My brother and I are very different. One of the places this was always clear was my brother's natural association with the night owl crew. I am much more of a morning guy myself. It is challenging to go from a night owl to early riser.

My friends made fun of me in high school because when we would stay in hotels for a track meet, I would wake up early and excited listening to music. One friend, in particular, said I woke up like I was on acid. I'm not sure what acid does, to be honest, and I don't think he knew either.

Going from nigh owl to earl riser can be a productivity game-changer. It's not because being a night owl type of person is terrible. It more has to do with the dynamics of our society, and the way will power works. Before I show you how to do, I want to start with why.

Front-loading my day (getting a whole bunch done in the morning) is my productivity secret. – Celeste Geadlee

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Why You Won’t Make As Good Decisions at Night 

I wake up at 3:10 AM, and I am in no way suggesting you need to do that. I believe that one can be successful in being a late-night worker. It's just a much harder battle to win simply due to the increased number of distractions.

My parent's most significant argument for my brother and me not being out late is that nothing good happens after 11, and it's oddly such a true statement. The later people stay up the worst the decisions that are made. You rarely hear about people getting up at 4 AM and making horrible choices, though. It's usually the opposite. If someone kills someone or sleeps with someone, it's generally from staying up late.

Introducing Your Inner Force

There is a reason that its harder to make good choices late at night. Your will power depletes as you go through the day. The more you have to work, focus, and resist making poor choices, the less will power you have.

This is why it's easy to resist cookies in the morning, but when you get home from a long day of the work, it can feel much harder. You are the same person you have much less will power later in the day.

Your will power is the inner force you have that helps you to not just act on impulse. Some people can get kissed on their neck, and they have the willpower to move away from the situation and not let it escalate no matter how much they want it to.

No matter how much will power you have, you always have less at night. There is no getting around this. That is why decision fatigue is a thing. If you make a bunch of trivial things like what to eat for lunch and what to wear, they drain your will power, and the choices don't even make a massive difference in your day. You want to save that will power for more meaningful choices. Making the change from night owl to early riser will help change your views on many things.

There is a reason that its harder to make good choices late at night. Your Will power depletes as you go through the day. The more you have to work, focus, and resist making poor choices the less will power you have.

Habits Are The Cure to Decision Fatigue 

When you develop habits, you make your behaviors automatic. Every morning, my current habit stack has me reading, meditating, working out doing some brain training, among other things. I don’t think well, should I read today? I don’t have to put energy in figuring out when and where to meditate. I do it in the same place simultaneously, so I don’t have to make that choice.

The first argument for habit is that it frees your mind up. You know there are things you need to and want to do daily. Why not make them habits, so you don’t even need to think about it. You may want to learn a language, for example. Make it a daily habit! Then you don’t have to rack your brain over when and where to do it.

Why You Should Consider Being a Morning Person

Now back to being a morning person. Its easier to build positive habits in the morning because as the day goes forward, it gets more chaotic and can get less out of your control. In all the years of getting up at 3 in the morning, I have never hade a phone call come through to interrupt me. No marketers, no robot calls, no friends, nothing. I can focus on what I need to do.

When you try and do things in the evening or try to stay up late, there are just more people who are up due to a lack of discipline. Even if you are disciplined and plan to start working at midnight, all the people staying up watching Netflix re-runs can disturb you.

The thing about all of the distractions at night in general.

- Sex

- Parties

- Events

- Friends

- Tiredness

- TV

The list can go on and on. At this point in the day, even if you enjoy working later, you may not have as much energy because you have been up for a while, and your will power is depleted. It puts you in a position where you have to fight an uphill battle, which is the last thing you need when you are going from night owl to early riser

Its easier to build positive habits in the morning because as the day goes forward it gets more chaotic and can get less out of your control.

How to Make The Switch From Night Owl to Early Riser

Step 1 – Why

You need a reason why. My brother never made the switch until he had a family. He realized that he needed to start his day and get the most important things done before the kids get up. He wanted to do it after they slept, but they drained him of all his energy, and it became hard to focus and do the work. Your story may be different, but you need a reason to try something different. with a why, going from night owl to early riser can be really hard

Step 2 – Shift Your Identity

Start seeing and talking about yourself as being a morning person. You must change your identity because you will always act in consistency with it. If you see yourself as being a night owl, you will want to act in consistency with that, or you are lying to yourself.

Shift your identity by telling people in an effortless way that you are an early riser. I was able to lock in getting up at 3:10 is I wrote an article about it, and then I made it my social handle @IanWarner310 on Instagram and Twitter. This forced me to stick with it because I attached my identity to it.

Step 3 – Adopt Habit Stacking

Now that you will get up in the morning, you need a framework that makes it easy, and Habit Stacking is just the thing to provide. We develop this system to provide an easy to follow a framework that won’t fail you when you want to be more consistent in life. The App will help you greatly when you are making the change from night owl to early riser

You need a reason why. Your story may be different but you need a reason to try something different.

Here are the Four Steps to Habit Stacking

  1. Stack
  2. Start
  3. Schedule
  4. Show Up

Its simple to follow. Habit Stacking is where you build habits on top of each other. You use waking up as the keystone habit that allows you to build the rest of your habits on top of it.

You have to decide what habits you want to get done in your first habit stack. I track a total of 17 habits and 8 If then I get done between 3 AM – 7 AM. There is no break or stopping when you habit stack because each habit is the cue that feeds into the next habit. Typically habits need cues.

For example, you may not eat breakfast until you feel hungry. Habit Stacking would be if you wake up, meditate, workout, and then eat breakfast. There is no waiting for cues.

Once you have your stack, you need to wake up in a time that allows you enough room to get it done. The reason for waking up is the perfect habit is because it provides you enough room for your habits to enter.
Most people struggle to build new habits because there is no room in their day to get them done. If you have three habits you want to get done in the morning, it could mean waking up 30 minutes earlier than normal to get them done.

Schedule means you are going to block that time in the day. If you need the first hour for your habit stack, then NOTHING else can get into that hour. By blocking it, you are making a deal with yourself that the time is sacred.

Show up is the most important thing you can do. This is the part that is on you when you are working to build new habits, but they are not locked in yet. You can have all the habits built up, but if you do not show up to work out, read or do whatever habits you listed, it won't matter.

Here are the Four Steps to Habit Stacking : 

  • Stack
  • Start
  • Schedule
  • Show Up
  • Habit Stacker for Habit Stacking

    Our app makes it easy to follow this system. It is built in a way so that your routine board allows you to habit stack and know exactly where you are in your day and what habits you need to get done next. When you do this right, it makes it effortless to be consistent. You will wonder how you got anything done before starting to habit stack.

    Ian Warner

    About the author

    I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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