the day outside of my employed hours comes in the period before work (i.e. whenever I get up to about 7:00 A.M). I maintain however, that it’s far easier to wake up with a desire to be productive then to dig up these feelings up later in the day, no matter when you get your work done.
Waking up with a desire to be productive is about keeping a proverbial motivational carrot dangling in front of you at all times, from when your eyes open in the morning to when they close at night. Note that I say in front of you, not somewhere on the distant horizon through long term goals. As motivated as I am, if there is no goal to drag me out of bed in the morning, then it is hard to be productive. Last week, I stressed the importance of a short-term goal list to give yourself a timeline. Have your weekly goal list (if you are unsure what I am talking about, read my other article here) clearly visible in the morning and evening. It should be seen within the first 5 minutes of getting up and remind you about those pages you needed to write, emails to be sent, picture to be drawn; whatever you need to get done this week. I found reflecting on the goals before bed to be particularly effective, as I wake up excited at the thought of tearing into one of the goals, maybe even finishing it before the rest of the day’s duties demand my attention.
I take it one step further and have both a long-term goal list and a short-term goal list on the same desk, allowing me to get an overview of everything I need to work towards. That way, as soon as I get up I can see everything that is driving me forward in life sitting there in conveniently organized lists, ready to be checked off (or in my case, highlighted and turned into a rainbow) at a moment’s notice.
To summarize, reflect on your short-term goals immediately before bed and go to sleep with them on your mind. Keep them in a place that makes them visible in the first 5 minutes of getting up. After a few days, see how you feel. Do you wake up with sluggish and without purpose or do you wake up like me, with a ferocious determination to get things done! Try it out and let me know.