Words by Leon  //  Illustration by Leon

The truth about designers that people might not notice, is that we usually stay up very late. Maybe it’s the huge pile of work, but let’s be real, it’s mostly due to our creative block. Inspirations and ideas only seem to pop up late in the night. This is the reason why some designers always look so sleep deprived, no amount of dress-up can hide their wearied eyes and dark under-eye circles. If you spend any time online, you’ve probably came across an article (or 15) spelling out the steps and importance of waking up early. Yes, we know it’s important to get enough sleep at night, but can we? Honestly, it’s easier said than done. But I’m here to help you do that! Let’s get straight into it:-

Be Determined

Lets be completely honest – you can’t possibly convince yourself to be an early bird just because. You need to be clear of the reason you’re doing this and be determined! Make sure you really want it because that’s what you’ll use to convince yourself to get off the bed.

Good things never come easy! Challenge yourself to wake up as early as possible for one week. Soon enough, it’ll become a good habit and you’ll find yourself repeating the same routine every day.

Make a Schedule

We all hate waking up early because it’s just another boring day, but imagine getting up to do something cool, that’s another story!

Before hitting the sack, schedule your day for tomorrow. Plan a to-do list of exciting and enjoyable things for the next day, so you’ll feel pumped-up in the morning.

Get Enough Sleep

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting enough sleep at night. Adequate sleeping hours will make your entire day better, I promise! Your body and mind will feel more ‘awake’ and it will help you in your daily design adventures.

How much of sleep is ‘enough’ then? According to various sources, an average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep every day. I did this by finishing my work as fast as possible, then go to bed early. I try to avoid staying up late to complete tasks, instead, I start the next day early to continue undone work.

Sleep in Total Dark

Darkness is essential for a good night’s sleep. Sleeping in darkness helps produce melatonin, which improves the quality of your sleep. That groggy feeling of not getting a good night’s sleep? I know it all too well. It just makes me want to go back to sleep again.

Turn off your lights, shut down your laptop and put away your phone 30 minutes before sleeping. The moment you wake up in the morning, your mind will feel rejuvenated and energised for new, creative ideas.

Place Your Alarm Clock Far Away

Put your alarm clock far away from your bed so you have no choice but get up. Sounds easy, right? This is a classic trick, but is it really that simple? No. Sure you will get up, but normally you may find yourself jumping back into your bed.

You don’t want to end up like this! That’s why it’s critical to plan for the next step, the first thing after you turn off your alarm. You can go to the toilet, turn on your lights, find your cat, anything frankly. Do that everyday so your mind won’t have to think anymore. Whatever you do, don’t go back into bed!

Open Your Curtains

Being an early bird is extra hard when your bed is the most comfortable thing in the world. Waking up to a bright room will minimize your grogginess and make you feel more alert in the morning.

Just as what was mentioned earlier, do something right after you turn off your alarm clock! Try raising your blinds first thing after that. Or you can invest in smart lights that can be programmed to lit up in the morning, just in case your room has no windows. Let some light into your room as a ‘pick-me-up’ and make the start of your day brighter!

Get A Coffee

I know there are endless debates about drinking coffee, some say its good but some otherwise. But hey, it’s coffee! It makes everything better and solves every problem. According to various studies,  moderate coffee intake (1-3 cups a day) significantly improves your mental alertness by stimulating the central nervous system. In short, it increases your memory and concentration.

Fill your room with the smell of fresh coffee! Get some caffeine in the morning and it’ll give you enough energy to tackle the day and keep you awake. 

Becoming a morning person is not as easy as it seems. It takes time and motivation to maintain this habit. Find out what works best for you and stick to it!