There's a simple answer: You can get up earlier. Early mornings are a great time for getting things done for two reasons:
You are less likely to be interrupted by phone calls or urgent emails at 6 a.m. than at 10 a.m. If you exercise in the mornings, you only have to shower once -- and you won't have to postpone the gym trip because of a client emergency.
Second, research into the science of willpower is discovering that willpower is like a muscle.
It gets depleted from overuse. Over the course of a day, as we make decisions and deal with difficult people, it gets used up. But in the morning, after a good night's sleep, we are armed with as much self-discipline as we are ever going to have. That makes it more feasible to exercise or do creative work than it will be after-hours.
Of course, the phrase "good night's sleep" is important here. One of the reasons people find it hard to get up on time and get to work is that they haven't slept enough by the time the sun rises. Most adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Getting up at 5 a.m. means going to bed by 10 p.m.
But the good news is that many of us could get to bed earlier if we tried. Think about what you spend the last 2 hours before bed doing on a typical night. If you answered "watching television" or "surfing the web," chances are you could spend less time on these things. Just record "The Daily Show" and watch it while on the treadmill at 6 a.m. That way, when you come home tired at 7 p.m., you can be calm, knowing you already scored some me-time, first thing.
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