I can’t really remember a time when I wasn’t a morning person. Even while most people stayed up late in college, I knew I would perform better on tests if I got a good night’s rest. Trying to study past midnight was a total blur. Better to get up at 5 a.m. than drink volumes of caffeine in hopes that I could cram one more fact in my brain.
Maybe you’re not a morning person and you have your reasons for being a night owl. But, there are lots of great reasons to develop a habit of getting up early. Here are five of my personal reasons.
1. I like to be the first one in the shower. That sounds pretty selfish. It probably is. But, there’s something about waking up and getting ready for the day. I hear lots of young moms talk about not finding time to take a shower because of the demands of children. For some reason, my day has always been more productive when I get up, get showered and get ready – even if I have no where to go. When you develop the habit of getting ready early, then you are “ready” for what the day might bring.
2. I like to have some quiet time. This doesn’t mean just a “quiet time” with the Lord, although that’s an important discipline to incorporate in your morning routine. Quiet time for me is that and more. It means gathering my thoughts and organizing my day. The people who know me well understand that I am a “list” person. Whether it is a list typed on my computer (I literally have a weekly “to do” list for the past eight years) or a mental priority list, having some morning quiet time brings clarity to my day.
3. My brain just works better. I have friends who are more creative in the wee hours of the night. I just happen to be the opposite. If I have a writing assignment or deadline, mornings are my friend. With a cup of coffee and hours ahead of me (and not behind me), I can be a lot more creative early in the morning than in the evening. Even for high school students, most of them test better in the morning than after lunch.
4. I just like the feel of morning air. One of my favorite things to do is spend time in the morning on my back porch. Whether it’s just watching my dogs play or reading a book, the feeling of cool morning air just does something to prepare me for the day. Of course, this isn’t the routine in January.
5. Finally, it is the best time for me to spend time with the Lord. You were probably hoping for something a little spiritual in this blog! But, seriously, my morning routine includes prayer and a short devotional or scripture reading. It is not my “study” time. Because my work day begins at 7:30 a.m., I don’t want to spend a great deal of time researching scripture. Instead, my simple routine is reading scripture and asking three questions. One: What does this scripture say about God? Two: How does this scripture speak to my life? Finally: What actions do I need to take today in light of this scripture? These three simple questions have guided my morning quiet time for 30 years and it never gets old or mundane. No matter how many times I have read a passage, there is always something new for me to learn and apply from scripture.
What about you? Are you a morning person? Night owl? What are your reasons?
Suggested Reading on this subject: “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” by Laura Vanderkam, Penguin Group, 2012.