The Advantage of Rising Early

The magazine Inc. recently published a story that claims “the world’s most successful people start their day at 4 a.m.” The article listed the times that many successful CEOs set their alarm clocks for. As you can probably guess, most of those times range between 3:45 – 4:30 a.m. I don’t think this is a coincidence.

There is something to say about getting up early. As a consistent 4 a.m. riser myself – no, I am not a CEO nor enormously successful – I wouldn’t have it any other way (except on weekends haha). There is a psychological benefit to rolling out of bed when the rest of your neighborhood is still fast asleep. The feeling of having a head start behind the backdrop of peaceful serenity is a great way to start the day.

But, as you could probably imagine, I don’t get up several hours before the sun rises solely for the endorphins. The early wakeup call is also due to having a toddler. Sidney and I quickly found out that free time to do hobbies and personal pursuits is pretty much non-existent when Sloan is out of her crib. Thus, by getting up at 4 a.m., I give myself around 2.5 hours (we always cross our fingers that she sleeps until 6:30 a.m.) to go to the gym, write in my journal, develop blog posts, and get ready for the day.

The CEOs featured in the article all get up really early but they differ in respect to how they utilize their predawn time. About half use it for business purposes while the other half use it for leisure/self-improvement reasons (like me!). In my opinion, I don’t think it is so much how you use your time but rather that you simply use it. We have a limited number of days on this planet and those days are broken down into hours. Why spend more hours unconscious than what we really need?

Sidney and I each get a day during the weekend to “sleep in” until about 9 a.m. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy it when my morning comes to stay in bed while my wife tends to Sloan. But I think I would get discouraged and feel like I was missing something if I was able to sleep that late every day.

I wish simply getting up at 4 a.m. would automatically make me as successful as the CEOs highlighted in the story. However, I don’t do it to get rich. Rather, I do it for the opportunity to be productive and to be in control of a couple glorious hours each day. Don’t Blink.

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