How to Wake Up (Better)

Waking up refreshed and full of energy is one of the most overlooked parts of creating a morning routine that works for you. Rising excited to take on the day (compared to waking up bleary eyed, with barely enough time to down a cup of coffee and get dressed) will take you far, which is why we dedicate the very first chapter of our upcoming book to the process of actually getting up and out of bed in the morning.

While the book goes into significant detail about how to move from your bed into your morning, with tips and recommendations from everyone including the president of MIT, L. Rafael Reif, to executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), Daisy Khan, to the founder of Blue Bottle Coffee, James Freeman, we wanted to dispense some quick tips here on how to simply wake up (better):

Stop Hitting the Snooze Button

Some of us are lucky enough to not have to use an alarm. If this is you, and it works for you, then keep on doing it. But if, like many of us, you can’t afford not to set an alarm in the morning (and we get it, we both use alarms ourselves), we seriously advise against hitting the snooze button.

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Snoozing your alarm (even if you set your initial alarm earlier, to build in time for your snooze) will often cause you to feel much worse once you finally get out of bed, as opposed to getting up the first time it sounds. Writer (and Coolest Grandpa Ever) Gray Miller put this well when he told us that after you hit the snooze button: “Lying there pretending to sleep is like having my engine revving without ever putting it in gear.”

Throw Out Your Devices

We don’t mean this literally (though most of us could arguably benefit from owning less of them). When we refer to throwing out devices we mean you should throw, or in the words of Arianna Huffington in her interview with us, “gently escort” your electronic devices out of your bedroom in the evening.

The benefits of this are twofold. Not only will you sleep better if you spend the hour or so leading up to you going to bed away from the bright light of your phone and other devices, you’ll also benefit from a calmer start to your day as you won’t be immediately inclined to pick up your phone and start diving into email if doing so requires you to get up and walk to another room to grab your phone. Better still, if your phone is your alarm, when you keep it outside of your bedroom overnight you have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm in the morning. (To convince yourself not to go back to bed, you may want to place a trigger for the next step in your morning routine, such as your running shoes or morning vitamins, right beside your phone.)

Get Outside

Waking up refreshed is one of the best things you can do to improve the quality of your morning routine, but sometimes we need to give our body a little push to convince it that getting up and out of bed is a good idea.

As we note in our book, “If you can’t seem to wake up indoors, there’s no point in lingering around,” so take yourself outside at the first opportunity. Getting some sunlight on your face and fresh air in your lungs is all-but guaranteed to to make you feel more awake and ready to take on the day.


For a complete break-down of our tips for how to move from your bed to your morning, pre-order My Morning Routine (Portfolio/Penguin) today!

Meet our Book

Whether you want to boost your productivity, implement a workout or meditation routine, or just learn to roll with the punches in the morning, our brand new book has you covered.

Today’s most talented creatives and businesspeople share their secrets to unlocking greater energy, focus, and calm—starting first thing in the morning.

Book Cover of My Morning Routine