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Why you should wake up early

WHY YOU SHOULD WAKE UP EARLY

It’s been a long hellish nightmare, but I’ve finally mastered the art of waking up at 5.30am and here’s why you should to.

“You have to wake up early” a phrase forged in hell.

I’ve been meaning to get up early for the past 3 years. But every morning when I’m wrapped up all nice and cozy, there is literally nothing else I would rather do.

But the more I read about personal development. The more I see the recurring advice that you must wake up early.

Early as in, before 6AM early.

So I decided to dive into it a bit deeper.

Here’s a four people you might have heard of that wake up early. In some cases annoyingly early. These are just four people out of 1000’s of examples.


Richard Branson
Founder & Chairman of Virgin
Wakes up at 5.45

Bob Iger 
Disney CEO
Wakes up at 4.45AM


Tim cook 
Apple CEO 
Wakes up at 5AM

Howard Schultz
Starbucks CEO
Wakes up at 4.30

I really wanted to deny any benefit of getting up at such an ungodly hour, but the evidence is pretty hard to argue with.

The other thing I had begun to notice was that when I slept in past ten o’clock – which is a destructive but enjoyable side effect of being self employed. I never got any work done. I just wanted to lie about all day, check emails, watch YouTube videos and read self help books.

When I slept past ten I became the physical representation of the word unproductive.

Armed with my observation that I was slowly becoming a sloth and the fact that super successful people were all getting up bright and early. I decided to try and find a way to transition to an early bird as pain free as possible.

I didn’t trust myself at all, because I knew the night before I would be optimistic, but come morning the lazy sloth like Reece would hit snooze.

So I needed a plan of attack. A definitive guide to waking up early.

I turned to google. A life without google is a life I could not survive. I clicked on the first article, “how to wake up early” or something along those lines.

I’m greeted with this advice:

“The toughest part of the morning is simply getting out of bed.”

I’m starting to feel this article won’t be the wisdom from the gods I was searching for. But I keep reading determined to find the secrets of the early risers.

Once you’ve managed the ordeal of getting out of bed, I was then recommended “to read about people who are early risers”.

Personally – I hated this advice. Because they’re always so smug and joyful about getting up early, these early risers.

I also knew that I would look like an extra from the hills have eyes and the last thing I’ll want to do is read about people who enjoy waking up early.

hilleyes02

(How I imagine I’ll be the first day of waking up at 5.30AM – this is an image from the hills of eyes, not me.)

So I decide to ignore this point and move onto the next one.

The next piece of advice “Don’t be afraid to motivate yourself with something fun,” In my current sleep cycle I would need a jet ski, private plane and 3 Victoria’s Secret models to motivate me, so I agree with the advice but I need something more definitive.

So I leave that blog post, and decide the only plan of attack is not to retreat to google and to face my problems like a man – I lie in bed paralyzed with anxiety but I reach over and I set my alarm for 5.30

I don’t know about your phone but my phone tells me exactly how much sleep I’ll get if I was to fall asleep at that instant. This upsets me greatly. You see the big mistake I’ve already made is that it’s 1.30AM.

Which means if I was to fall asleep instantly, I would get 4 hours of sleep. It’s been about 4 years since I’ve only had 4 hours of sleep.

It takes about an hour, I can’t really remember but I did fall asleep.

As I lay blissfully in a lovely deep sleep, the demon that is my phone pierces my ears, destroying my peaceful slumber. My brain and body didn’t know how to react. All that was going through my head was “GET UP”. So I did.

My day went absolutely fantastically, I loved every second… No, no I didn’t.

From the offset my eyes were red, my head was sore and I felt sick for the next eight hours. I consumed enough coffee to kill a small child and the next night I ended up sleeping for 12 hours, which voided my early morning wake in the first place.

This was not good.

I’ll not lie to you at this point I considered quitting. But the thought that somewhere the mighty Richard Branson was waking up early motivated me and I decided to try again.

This time I got to bed at the slightly more reasonable 23.00 it took me a while to fall asleep. My alarm pierced the silence and again caused my brain to revolt. But this time was different. I didn’t like it, but it wasn’t unbearable. I committed to standing up, before I could subconsciously reach for the snooze button. As my feet landed on the ground I immediately headed for coffee and a glass of water. Caffeine was my only chance of survival. After my coffee I then got to work.

Something truly amazing happened by the time nine o’clock came for breakfast, I had already done 3 hours of the most productive work of my life.

This scared me a bit as I didn’t want to be a morning person, the idea of being an early bird made me shudder.

For accuracy and to prove it wasn’t a miracle, I tried my little experiment again. I went to bed at 23.00 which was easier this time due to the early morning rise, I fell asleep almost instantly. My alarm went off, and my brain was annoyed but it didn’t freak out. I committed to standing up, although that snooze was tempting, and I went and got myself a cup of coffee and a water. Before sitting down to do some work.

Breakfast time arrived at nine o’clock and again I had done the most productive focused work with no interruptions I had ever done. I was hooked.

Fast forward three weeks, and I’m now waking up at 5.30 every day. Including weekends. Yes I did just say including weekends. I feel like I can call myself an early riser so I’ll do just that, I’m a smug little earlier riser.

When I initially read about waking up early I thought it was bullshit. But I’m going to go super annoying and recommend you try it. Here’s my practical tips to getting up:

  • Accept and realize it’s going to be shit the first time. It’s like losing your virginity – you have high hopes that you’ll be the exception, you hope you’ll have a great experience and then it’s terrible. It will be terrible, don’t fear it accept it.
  • Next, stand up. Get those two feet on the ground – don’t think. If you think you lose.
  • Run for coffee, water, or fruit. Kick start your body.
  • Finally have something to occupy yourself or you work, fitness, or book you’ve want to read. Because if you have nothing to do you will fall asleep.

That’s my no bullshit practical approach, it’s going suck but it’s worth it for those hours of uninterrupted focus.

You have to understand I’m fond of my sleep, I would choose sleep over a lot of things in life. But this three hour interval in the morning is where I perform my best work.

Let me know in the comments if you’re going to give this 5.30am thing a go, or just admit that you’re a lesser human than all of us magical early risers. If anything you should try it just so that you can be annoying and tell all your friends that you wake up 5.30.

Make sure to share this post on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, messenger pigeon or in a birthday card to your grandma. Just so other people can see that you’re life is on point and that you’re productive and cool.

Finally, make sure to subscribe to the Youtube channel, it’s the 21st century and I’m afraid words are dying so I’ll be releasing more content through there.

If you’re super cool you’ll sign up to my free course, where I show people step by step how to quit the shitty job they hate while being able to travel doing work they love:

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Comments 4

  1. kepsi.eu

    I love your article and will definitely give it a try. I just quit my job and enjoy doing my stuff when I want to. So this is a real challenge. Just tell me, are 6:30h enough for you per day? I only feel powerful if I have the regular 8 or 9h ^^

  2. Post
    Author
    Reece

    You should just go to bed earlier 😉 Love to hear that’s someone is chasing their dream life – best of luck and keep up the hustle.

  3. kepsi.eu

    It’s getting harder from day to day 😀 But you gave some nice tips, like “Don’t think!” 😀
    -> I created an Instagram Account to get through it. If someone wants to participate and watch the suffering: instagram.com/getupat530 ^^

  4. Post
    Author
    Reece

    It’s tough in the beginning I’ll not try to sugar coat it. I love that idea of using an Instagram account for accountability, best of luck with it – you won’t regret it. I’ll be sure to follow you, let me know how it goes after a couple of weeks 🙂

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