How Do You Spend Your Most Important Hours?

most important hours
most important hours
Photo from: Unsplash

There’s something about waking up before everybody else that is simply motivating. Maybe it’s the thought of knowing that you have a jumpstart on the day. Maybe it’s the fact that you are doing something challenging when you wake up, finding the strength to even wake up. Maybe it’s the fact that while the world around you gets their sleep, you are showing discipline and determination. 

Either way, it’s important to know how you spend your morning will determine your success in life. It determines the type of person you will become, the tasks that you will achieve over the course of your life, if you have what it takes to truly excel at something or simply remain average, and how much you actually believe in yourself. 

I know that it sounds all too cliche, but it’s true. This is why some of the most successful people in the world wake up before even the roosters do. 

– Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up every morning at 3:45am to go through his emails and exercise before work.

– Gary Vaynerchuk wakes up every morning at 5am despite numerous redeye flights to exercise and get started with his day. 

– Jack Dorset, who is the CEO of Twitter wakes up at 5am to meditate and to exercise.

– Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is up no later than 4am to get in an hour of cardio followed by 45 minutes of vigorous weight training. 

– LeBron James, despite needing 10 to 12 hours of sleep per night, wakes up in the off-season between 4am and 5am to workout and to get a move on with his day. 

How Waking Up At 5am Has Impacted My Life

When I first started waking up in the early morning hours, I didn’t like it, nor did I know why I was even doing it. I mean, I want to be successful and get more accomplished than anybody else, but waking up at 5am? That just seemed excessive. 

As I continued to do it, though, I quickly realized how beneficial it was. Not just because I was able to get more accomplished, but I felt more energized. I used to go into work groggy and still half asleep. Now, though, I go into work already having completed my most important tasks for the day – the tasks that are best going to help set me up for success

After struggling to roll out of bed for the first week, waking up early quickly became not just a routine, but a lifestyle as well. Now, I prioritize waking up early. If for some reason I don’t, I feel like I have fallen behind, overwhelmed with having achieved very few of the things that I wanted to, and oddly enough, I have less energy. I don’t know how that makes any sense as I get less sleep waking up at 5am, but it’s true. 

My morning routine is pretty simple. I wake up, I get ready for work, pack my lunch, plan out my day, read (currently reading The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau), and journal. My mind feels less constricted in the early morning hours, so I am able to think more clearly, and just follow my thoughts. 

most important hours

Why You Should Wake Up Earlier

So, you want to be more successful in life, right? You want to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself, have the feeling like you are on top of the world, and be the most successful person when you walk into a room. If this is you, then you need to start waking up earlier. Not because I said so, but because it’s proven by some of the world’s most successful individuals that waking up earlier will help to set you up for success.

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” Richard Whately

How often do you wake up and immediately become bombarded by everybody else’s schedule? Maybe it’s your boss calling you first thing in the morning, or your kids needing to get out the door for school, or simply running late for work. Whatever the reasoning is, you will never be able to get that time back for yourself. 

You may think that you will go home after work and prioritize the goals that you have for yourself, but we both know that probably won’t be the case. Television will become too tempting, friends may call you up to go out, and your energy will simply be decreased from a full day. 

Simply put, if you don’t prioritize your mornings, then you aren’t prioritizing your life. It’s a bold statement, I know, but it’s true. 

What Else Would You Be Doing?

Yes, by waking up at 5am, it does mean that you are probably going to have to go to bed sooner than you normally do. That is, of course, unless you are some superhuman that doesn’t need their sleep. If so, I applaud you, but for me, I need my sleep. 

I used to go to bed around 11pm to 12am. I would start winding down at around 10pm and would either sit on my computer for two hours, or I would watch two hours of Netflix. 

Doesn’t sounds like a promising or successful routine, does it? That’s because it wasn’t. I would always tell myself that when I got home from work, that’s when I would start progressing towards my goals. To be fair, that was always my intent, but that’s never what happened. 

I would get home from work, and after a long day, I would make a good dinner for myself. Well, after dinner the food coma hit and I would find myself on the couch watching TV or YouTube. I may get some things done throughout the night, but it would never exceed more than an hour’s worth of work before I became stuck in the endless cycle of surfing the web. While I was procrastinating and/or being lazy by repeatedly watching endless amounts of YouTube videos or hitting the snooze button, there were others out there who were working to find their success. 

The thing to remember is that we all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s not about needing more time to achieve the things that you want to achieve, it’s about becoming the most efficient with and optimizing the time that you have.

For me, the thought process was simple. It was to replace those wasted hours of watching Netflix every night and to instead use them in the early hours of the morning to start progressing towards the goals that I had set for myself. I wasn’t being productive by watching endless hours of Netflix or by surfing the internet. So to better my chances of becoming successful (or at least how I envision my success to look like), I simply replaced those hours of Netflix and YouTube and started optimizing my mornings. 

Things To Do All Before 5am

What you should be doing at 5am all depends on your goals. If your goal is to become more active, then you should use this time to get in a solid workout. If your goal is to read more books over the course of the year and expand your knowledge, then you should use this time to read. If your goal is to simply get a head start on the day and become more productive, then you should use this time to schedule your day and plan accordingly. 

There is no right or wrong way to use your time as long as you are setting yourself up for what you want to achieve. If you have a goal, the only wrong thing that you can do is to procrastinate and find an excuse for why you can’t achieve the goals that you have set for yourself.  

Become Better With Every Day

Life isn’t about being perfect or even being remotely perfect. Life is about becoming better with every day that passes. The more you challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone, the more success, creativity, and happiness you will find in your life. 

Take the initiative and get your life back. Make yourself your number one priority by following your dreams before chasing the dreams of others. Start pushing yourself to wake up every morning before the rest of the world, and create the life that you have always dreamed of living.

Michael Bonnell

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