Some of the world’s most successful people get up early. Richard Branson reportedly gets up at 5.45, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner wakes up at 5.30am, Apple CEO Tim Cook gets up at 3.45am, Oprah gets up at 6am and Elon Musk rises at 7am, to name just a few.
50% of self-made millionaires and 90% of executives get up before 6am, or 3 hours before their workday begins, in order to engage in activities like exercise, dog walking, meditation, reading the news, checking email, eating a healthy breakfast and getting their kids ready for school.
We explore the benefits of getting up early and how it could help you be more successful too.
1. It allows you to get a head start on the day
Ever wondered why some people always find the time to do things like going to the gym, socialising after work, making a healthy packed lunch and engaging in career boosting activities like taking a short course? It’s simply because they have given themselves a few extra hours to do it in by getting up earlier than the rest of us.
2. Be more proactive
Morning people are more proactive, studies have shown. Being proactive is defined as “the willingness and ability to take action and change a situation to [your] advantage” and is a skill considerably more predominant in those who get up early, says renowned biology professor, Christoph Randler.
3. You avoid sleep inertia
Many of you will have experienced that groggy feeling that comes from when you haven’t woken up naturally – you’re jerked from sleep by your alarm clock and continue through the rest of the day half-asleep. When we wake up naturally, this grogginess only lasts about 15 minutes. If we’re woken up suddenly by an alarm clock while we are still in a deep sleep state, sleep inertia can last for several hours, impairing our abilities to make decisions, be productive, remember things and pay attention. Combat this by training your body and brain to wake up earlier, making sure you get out of this groggy state long before you have to clock in at the office.
4. You get a positive start to the day
There are huge advantages that come with not starting your day by jumping out of bed and rushing to work. Instead, starting your day with the peace and quiet of no car noises, neighbours and kids and spending time to yourself can give you a peace of mind that continues throughout the rest of the day. Create time for yourself and doing something positive like exercise, eating a good breakfast, a creative pursuit, or meditation.
5. You are more productive
Early risers can be more productive for several reasons other than having more hours in the day to do things. Firstly, there are less distractions in the morning. You have the headspace to plan your goals and priorities for the rest of the day. In addition, often your brain is at it’s most efficient in the morning so you can even achieve more in those extra few hours than any other time of day.
The benefits don’t stop there – the sense of achievement this productivity brings can set a theme or intention for the rest of the day.