The early bird catches the word – Five reasons why getting up early will help your English

early birdWe’ve seen the expression ‘the early bird catches the worm‘ before on the World of Words. But how can getting you up early help you learn a language?

I’ve mentioned before that I’m an early-riser. In the past, I’ve used my extra time in the mornings for a number of things, including learning a language. Nowadays, I prefer to use the early morning for writing.

If you’re a night owl and you enjoy living that way, that’s fine. If you think you could get up just a little bit earlier to to help improve your English, keep reading. It’s not difficult and, who knows? You might grow to like it. Here are five great reasons to get up early and learn English.

1. Mornings are quiet and there are few distractions
If you lead a busy life, it can be difficult for find a quiet time when you can concentrate. Especially if you have kids. Interruptions can disrupt your concentration and it’s even worse if people interrupt you in another language and stop you from thinking in English.

Early mornings are almost always a quiet time. The kids are still in bed, there are no workers making noise in the street outside, and the rush hour is still a long way off. Making the most of this time can be a great way to learn some new vocabulary, review a grammar point or even take a speaking class if you learn online.

2. You won’t need to cancel your practice
After a busy day at work, there are lots of reasons to cancel your English practice. Maybe a friend wants to go for a drink with you. Perhaps you need to take your kids to football practice. It might even be that you’re just too tired to practice. None of these things would cause you to cancel your practice if you did it before you started work.

3. You have the rest of the day to reflect on it
I mentioned a few weeks ago some tips on how to use your downtime to learn English. If you make an early start, you can review what you learnt throughout the day and make sure you really remember it.

4. You’re fresh and can think clearly
Let’s be honest – to start with, you might feel a bit tired in the morning. Once you get into the habit, though, you’ll be fresh and alert. You’ll also not have your mind full of all the things you have done in the day. A fresh, clear mind is great for learning new things.

5. It helps you get into a habit
Lots of people have written about how powerful habit-forming techniques can be for helping you reach your goals. People have applied it to personal finance and productivity, and it works for learning English, too. It’s so effective, in fact, that I will go into a lot more detail on this in a future article.

So, how do I start getting up early?

There’s a great guide to this on Leo Babauta’s excellent blog, Zen Habits. The article is really worth reading because it’s very simple and well-written. Here are the main points I found helped me learn to become an early-riser.

Start small
Try getting up fifteen minutes earlier each week. It’s quite easy to adjust this way and in a month, you will be getting up an hour earlier. Think of what you could do with all that extra time!

Have a good reason
There’s no point in getting up early unless you have something to do with the extra time. I think learning English is a good reason to get motivated to wake up earlier,

Learn to love the morning
I used to hate mornings. It really used to take me a long time to wake up. However, now I have spent time learning to get up early and made it into a habit, mornings are my favourite time of day! I always go to sleep looking forward to waking up the next day and enjoying the morning.

Have you ever tried learning in the morning? If so, let me know how it went by leaving a comment below. I’m always eager to hear about other people’s learning experiences.

Today’s image is by PsychoPxL.

Early Riser

I love mornings here in Bali because they are so beautiful. Some people call it ‘the morning of the world’ because it is so spectacular! I have not always been an early riser, though. In fact, I used to be a real night owl until a few years ago. I saw this blog entry a few days ago about how to become an early riser and it has some really nice vocabulary related to people who prefer the morning or the evening. It’s a really inspiring blog, too.

But for me, switching from being a night owl to an early riser (and yes, it is possible) has been a godsend. It has helped me in so many ways that I’d never go back. (Leo Babauta- www.zenhabits.net)

Words for people who prefer the morning:

  • early riser
  • early bird
  • morning person

Words for people who prefer to stay up late:

  • night person
  • night owl

Sometimes people say ‘the early bird catches the worm‘, meaning that being early leads to success.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?