Here we go again, another person telling you to wake up early in order to be successful and get things done.
Maybe this will work for you, maybe it won’t… but what if it does? Wouldn’t that be something?
When I lived in Washington and worked 3 jobs, I would wake up at 3 every morning to get to the gym, work out, shower, get ready, and make it to work by 6 am — my commute was an hour-long.
That was hard; 3 am is typically when you’re in a deep sleep. Then, I moved to Los Angeles and started working a 9–5. Only, I had the opportunity to create my own hours, so I did 7–3 (they wouldn’t let me in at 6).
I woke up at 4:30 every morning to drive my boyfriend to his first client, go to the gym, then go to work myself.
After the pandemic hit, my hours shifted around, and I started waking up sort of “whenever,” but usually, it was around 7 am. I worked from home and then eventually lost my job and started working for myself.
2020 was a whirlwind of events, and when I sat down to analyze my goals, what I wanted — what I needed, the #1 thing I kept thinking about is time.
Time is such a fickle thing, you think you have so much of it, but it’s like an hourglass in reality. You can almost feel it, and see it slipping away.
In January 2021, I decided to wake up every single morning at 5 am and time-block my entire week. I hoped that waking up earlier and having some form of routine would keep me on track.
As a result, I wrote the most articles I ever have, read a solid amount of books (something I was neglecting), got my fitness routine back on track, created over 12 videos for YouTube, and made the most money I ever have from freelancing.
Needless to say, waking up at 5 every morning improved my life. Here’s why it’ll help you improve yours.
Waking up early sets the tone for the day.
Waking up early gives me this “I’m in control” type of feeling.
I’m in charge here. I have stuff to do. I woke up with positive intentions; I have articles to write, calories to burn, people to get back to, books to read, food to cook, a house to clean, etc.
I relish that type of feeling. The type that makes you feel like you’re in control of your day and situation, not the other way around.
This is partially why I’ve always dreamed of working for myself; I wanted to be my own boss and make the decisions. I hated being told when to be somewhere or when to do something.
When you wake up late and constantly sleep in (or oversleep), you get into lazy mode. I have two friends that have absolutely zero structure to their day. They stay out late, one of them doesn’t even go to bed till 4–5 am sometimes, and they get absolutely nothing done.
Without structure, there’s no sense of urgency to your day. While I’m not saying you should always feel a sense of urgency, it’s important if you’re trying to build a career from scratch for yourself and you’re trying to juggle multiple things at once.
Waking up early allows you to have some YOU time.
The first few weeks of waking up at 5 were challenging. Now, it’s February 23rd, and I wake up with ease. Actually, I typically wake up naturally without my alarm clock around 4:45 or 4:50.
Sometimes, I wake up stressed that I’ve slept through my alarm clock. It’s that important for me to start my day on time.
The first hour of my morning is the most crucial time of the entire day. It’s my time with me.
I do my quick 5-minute skincare routine, change into something cozy, take my vitamins, make myself a cup of coffee and then I sit and either read The Daily Stoic or I journal.
Sometimes, I do neither and simply meditate. I love being alone with my thoughts, and waking up early gives you the ability to do just that.
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” — Blaise Pascal
Waking up early lets you get 2–3 things done BEFORE everyone else.
Think about it, if the entire world is waking up around 7–8 am (or later), and you’re waking up at 5, you’ve got a 2–3 hour advantage on them.
One time, I took a spin class. It was scheduled for 6:15; I woke up, chugged some pre-workout, and headed across the street for the class. About halfway in, I still vividly remember the instructor yelling,
“Do not stop now. You’ve decided to get up before the rest of the world. You’ve decided to invest in yourself this morning. While the rest of the world sleeps, you’re improving.”
And that has stuck with me ever since that class. It doesn’t matter if you’re ticking off minor tasks on your to-do list; you’re still actively doing something for yourself and your future.
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is sleeping in and starting their day hours after you, hoping to catch up.
Waking up early frees up your afternoon.
Personally, my productivity peak time is in the morning time. This is why it’s imperative for me to get up at 5, have some “me” time then get straight to work.
I find that I get extremely sluggish in the afternoon, and I don’t like working or doing anything relatively productive.
However, I try my best. From the hours of 12–4, I give myself a lunch break, I take a walk, and I read. Then, if I’m feeling up for it, I do a couple more work-related things after dinner.
If you’re like me and you’re not a fan of afternoons, waking up early and accomplishing as much as you can before that midday slump hits you will be extremely beneficial.
I’ve been following my 5 am morning routine since the New Year. I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon because it works so well for me.
One of the best things about waking up early is the stillness of the world. Everyone is still asleep, the sun hasn’t yet risen, and the smell of freshly-brewed coffee is in the air.
You’ve still got a bit of sleep in your eyes, but the moment you sit down and start working, your brain is hyper-focused because you don’t have anything distracting you.
Go into it with an open mind. You’d be surprised by the results.