Photo by Kyle West

By: Daanish Kachalia and Ryan Veerasammy

Juggling an academic, social and personal life, it’s no wonder that many students, ourselves included, wish there were more hours in the day. For the past few weeks, we have been committed to maximizing each day — starting with waking up early. Starting our days at 6 a.m. has markedly improved our lives.

Leaving the house before the sun rises invokes a feeling like no other. It is extremely satisfying to succeed in the challenge of waking up early. As a result of our early wake-up time, we found that we were motivated to be more productive as we didn’t want to waste the effort it took to get out of bed.

Even though the initial step of waking up can be difficult, the rewards are invaluable. In order to take that first step, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation were required.

Our intrinsic motivation consisted of researching the effects of waking up early as a student.

Texas University conducted a study where they found that students who classified themselves as “morning people” had a higher grade point average compared to the average student. A different study completed by Harvard University concluded that individuals who wake up early are more proactive and anticipate problems better.

Our extrinsic motivation stemmed from one another. We challenged each other that if we were not awake by 6 a.m., the person that woke up late would have to buy the other a coffee. By creating a competition, we were more motivated to complete the challenge.

One of the largest challenges in waking up early that we both encountered was restraining from pressing the snooze button. To combat this, we kept our alarms away from our beds so we were forced to get up when they went off in the morning.

Before starting this challenge, we both never had the time to eat breakfast. Now, we incorporated this meal into our everyday life. This has contributed towards a healthier lifestyle and an overall improved outlook for the day.

As the days pass, it is becoming easier to wake up earlier in the morning as our bodies are adjusting to this new routine. We have also noticed reduced stress levels as we can take additional time to complete tasks without feeling rushed or pressured.

We encourage the students of McMaster University to take on the challenge of waking up early. From our experience, we can assure that accomplishing this challenge on a continuous basis will undoubtedly affect your life in a positive way!
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