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Do you like sleeping in?
You know, I used to love to sleep in and then all of a sudden over the course of the last couple of months, I started to hate it. So about three months ago, I posted on LinkedIn and I was kind of bragging about how I started a new routine where instead of waking up at 6:00 AM Monday through Friday, I was going to actually inject 6:00 AM on Saturdays as well as to my team.
I set my alarm. I did it for a week or two and I took out my camera phone and I recorded a video and posted it on LinkedIn and was talking about how great I was basically that I was waking up early on a Saturday to try to get a jump or to wrap up my week.
Being Called a Wimp Really is a Great Motivator
And it was funny because I got some comments from a few of the fellas that I know and they basically were calling me a wimp because they were waking up at like 4:30, 5, 5:45 seven days a week. And it really kind of, you know, first of all, you never want to be called a wimp or chicken or anything like that. But besides that, you know, and I can overcome that. But besides that, it really actually got me to think: what would it be like to wake up a little bit earlier every single day. And so the next morning I set my alarm for 5:00 AM, which I’ve never done before. I’ve never woken up that early on a consistent basis, but I was like, you know what, I’m going to try it for a couple of days and see if I like it, see if I’m more productive.
The Start of My 5 AM Wakeup Call
So, I set my alarm for 5:00 AM; that first morning was tough as hell. I just, I didn’t want to get up, but I forced myself to get up. And what I found was that it was an okay morning.
I had about an hour and a half until everyone else in the household woke up and came downstairs and I was able basically to get through my email, which was great. I mean it was very nice to get through my email.
The second day I woke up at 5:00 AM and I not only got through my email, but I started to read some of those newsletters that you subscribe to, you know, like industry newsletters and it was pretty cool. I got some information that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise known that day about what was going on in the marketing and advertising industry. And I actually created a couple of LinkedIn posts as a result of that, just kind of commenting on what was happening in the industry. I scheduled those out using Buffer, which if you don’t know about Buffer, it’s a great tool, I definitely recommend it.
Increased Productivity Comes With Increased Consistency
And then I kept doing it. I kept waking up at 5:00 AM and what I found was that I was very quickly getting through my backlog of crap that was just sitting in my inbox or sitting on my to-do list. And what I mean by “backlog of crap” is: do you ever get an email that’s a really long email and you’re like, you know, this is important but I don’t want to look at it right now and you just skip over it? I’m talking about long emails from clients or from your staff or maybe like a financial report from your internal accountant or your CPA or it has an attachment or maybe it’s something that your lawyer sent you. And during the course of the day, you just don’t have time to dedicate energy to figuring out what this thing means and what your tasking is. And so you put it off until later. Now I’ve done this forever. I’ve always put stuff off till later.
But what I quickly realized when I started to wake up at 5:00 AM is that 5:00 AM is later. So even though it’s early in the morning, before you do anything else it’s later in the definition of, that’s when you actually get to this crap and you start to figure out what it is.
Now, the reason I was able to do that is because the rest of my family doesn’t come downstairs until about 7:00 or maybe even as late as 7:30 so I’ve got at least two hours of completely, and I mean completely, uninterrupted time at my laptop down in the kitchen. No one’s there. I’m going through all my stuff. I’m looking at all the reports. I’m scheduling out my day, I’m scheduling out my week, I’m doing a little bit of strategy. I mean I’m getting a lot done and it’s not only just work, it’s also personal.
And what I found was that it wasn’t just waking up early so that I could get a jump on one or two things. It was a life-changing.