[August 27, 2020] It’s been too long since I posted a “good habits” article. A reader suggested that I get my “ass in gear” and restart this mini-series. A few weeks ago, we took our Boy Scout troop out on their annual summer camp. One of our Scoutmaster’s requirements was that the scout’s get up early.
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” – Richard Whately, English academic, philosopher, and theologian
Found on health websites, a well-known purpose of getting up early is that it helps you physically, mentally, and emotionally. This habit is powerful. It gives you more time to exercise, improves concentration, increases productivity, and makes sleeping easier. Our Boy Scouts seemed to adapt to getting up at 6 am after a day of adjustment. They were better behaved and followed directions better when compared to those that slept in late.
For leaders, getting up early does much more. I found that the average leader gets up around 7 am and goes to bed at 11 pm. If we were to look at the typical day of a leader, we would find enormous amounts of wasted time, mostly after dinner. They are not spending quality time with their family or community, mostly watching television or just reading entertainment magazines.
By getting up early, a leader can clear their mind, create a vision in their head about their upcoming expectations, and – importantly – relax. They won’t be rushed as they prepare for work or time with family. They won’t be stressed unnecessarily. They won’t show their frustration. Leaders who get to work early too find that the obligatory paperwork can be completed, leaving more time for hands-on time with employees.
“It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.” – Aristotle
If you love the soft pillow and warm blanket, you can still put aside the temporary comfort by waking up early in the morning to get a head start on everyone else. They’re still sleeping. By this action, you can get the edge on others. You will get productive time doing things that you need to do, and that’s a huge piece of moving your life forward.
Don’t forget to read my electronic book. Good Habits for Leaders (2018). I lay out the idea that simple, good habits can make a significant difference in your life. You can read it here for free (see link).