The Six Immediate Benefits To Waking Up Before 6 AM
Sorilbron - Millennial Milk
Like, In Real Life…
For years, high performers like Apple CEO Tim Cook (who reportedly wakes up at 3:45AM) have included waking up early as one of their non-negotiable success habits.
The “success literature” of this Digital Age positions waking up early in the same light as executing; it’s one of the tactics that separates the top 10% (in anything) from the other 90%.
Why I Decided to Get Up FOUR HOURS Earlier Every Day
I realized some time ago that I spend my most productive and creative hours of the day either preparing to do client work or actually doing client work. That meant I only had “creative crumbs” left over for my own endeavors at the end of the day.
After listening to Eric Thomas one day, I decided to reverse my schedule so that I work on my goals first thing in the morning rather than working on my clients’ goals. In order to do that, I needed to wake up between 3AM and 430AM.
I know. When it hit me, I thought what you’re probably thinking, “That’s going to SUCK. There’s no friggin’ way.”
As it turns out, preceding client work with “passion work” makes for a more productive workday. In fact, I’m going to share with you the six of the best changes I’ve seen as a result of waking up just a few hours earlier every morning.
#1. I Feel More Confident
There is a connection between your ability to follow through with a goal you set and your confidence. The more you follow through, the greater your confidence will be in yourself. Nothing exemplifies one’s ability to follow through with a plan like waking up in the middle of the night to start your day. (A little early bird humor, there)
#2. I Now Have Time for Important Stuff
At 3:45 in the morning, there are very few distractions. So, I consecrate the first few hours of my day to writing, planning, and watching the occasional training video — all things it would take me forever to complete if I start them at, say, 9:45AM.
In the stillness that comes with waking up so early in the morning, my mind is quiet and I can make an objective decision of which tasks on my To-Do list truly warrant my immediate attention. Know what? It’s not as many as I thought.
#3. I Am Not in a Rush Anymore
I often characterize my long list of responsibilities as a moving train. Well, I’ve finally caught up with the moving train. By identifying what needs to be done by me and what doesn’t, I’m able to shorten my To Do list. The things I need to get done, I can do in the mornings when distractions are minimal. Early morning is also my most creative and focused time of the day. So, not only is my list of responsibilities shorter, I can complete the things I have to do in a shorter amount of time.
#4. I Am In a Better Mood When My Workday Does Start
Perhaps the most surprising change is how I feel about Mondays; I don’t dread them. I don’t have to. I know I have enough time in every day to identify potential problems ahead of time and finish everything on my schedule for work and for my own side hustles. Plus, there’s plenty of time at the end of my workday for family. I’m etching out some semblance of balance. I’m happier at work, which, according to a University of Toronto study, explains why I get more work done.
#5. I Have Time to Eat and Exercise
The days of rushing right to work having only a cup of coffee for fuel are gone. In fact, before I eat anything at all, I have time to down 20 to 40 ounces of water. My mind is not focused on drinking coffee to stay awake in the short-term; my mind focuses on eating better and drinking plenty of water, to win in the long-term.
#6. I Have Time to Sit Alone with My Thoughts
Prayer poses aside, waking up early gives me time to think. Meditate. I schedule in time for deep thinking on a daily basis now, without worrying that I will fall asleep in the middle of it.
I can do some reading in the morning if I want, or just sit and take inventory of my own thoughts, separating good thoughts, from productive thoughts, from potentially-profitable thoughts, from useless thoughts that I should eliminate.
Meditating is a great way to discipline your mind to focus on one thing at a time, which significantly improves your productivity, and helps you hang on to happiness longer.
“Our focus matters immensely in everything we do: the better we can pay attention, the more excellent the results — again in everything from learning to leadership. And, I’d add, love.” — Daniel Goldman, author of Focus: The Hidden Ingredient in Excellence
In a very real way, waking up earlier gave me more time to rest, not less. My workflow is better, I get more done, I have more peace of mind, and longer periods of sustained happiness and peace.
Perhaps because of my desperate need to see my personal projects progress alongside client projects, waking up earlier didn’t suck for me. This is despite the fact that I’ve been a night owl all my life.
I can say with confidence, waking up early is one of the the best methods I’ve seen to manage the hustle.