Over the last thirty years of my career, I’ve found that I am most productive during the early mornings, well before sunrise. Most successful entrepreneurs have developed the discipline of getting up early and living a full day before everyone else even gets up. This discipline might be one of the most vital, but it requires planning. Let me present a few benefits of being an early riser.
Let’s say your kids normally get up at 7 a.m. If you were to wake at 4:30 a.m., you would have an average of 2.5 hours of focused, uninterrupted time.
Benefit: Focused time produces a higher quality of work. The 2.5 hours can be an investment in a new body of work, a new book, or creating new content.
One of the most important benefits is the fact that you aren’t just gaining another 15-20 hours per week, you are creating something valuable during that time. Think about it: that’s 80 extra hours per month, 960 hours per year. So when people tell me they don’t have any time because they are raising kids, have a job, etc., I tell them they suffer from wasting time.
Here’s how to execute this. First, set yourself up for success the night before. Get yourself into bed at a time that will give you the sleep you need. We all need different amounts of sleep. If you have to, set an alarm to be in bed by a certain time. You will notice within about ten days that your body will switch to autopilot. Yes, you will actually shift from being a night owl to a morning person. I know you will fight this like crazy, but take a look below at the insane benefits from doing this.
Second, save television, movies, and entertainment for the weekends only. Use your evenings to be with family. Then settle yourself down to read and “land the plane” by getting your mind and body ready to sleep. I notice my creativity and mind are on such a high level all day that I could go to sleep by eight o’clock every night. So much happens in my day, and it is super concentrated.
When you wake up early, you will go into a mode of thinking that is crystal clear. Here’s what I found: You start the day with a full tank and can begin fresh without distraction, media, or devices. Focused work will produce the best ideas and the best quality.
Side note: I’ve found that the discoveries I make in prayer and the breakthroughs that happen with my creativity all occur during these early hours. As I look back, I often wonder what would have happened had I not been up and in that moment? I would have missed the gold waiting for me.
I’ve encountered hundreds of people who fight this idea. They tell me that they could never do it. They insist that they are evening people. I have to disagree. When you have to fight for a quiet space during your day, you lose energy and willpower to fight off distraction and interruption. By the end of the day, you are fried and have very little in the tank to begin a brand new task. I suggest going to bed the same time every night so your body is aware and falls into the routine.
My routine looks something like this: I wake up and spend one hour in the living room with lights off and fireplace on. Candle lit. Silence. This time is for prayer and dreaming up ideas with God. Then I move into capturing these ideas and prayers in my journal.
Then I move into super deep work like writing or painting. I wrap it up with working out. So, before 9 a.m., I have accomplished more than most people do in eight hours.
I don’t have any distractions or threats of interruption—just peaceful creativity, freedom to think, and no anxiety. You’ll be amazed. You’ll feel like your days are a vacation. I have been able to do this while we had newborns in the house and running multiple companies and initiatives.
Think of the total extra hours you will gain each morning with a full tank, no distractions, and absolute focus. What quality of work will you create? How many more initiatives can be accomplished in this time? By living your day like this, you will add three to four more lifetimes of quality work in the mornings. Think about it. It’s incredible what you will create in these mornings.
Have an amazing day.