Alarm clocks. Everybody hates alarm clocks. A blast of aural torture, interrupting your dreams and forcing you out of a peaceful sleep.
But for over a year I’ve been studying the morning routines of extremely successful people and it’s a well known fact that the vast majority of them rise before the dawn.
In fact, some studies have shown that 90% of executives wake up before 6am on weekdays, and nearly 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least three hours before their workday actually begins.
Richard Branson is known for saying that during his 50 years in business he has learned that if he rises early he can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life.
Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama both claim to start their days by six and others take it to the extreme – Apple CEO Tim Cook says he starts his mornings at 3:45am.
Whatever the time and whatever they do with their morning hours, all great leaders and successful business people seem to agree that the early bird catches the worm.
If you know me well enough or have been following my adventures on this blog over the past year, you’ll know that unless there’s a very good reason not to, I rise with the sun – in fact, more often than not, I rise before it.
According to my poor and worn out parents, I’ve always been an early-riser.
As a baby my eyes would ping open as as soon as the sun crept over the horizon and as a toddler I was rolling around on the living room floor ready for my morning cartoons before they’d even started.
And although since my early thirties I’ve come to greatly appreciate the value of a good night’s sleep, not a lot has changed when it comes to getting out of bed.
On my travels I’ve had some of the most unforgettable moments watching the world wake up and I still think that sunrise is the most magical moment of every day.
But an ayurvedic body clock isn’t just about pretty colours in the sky and morning choruses – it’s also about creating time to get things done.
Last winter, as I floated around South East Asia volunteering and working on my start ups, most days I was up by three or four or five without an alarm.I was loving life more than life itself and I was just far too excited to sleep. I had a never-ending to do list and a zillion ideas that I wanted to put into action.
Then, when I got back to the UK for what was originally supposed to be a very short and temporary visit, I fell back to a more reasonable routine. So now – unless theres a very good reason no to – my body clock wakes me up just before six.
The best thing about getting up early is taking advantage of those few hours of solitude. It’s a time when you can selfishly indulge in the time you’ve created. Because it’s your time and you can do what you like with it.
Some people choose to get straight into work while there are no interruptions, no nagging emails and no ringing phones. In fact The Wall Street Journal says that 4 a.m. may be the most productive time of the day.
Others choose to get up early so they can get their workout in — and take advantage of the mood-boosting effect of exercise. (Research shows that as little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise boosts your mood for the next 12 hours.
Many meditate or practice yoga and some walk their dog, read a book or simply take time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast with the family.
Because that’s the worm that every early bird wants to catch.
Sheree 18 July 2019
When I worked in the City of London, I got up at 05:45 and was at my desk by 07:15 and that time before everybody else turned up was hugely productive.
allmyheroesareweirdos 18 July 2019
It always is – and enjoyably so I think! It’s almost like you’ve pressed pause on time and can do what you want with it!
Sheree 18 July 2019