3 Ways to Get Up Earlier, Get Going and Get More Done

Up and at ’em, Sunshine! Daylight’s burning.

Just typing those words makes my skin crawl a little. I am not what you call a “morning person.” Never have been. I hate those people. Up before the crack of dawn, exercising, getting organized, being productive and, worst of all, being chipper before I’ve had my 7th cup of coffee.

Did I mention I hate those people? But you have to admit… They get things done.

My buddys have always been fascinated by my anti-morning lifestyle. I tell everyone I work from home in my underwear, except much like Bill Murray in Stripes, I rarely wear underwear and when I do it’s usually something unusual.

I’ve always bragged about the fact that most mornings I was up by the Crack of 10, and by Crack of 10, I meant 10:30.


Now that worked for me for a long time, I was able to get a lot done in the afternoons before the end of the work day and I thought I was conforming to my natural biorhythms making the best of my natural proclivities. Honestly, I think I was just being lazy.

Two years ago when I set out to tweak my life, one of the big tweaks I wanted to make was GET UP EARLIER. It’s been one of the hardest changes I’ve made, but I’ve done it. At least 6 days a week now, I’m up by the crack of 9 and by the crack of 9, I really mean 8:30.

Ok before you scoff, I know that’s not exactly Paris Island Boot Camp style determination, but it’s the earliest I’ve been up and at ’em in over 25 years.

I’ve added a full two extra hours to my day.

That’s two extra hours to get things done. To Make Shit Happen.

Two hours to exercise. To meditate

To write.

And most importantly two extra hours that I’m up and about at the same time as all the important people in my life… My family, My friends and my customers.

Two extra hours to make a human connection instead of flipping channels looking for some crap to watch on TV at 3 in the morning.

Here’s what I’m doing differently.

early birdSET AN ALARM

Not just any alarm. I found the most fingernails on a chalkboard, screachingly annoying alarm on my cellphone and it goes off 6 days a week. It’s some sort of atomic rooster who sounds like he’s being hit in the nads with a cattle prod.

I say it’s just a rooster crowing, but my wife says he’s actually speaking english:




And I keep my cell phone in a nearby room so I physically have to stumble through the house, wiping the sleep from my eyes so I can get to the phone and make the ringing in my ears stop.


For the last few years my “morning ritual” consisted of stumbling out of bed whenever I felt like it and start putting out fires. By starting my day late, I was constantly behind the 8 ball, playing catch up instead of playing get ahead. Playing defense instead of offense.

Then after answering emails and returning calls, I would spend a little me time drinking coffee and surfing the web, reading articles and getting my social media fix.

Now I’m using my social media and information addiction to my advantage thanks to a little miracle app call StayFocusd. StayFocusd is free app that lets you set limits on the amount of time you spend on certain web pages and lets you choose the hours that you want to limit them. The program has been so useful for me that I actually paid the $10 suggested contribution for the app. I’m a baller, baby!

What I do is limit all social media web pages to no more than 15 minutes during the workday. If I want to stay up to date on the latest grumpy cat escapades, boost my Klout score by posting 100 pictures a day, and twitter until my typing fingers just can’t twitter anymore, I have to get up early before StayFocused locks me out.


In case you’re new to my blog, my standard answer to most of life’s little problems has become either GET MORE EXERCISE or CATCH SOME RAYS. In this case, you’re getting a two-fer.

Once I started exercising more, especially getting outside in the sunshine to exercise, I noticed myself thinking of that activity as my primary mission for the day. That’s my job! Get outside, in the sunshine and get moving. It gives me more energy. I always feel better when I do. And I always feel like crap when I don’t.

I’ve arranged my life so that I can have the time to get outside, in the sun and work up a sweat every day… as early in the day as possible.

During the summer, If I want to exercise in the sun, I have to do it before it gets crazy hot. During the winter, I have to get out early because it gets dark in January at 4 in the freakin’ afternoon.

I’m still not one of those guys up running a half marathon before dawn every day. God Bless ‘Em if that’s what works for them. I have no desire to be up before the sun. But the two hours I’ve added to my day have made a world of difference for my health, my happiness and my prosperity.

Up and at ’em, Sunshine! Daylight’s burning

Terry LancasterTerry Lancaster is the VP of Making S#!% Happen at Instant Events Automotive Advertising, father of 3 teenage daughters and a Beer League Hockey All Star, as if there could ever be such a thing.

You can connect with Terry on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.