When do successful people get up in the morning?

Lately, I have laid my hands on two interesting books

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam

The 5 AM Club by Robin S. Sharma

They both inspired me to reignite the habit of getting up before six a. m., and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

I have always said that I am a night owl. Getting up was a nightmare. But then I tried to turn my daily routine upside down. And I fell in love with my mornings. I watched poor people hurrying to work at six a. m. with hot coffee in my hand. I listened to the sweet sound of silence. I had reasons for this. Two of them, actually. One was four, and the other one year old. As a mother of two small kids, there were two periods of the day when I could work. Before they woke up and after they fell asleep. The latter turned out to be unpredictable. Too often did they disturb my working late night hours. And my bucket of motivation was depleted. This had to stop.

So, I turned on my morning alarm and enjoyed the morning moments. Now the two books gave me arguments which might help me to persuade you to try it as well.

1. Morning is yours and yours only.

The most successful people get up early and do what they want to do: exercise, read, meditate, and write books. They do the activities that otherwise would be destined for some “better time.” Because as the rest of the world wakes up, it begins to make demands. Calls, messages, emails, distracting news, children, the postman, the dog, or whatever. You can plan your day as well as you like, but you cannot be sure it will go as planned. You don´t own your day. You have to be flexible. But you own your mornings; nobody can take them away from you, disturb your routine, and change your plans. Use it.

2. You are most productive in the morning.

Robin S. Sharma states in the morning; we enter a “bubble of total focus, of productivity and creativity.” So, after we wake up, we should do the most difficult tasks. The activities that require the highest level of concentration and creativity. He recommends that we start with 90 minutes of undisturbed work each morning. And promises that this will be the most productive time of our whole day. I tried it, and it does work. Bur Robin S. Sharma is not a mother, so this strategy obviously does not cannot work while you are at home with sick kids. Because they can burst your creativity bubble very quickly, it is what they do best.

But still, in the mornings, you are the strongest and most capable of handling kids and work. In the morning, I can concentrate on my writing while the kids are jumping and running and screaming and fairy tales are playing on the TV. That is a task that seems impossible as the day evolves.

3. The morning stress is not necessary.

Every parent knows that. The hurry and stress as you try to get ready to work while getting your kids ready for school and kindergarten. But I discovered that when I get up before the kids, enjoy my coffee, and have time to wake up completely; I am incomparably faster in everything I do. And there is no stress; there is even time left to enjoy family time.

4. You are highly motivated in the mornings.

Every day we have a bucket of good decisions at our disposal. Later we use them up. And when the bucket is empty in the evening, wrong choices come. Evening snacks, more shots and beers than planned, and late-night TV sessions. Where did our motivation go? It will be back after we have slept. It is the morning when the activities that require the most significant amount of motivation should happen.

What not to do

Both books are inspiring. But in my view, The 5 AM Club is a little narrowminded. It provides a template for your morning routine, which does not have to be just for you. I used the recommended formula called 20/20/20. Sharma says that you should warm up the body and brain by exercising for 20 minutes, continue with reflection (activities like meditation, journaling, and such), and end the routine with 20 minutes of personal growth session (reading, listening, and so on). While I did not have trouble with the latter two, the exercise did not bring happiness to my mornings. I noticed that getting up was becoming harder and more complicated, and then I remembered what Laura Vanderkam said: “Don´t punish yourself for getting up. Make a perfect morning ritual. Perfect for you.”

And for me, exercise does not fit a perfect morning category. So, I came back to sitting on a couch, wrapped in a blanket, with wonderfully smelling hot cup of coffee, and I could listen to the magical sound of silence and read and write a journal and write my work. Not work for my clients but my own. Because I decided to own my mornings.

Try it; it is worth it:

  1. Try getting up before six a. m. (or at least an hour before you have to start working)
  2. Because morning is the only time of the day that is truly yours.
  3. Because you are most productive in the morning.
  4. Because your bucket of motivation is packed in the morning.
  5. But do not punish yourself for getting up.
  6. On the contrary: create a morning ritual that makes you happy.

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