Getting Up (Really) Early


Studies of successful people all point to different habits and reasons for their success, but they all seem to agree on one thing:

Successful people get up early.

Getting up early in the morning has been a total game-changer for me. Getting up early buys me several extra hours of focused, productive and undistracted time each day, and sets an amazing tone for the day ahead.

This is what my morning routine looks like:

·      5:00 am: alarm, go downstairs, grab a big drink of water

·      5:05 am: yoga (same routine every day, I don't have to think about it)

·      5:20 am: meditation (I alternate between my own meditations and guided meditation using Headspace)

·      5:30 am: workout (I use the Strong app to keep track of my workouts, a great free app)

·      5:50 am: review my goals 

·      5:55 am: plan my day (again, using a tool I developed called the Goal Mastery Worksheet - you can get it as part of my Supercharging Your Productivity course, for just $7)

·      6:00 am: personal project

·      6:30 am: read (I have about 6-8 blogs that I read every day)

·      6:50 am: connect with a friend

·      7:00 am: finish routine, start making breakfast and getting the kids’ lunches ready

The rest of the morning is devoted to getting our 3 kids fed and ready for school and out the door. by 9:30 am I’m in the office, energized and with 2 hours of productive work already under my belt.

I can’t stress enough how life changing this routine is for me, and for all of the other people who follow a similar routine. Spending my morning stretching (both mind and body), exercising, and focusing on my goals and planning out how I’ll achieve them has boosted my productivity and success rate by 1000%.


A few tips for getting up early and how to use your morning:

·      The actual time you wake up may vary according to your schedule, but no matter where you live I suggest getting up no later than 6 am. Shoot for 5 am if you can. Start with 6 am, then set your alarm 5 minutes earlier each day until you’re getting up at 5.

·      Set an alarm on your phone, turn up the volume all the way, and place your phone across the room so that you can’t just reach over and hit snooze. Getting out of bed is 80% of the battle, and once you’re up you’ll probably stay up.

·      It’ll take a while to get into the routine, and you’ll probably hate it for the first week or two, but after a couple of weeks something magical happens and you start to actually look forward to getting up early, and you get out bed eagerly. Give the routine time - it won’t always feel so painful.

·      Of course getting up early means getting to bed early. Most people don’t spend their late evening hours well - they watch TV, waste time on Facebook, get unproductive work done, etc... So get to bed at a reasonable hour and set the stage for a great morning. By the way, you don’t necessarily need the magic ‘8 hours’ - sleep studies have shown that this 8-hour number is more based on myth than science. I sleep, on average, 6 1/2 to 7 hours a night and am well rested when I wake up.

·      I use an app called Habit Clock for my morning routine. It allows me to enter the ‘tasks’ for my morning routine (e.g. yoga, meditation, etc..) and then when I start my morning routine I click ‘Start Routine’, and then ‘done’ or ‘skip’ after each task. I can then track how often I’m sticking to my routine, which tasks I’m completing or skipping, and how much time I spend on them. More valuable than the reporting is having something, even if it’s as small or silly as an app, to be accountable to.

[NOTE: the folks at HabitClock are still working on an Android version. If you're on Android, check out HabitBull]

·      Your morning routine may vary from mine, but I highly recommend your routine contain some aspect of: 

a) exercise
b) meditation (incredibly useful for busy, stressed-out entrepreneurs) 
c) planning and goals
d) project-based work
e) reading and learning

Even if you only spend 10 minutes on each of these, the effect can be incredible (studies show, for instance, that as little as 3 minutes of meditation a day can have a sgnificant effect)

Get to it!

Want more tips on entrepreneurship and productivity? 
SUBSCRIBE TO MY WEEKLY MAILING LIST and get more tips and tricks in your inbox.

Want in-depth training on productivity and social entrepreneurship?
Check out THE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR, a comprehensive online training course I developed for entrepreneurs who want to change the world!