I read an article on Huffington Post the other day that talks about why successful people wake up earlier. One section in particular, caught my eye:
“Attacking the day on your own terms first-thing also gives you a sense of control in your life. Early morning hours enable you to play offense, instead of being reactive to emails, calls, meetings, and other demands on your time.”
In a way, it makes sense. Wake up earlier to avoid being swamped by the distractions of everyday life.
But if you really think about it, isn’t the problem not with when we wake up but how we’re spending our days? We’re waking up earlier to avoid being reactive to emails, calls and meetings when in truth, what we should avoid is being reactive in the first place.
We don’t need to check our emails first thing in the morning. We just choose to. If there were really an emergency, people would call instead of email.
We don’t need to answer phone calls first thing in the morning. We just choose to. I set my phone to ‘Do Not Disturb’, and if there were really an emergency, people would reach me anyways because they’d phone more than once.
We don’t need to attend every meeting. We just choose to. If we’re claiming that we have to attend meetings where we’re not needed and unable to contribute to, we’re really the ones to blame because we are the ones allowing our time to be wasted, especially if we don’t take initiative to suggest to our bosses why we don’t need to be included.
Solving a problem is different from avoiding it. Waking up earlier to avoid being reactive is the latter. It does help get more work done, but more often than not, it’s used merely as an excuse for our own lack of time management.
And excuses are not solutions.