Last updated on May 2, 2016
Every day, I read some article that, if true, someone far more awesome than me has already done the following by 6AM:
1. They were wide awake, showered, dressed, and at their desk by 4AM…losing a half pound of weight in the process.
2. By 5AM, they had already written 2,000 words.
3. By 520AM, they had meditated for 20 minutes and achieved near enlightenment.
4. And by 6AM, with all the kids awake, bathed, and lunch boxes packed, they had also done yoga for an additional 20 minutes. Namaste my friend!
Let me boldly and proudly declare, that by 6AM, I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. But, according to the internet, I am the only person on the entire planet still sleeping at this time in the morning.
Other essays I’ve read, some of these even more amazing people have also run a 5K (or more), prepared food from scratch (that they harvested from the back yard garden), have read the entire Wall Street Journal by 617AM, and have even done a little work to lower the Earth’s core temperature by .05 degrees.
These are truly amazing people. And all doing overtly sustainable activities before the Sun even rises.
By 617AM, I have probably read one or two articles on the Red Sox. And by then I have a 5 year old Golden Retriever standing on my chest giving me the vulture look. I will usually pretend to go back to sleep to fake her out, but Shiloh usually doinks me in the eye with the cold tip of her wet dog nose to tell me I am full of it.
Around 625AM, I will have stolen a look at my lovely wife, who is forcing her eyes closed so that I am made to believe she isn’t awake yet. For she doesn’t really want to talk to me until 10AM at the earliest. Trust me, she’s awake.
Seriously, I am amazed at the amount of people who have rewritten the U.S. Constitution by sunup. Who are all of these people? Why are they so perfect? How is it that with all of these amazing people, we still have cancer, and why are geopolitical affairs still such a mess?
Are these people for real? Are they even real?
Despite my obvious failings in the wee hours of the morning, I am still happy. I am still running a growing and successful business, I have a wife that loves me (after 10AM), and I have two happy, healthy dogs.
And oh, I haven’t even told you the really bad news yet: The first two things I do in the morning:
1. Check Facebook.
2. Read my email.
Yes, since you started reading this essay, there have been about 300 new articles published condemning humans for checking email and social media before midday.
And yes, despite the fact that I DO NOT get up at 4AM each morning AND check email and Facebook whilst still in bed, here is a list of the things I happen to still accomplish:
1. I read a book a week.
2. I run at least a 5K three to four times a week.
3. I walk my dogs round Chicago the non-running days of the week.
4. I run a business.
5. I conduct a dozen radio interviews for my business.
6. I explore my city (which translates to: I eat a lot).
I do all these things when I can, and when I want to. I check email as often as I want to. I check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram whenever I want to.
Look, I am not condemning people who have a set morning routine. I admire them for getting up early and achieving things.
It just doesn’t work for me.
For me, every day is different. My interview schedule varies each day. Some days I am on the road. Some days Stephanie and I have plans. Some days are running days. I just simply cannot follow a strict routine day in and day out.
But you do have to find out what works for you. And stick to it. Or at least know WHAT you have to do, and be disciplined to get it done over the course of the day.
Just don’t judge me when I don’t rise at 4AM. We are all different, and we are all wired in different ways. I am glad to hear you’ve figured out what works for you, and appreciate you sharing it with us. It may very well inspire someone to try something new.
Live life on your terms. Don’t be guilted into following a process that isn’t right for you, just to please some superhero that probably isn’t real…
- Tom Peters: The Excellence Dividend: The Interview! - May 21, 2018
- Simon Sinek: Playing the infinite game - April 6, 2018
- 10 alternatives to thinking outside the box - March 15, 2018
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! What a wonderful article and so spot on for me. We are indeed all different and that’s what a lot of these “success gurus” seem to forget when they give this kind of generic advice. Love getting tips and hear what works for others but in the end it’s about customizing what works best for me and not blindly follow some well meant advice.
Thanks for reading Horst. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Good luck! And sleep in! 😉
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