If you’ve looked into the habits of the successful, the one that comes up again and again is waking up early. As the popular saying goes: “The early bird catches the worm”. However, is this really the case?
Everyone has a different biology. A schedule that works for your friend might not work for you. Just because Tim Cook (Apple CEO), Jack Dorsey (Square CEO), and others wake up early, doesn’t mean you need to too.
However, it does suggest that waking up can be beneficial for many reasons. If you’re not sure what your schedule should be or if you’re looking to test out a new lifestyle, it could make sense to change things up.
Here are 4 reasons you might want to start waking up at 5 am.
1. Benefit from more hours in your day
When you wake up at 5 am, you suddenly get an extra 4-5 hours of the day all to yourself. While others are still in bed, you’re getting a head start on the day. This time bonus can be used for a variety of different things from building a routine around going to the gym or even working on your own online business to build another income stream.
In theory, while you could do all of these things in the evenings after work/school, you may find it actually easier in the morning. If you’ve tried to commit to an after-work workout schedule, you might know what I’m talking about.
Countless times after my day job, I’ve felt completely braindead and hungry. After I’ve had my nice filling dinner, I’m then ready to roll my full-stomach braindead body to the bed and turn on some Netflix. It can take a lot of mental effort to go to the gym (or do anything else for that matter) after a long day.
Moving your activities from the evening to the morning changes everything. Going to the gym in the morning is suddenly so much easier since you feel fresh and ready to tackle anything in the day. This freshness is also the reason why people find themselves at their most creative and productive points in the morning.
2. Being a lone wolf isn’t so bad
One of the great things about waking up at 5 am is that not many others are up at this time too. This quietness means you’re going to be exposed to considerably fewer distractions. At 5 am, there are no TV shows that you need to be watching since networks don’t expect anyone to be awake yet. No inbound emails, texts, or fires to fight. This sweet time of day lets you focus on the things you want to be doing while being amazingly productive.
3. Be a planner
The benefits of waking up early are definitely there, but waking up at 5 am is still incredibly difficult if you’re not a morning person. In fact, when that alarm sounds and you wake up not knowing what you’re going to do in the next 4 hours, it’s going to be even harder, which is why planning is important.
To ensure you wake up at 5 am, you’ll need to have planned the day before how you want to be spending your time in the morning. Going to the gym? Going for a walk? Meditation? Work on your side business?
Our lives can be messy as it is, but having a clear plan for how your day will start goes a long way in helping you feel more in control of what happens in your life. This perceived control helps build a mental fortitude that will help in other aspects from your 9-5 job to your relationships.
4. Do things a winner would do
An important part of starting your day right is by getting the small wins. This could be anything from making your bed, reading the news, to working out every day. Establishing and recognizing these daily wins will help with the control mentioned earlier.
On top of that, when you successfully wake up at 5 am every day (a task that many find to be incredibly hard), you’re adding a huge win to your list. There’s something about being up-and-running when you know most others are still in bed.
How to start waking up at 5 am?
Now that you know the benefits of waking up earlier, how do you go about doing it?
Ease into it. If you’re waking up at 7-8 am every day, you’re not going to be able to immediately switch schedules. Start by waking up 15 minutes earlier every week until you get to 5 am. This will help your body slowly get into the rhythm and be familiar with waking up at this time.
As a rule of thumb, you should also reduce the amount of blue light you are exposed to before you sleep. An hour of exposure to blue light can reduce melatonin production for the next two hours and make it difficult to establish your routine.
There are a lot of benefits to waking up early, but as with anything, it’s not for everybody. Many famous CEOs wake up at 5am, but there are also many that sleep late as well such as Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook CEO) and Alexis Ohanian (Reddit CEO). If you’re getting an insane amount of work done every night at 2am and can still do everything you want like go to the gym, then that’s great! However, if you’re not sure about your schedule and want to think more about leading to a healthier lifestyle, then waking up at 5 am could make sense for you.
About The Author
David Lau is the owner of Smart Income Today where he helps aspiring entrepreneurs build an online business that gets them excited. Previously, he led growth at a company and managed a multi-million dollar marketing budget. He helped them see double-digit growth that helped secure $22M in fundraising.