Sure, you have only 24 hours in a day. With work, family responsibilities and social engagements to attend to, how do you get time for yourself and catch up on the essential tasks without getting distraught? We recommend waking up early. It’s that simple, really. It is no coincidence that Virgin founder Richard Branson, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour are all early risers. Rising early fixes your schedule, makes you more productive, and leaves you with enough time to catch a break. Here’s why you should set your alarm sometime between 5am and 6am.

1. Become Happier
According to a study conducted by the University of Toronto, early risers are happier and healthier than people who like to stay up late. From two groups of adults who were studied (an older group aged 59 to 79 years, and a younger group aged 17 to 38 years) the older adults reported more positive emotions. They were also the ones who woke up several hours before the people in the younger group. Getting an early start and some ‘me’ time could help you feel happier through the day.

2. Get More Done
Waking up before your usual time gives you scope to check things off your to-do list. You could use this time to meditate or exercise to jumpstart your day, or simply plan the rest of your day and set clear goals for the week. You will also give yourself enough time to have breakfast, the most important meal of the day.

3. Become More Focused
Waking up early means you will face fewer distractions, making it easier to focus on tasks like catching up on emails and reading. If you meditate, you will find that it’s easier to dispel negative thoughts and calm your mind without the noises (like those of cars and people chattering) that get louder by noon.

Tips & Tricks To Get There
Waking up early won’t come to you overnight, unless you try to sleep early that night. You will need to change your lifestyle—eat dinner early, switch off blue light devices such as phones and laptops, and hit the bed early. Avoid watching late-night television or drinking coffee late in the evening. Being an early riser could bring about many positive changes and could make you feel more in control of your life.

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.