New year, new resolutions. No time seems to be better to build new habits. A habit I always wanted to start in my life was getting up early or earlier and creating a morning routine. And it really did improve my life. Here’s why.
Most of us coders seem to be night owls. But I figured that many famous and successful people get up quite early in the morning. You can even read of times like 4:30! Crazy.
Since I have to be in the office somewhere between 9 o’clock and 9:30, I usually got up at around 8. Stressful bathroom stay, getting dressed, making some – if any – breakfast and getting out of the house. Sounds familiar?
Needless to say that with a start in the day like that, you arrive in the office very stressed.
Quite often I came across the idea of the early bird. Like Benjamin Franklin said:
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
But is this really true?
As a software developer who can’t stop coding in his spare time, I always struggled with my side projects. You know the drill. Work, housework, friends, family, exercise, grocery shopping, all that stuff has to be done and then you also want to find the time for your side projects. Not to mention other hobbies like playing video games for instance.
I tried different ways. Adding one or two hours after work when there was an open window, doing many hours on the weekends, but in the long run, this was not fulfilling and did not really work out. The breaks between these hours have been too long. Then I came across the idea of spending only 30 minutes for your side projects – but every single day, or at least on workdays.
That was something I wanted to give a try. And I tried to spend these 30 minutes in the evenings after work, with no success. I was either too tired, or I came home too late, or there was something else going on or I just wanted to spend some time with my fiancée.
After that, I found this book: The Miracle Morning. And it hit me. I always wanted to try getting up early and implement some kind of morning routine into my life. The content of the book promises to transform your life with the help of the magical time before 8 am. So I tried that.
Believe me, getting up early when you’re not used to it is very hard. But I figured it’s crucial to know the right reason why you want to get up. When you know that, it’s a lot easier. And when your side projects are important to you and if working on them makes you happy, you will get up early.
You get quiet time for yourself. It’s amazing when (almost) everyone else is sleeping and you can focus on yourself and whatever you want to do or create (like this article here for instance).
Even better, now it’s not only 30 minutes. It’s more than an hour I really enjoy to get up early. Of course, the downside is, that you have to go to bed earlier, too. But somehow, it works. And honestly, is it really a downside to got to bed early? Usually, I’m not productive anyways and burn my time by watching TV which doesn’t benefit me in any way. It is a miracle.
So maybe, if you still need a New Year’s resolution, try to get up earlier. Maybe just 15 minutes for starters. And you could also try to implement some kind of morning routine into your life. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and write a line of code, 100 words for a blog post or play a video game for God’s sake if that’s what your missing in your daily life. The morning is perfect to do the things you’re otherwise missing out in your life.
Happy New Year!