The decision to set my alarm clock for 5:00 a.m. in the morning was the decision that allowed me to put my bigger, longer term goals and plans into action.
For years, I set my alarm clock for 6:30 a.m. Sometimes I even hit the snooze button. Occasionally, I’d hit the snooze button twice. When I finally left the bed, I’d take a shower and drive into the office. Because I didn’t get up very early, I didn’t go to sleep very early. I’d turn the lights off at 11:30 p.m. or midnight, getting six and a half or seven hours sleep.
I decided to set the alarm for 5:00 a.m. so that I would have the first two hours of the day to work on my longer term goals and plans, knowing that once the work day started, there would be too little time. I wanted that time for myself, and I wanted the solitude so that I could create.
No one wants your time at 5:00 AM. People are asleep. There are no work calls or meetings. If you keep your email closed, there are no interruptions. Those first two hours set the tone for your entire day. You can give your full attention and focus to your most important work. For me, that work was writing.
The first few days it was very difficult to get up at five. I struggled to wake up, and I suffered in the late afternoons at work. After a few days, I started to fall asleep earlier. Eventually, my sleep fell into a pattern where I was asleep by 10:00 or 10:30 p.m. and up at 5:00 a.m.
Waking up early allowed me to start writing by 5:15 a.m. every day. After brushing my teeth and grabbing a coffee, writing was the very first thing I did every day. I wasn’t a very good writer. I was a horrible editor. But the only way to become a better writer is to write, and that was my plan.
The first day I woke up at 5:00 am was December 28th, 2009. Seven years and almost 2,800 posts later, I am up before my alarm, which is still set for 5:00 a.m. I am still writing and publishing here every day.
- What could you accomplish if you gave yourself the first two hours of your day?
- Would it be worth waking up from your dreams to actually pursue them?
On December 28th, 2016, I made another decision. I decided to publish to YouTube daily. You can subscribe here.