Top tips for waking up early

My top tips for waking up early

Need some tips for waking up early? Sometimes you have to wake up very early to teach online. I mean, really early. When I teach for VIPKID or Palfish and keep peak Beijing hours, this sometimes meant 3 AM on the east coast EST. Yikes! How did I do it?

Waking Up Super Early: My Top Tips

Here are some adjustments I made to my life to be able to wake up early enough to teach these crazy morning online classes and still keep a smile on my face for my students.

Warm Clothes Next to the Bed

One major reason it is hard to get out of bed, especially in the winter, is how warm you are under the blankets and how cold it is out …there.

Keep a super warm sweatshirt and your most comfy warm sweatpants right next to your bed, in reaching distance. When you wake up, you can grab them and slip them on under your blankets before you get out of bed. It makes the process of exiting from under your comforter just a bit less agonizing.

Switch to Ginseng

-Skip the coffee and switch to ginseng

-Snack healthy

Eat nutrient-rich snacks in the morning throughout your classes and skip the big breakfast. This means you roll out and jump straight to your class.

Prep for Tomorrow

Prep for tomorrow, the night before: prep for your classes before you go to bed so you squeeze every possible minute of sleep out of you. If your first class is at 3:30 AM, then get up at 3:15 AM. Have snacks by your desk and just jump right in. This worked for me. 

Black Out Curtains

Consider buying or making some DIY black-out curtains, be sure you go to bed early *duh*, but how? Trick yourself that its night

Take Naps

Keep naps to 1-2 hours. If you wake up super early to teach, you can take a nap right when you are done. I often napped from 9 am-11 am. Be very careful! Don’t nap too long or you won’t go to bed early enough when night arrives. 

Teach: South America or Europe

If you don’t want to wake up early but you still want to teach English online, then don’t despair. Check out ESL companies that cater to European students instead of Chinese students.

You can use this map to learn more about companies with peak hours that line up with yours.

You can also teach students in South America. For example, you can teach Brazilian students.

Freelance Teach

You can also always freelance and find students in any time zone that works for you.

Top Tutoring Platforms for Teaching English Online

Do you want to create your own lesson plans? If so, there are many platforms that let you do this. Here are some common platforms that let you teach English online your own way:

The benefit of these sites is that you can set your own rates and potentially earn much more money. Also, these platforms are a good option for non-native speakers. They do not discriminate against non-native speakers of English because students choose their teachers. Some students prefer a native speaker of their first language. They might want to ask questions in their native language or feel intimated by a full English immersion experience.

Compare ESL Companies Easily

Finally, you can search through this comparison chart to find companies that align with your time zone.

Learn More

Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL
Ingrid Maria Pimsner, MA, BA, TEFL

Ingrid Maria Pimsner has been teaching for over a decade in various universities, nonprofits, and private academies. She has taught English as a Second Language for Lutheran Children & Family Service, Nationalities Service Center, Lernstudio Barbarossa Berlin-Tegel, and more. In addition to her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certification, she holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA from Maryland Institute College of Art.