Through most of the years of my life, I have not been an early riser. In fact, I have been a late riser. You know the old classic stereotype of the techie guy – eating pizza at 3am and doesn’t even go to bed until the time when most people get up? Yep, that was me. I would go to bed at 4, 5, even 6 am. I would then sleep until noon or so, perhaps even later.
About 7 or 8 years ago, though, I became an early riser. I don’t know why or even how, I just started getting up early. I didn’t start setting an alarm clock, heck, I don’t even own a real alarm clock. I have my cellphone, on which you can set an alarm, but I don’t use it. Frankly, I just get up when I wake up. Today, for example, I got up at 3am. As I type this article, it is 5:17, and I have already got a LOT done today.
Yesterday, I started writing a series of articles about a Podcast from Kim Roach, the host of the 10 Minute Marketing Show. The episode that I am writing about is entitled “3 habits of highly successful people”. Not trying to toot my own horn, but I consider myself to be fairly successful, especially in the realm of internet earning, business and such.
Yesterday, I started out this series when I wrote about Batch Processing and how it can increase your personal productivity. Today, I am going to look into another thing that Kim talked about as a habit of successful people, becoming an early riser.
What time do you get up?
As I said earlier, I don’t set an alarm clock. I get up when I wake up. Generally, I get up about 4am or 5am. Sometimes, though, I get up as early as 2am, and there are times I sleep as late as 5:30am or so. So, generally, I would say that I get up at least 99% of the time between 2am and 5:30am.
Why do I get up so early?
Well, put simply, I get up that early because that is when my body tells me to wake up. When I am awake, I just get up, and I get to work immediately. Like today, as I noted, I got up around 3am. When I woke up, I washed up and headed into my office (I work at home). I booted up my computer, made a cup of coffee and checked my e-mail. I then started writing blog posts, including this one, which will post tomorrow. As I said in my previous article, I usually batch write my blog posts, and I do that on the weekend, but I had a few today that needed to be written, stuff that was unplanned when I did my main writing on the weekend. Today is Wednesday as I write this, by the way.
I wrote one epic piece of content this morning, a long but very informative post for another site, around 2,000 words. I normally try to write my articles to be 1,000 words or less. I feel that an article of that length keeps people focused more than a long article, but some topics call for a deeper explanation, which this particular post did. Now, I am writing this article. After I complete this article, I will focus on other business activities for the rest of my work day. Those will include making evaluations of whether I should continue on a business project that I launched a few months back, but which has been less successful than I expected.
What about breakfast?
I am a firm believer that eating breakfast is important. But, that is not my first focus for the day. My first focus is to jump into my work. Why? Because those early hours from say 3am until 6am or so are quiet hours. There are no interruptions. No kids needing this or that. Nothing to distract me from my thoughts. As Kim mentioned in the podcast, when you rise early, ahead of the rest of the household, that often means that you can get more accomplished in those quiet early morning hours than most people accomplish in an entire work day. I know for sure that is the case for me.
Getting back to breakfast, though, my wife is also an early riser. On the days that I let myself sleep a little later (5 or 5:30) my wife usually beats me up. But, probably more than half the time, I am the first one up. Today, my wife was up a little before 5am, so I had been at work for 2 hours already. When my wife gets up, she makes my breakfast. I will eat about 6 am or so, then I will take a break from my work. During that time (6:30 or 7am), I will go out and walk to get some exercise to start out the day, even though I already have 3 to 4 hours of work under my belt by that time.
How long do you work?
Generally, I work as long as I feel I want to work. Sometimes, after my morning walk, I call it a day and do other things for the rest of the day. More often, though, I will work for another hour or two after I get back from walking.
However, there is no doubt in my mind that those early morning hours from the time I get up until I go walking is the time when I get the bulk of my work done. It is at that time when my mind is clear, creativity flows from me, and I am most focus. Probably the reason for each of those things is because I am not being interrupted by the things of the day. It is just me, my computer and my thought process, they all work nicely together, and I get a ton of work done.
So, if you are not an early riser, I recommend giving it a try. It is not hard, except at first when you will be training your body to adjust your schedule. After a short time, though, it will come naturally.
If you enjoy this topic, about productivity, and also about getting up and getting to work early, I recommend that you listen to a recent podcast that I did here on the site, on this very topic.