For anyone who has been exploring personal development, you will most likely have heard of the 5am club. It’s just like it sounds – to be up at 5am while the majority of the city is still asleep. In fact, I’m writing this post on my first 5am attempt. Besides claiming personal victory, there are a few good reasons why waking up at 5am (or earlier) is one of the best things that you can do for yourself.
- To have the brain at its optimal
- To have no distractions
- knocking out 1-2 daily goals
Studies have shown that most brains tend to be the most active and effective for the first few hours after waking up. Unfortunately for most people, they wake up just early enough to get to work on time which means that the optimal brain is being used to achieve company goals and not personal goals.
Going off that example, it means that the only time you work on yourself is after a long day at work, where your brain is most likely done for the day.
Remember the days when you claimed you’re most effective late at night (or early in the morning)? Wasn’t the reasoning because everyone else is asleep so you can finally do work without distractions? Well this is the same idea, except (going back to point 1) your brain is also at its optimal.
Studies have also shown that people tend to have the most self control in the morning (compared to at night) so use that to your advantage and work on those bigger projects that might take longer to accomplish. With a full 2 hours, you can definitely knock out one or all of your daily goals – what better way to start the day than knowing that you’re well on your way to accomplishing what you set out to accomplish for that day!
I have to emphasize that you should not be using your phone or checking any social media or emails until you’re getting ready to leave for work. A lot of that is noise and seriously gets you off track. It gets worse when you realize that you don’t control what you would see so your emotions suddenly gets moving in directions you cannot control.
Before waking up for 5am, I was waking up for 6am and didn’t have to leave the house until 8:30, leaving me about 2 hours of personal time before I had to get ready. However, because I have daily routines that require about an hour to accomplish, I was only left with another hour which I didn’t feel was enough to really do damage to my daily goals. So now that I’m going to be waking up for 5am, my 3 hours will look something like:
- workout – get blood flowing in body to get the brain fully moving
- visualize the day – have a good idea as what I will do to make the most of my day
- check off a goal or two on my daily goal
Regardless of what time I wake up, meditation is the first thing that gets done as soon as I hydrate myself. No questions asked.
After taking care of my mental health, the next this is my physical health. This is to get the blood really flowing throughout the body so that the brain is ready to work.
To be fair, this is going to be a new daily habit that I will be introducing so I don’t know how exactly it’ll look. However, I tried visualizing myself waking up at 5am before I went to bed last night and it got me here.
I mean the whole purpose of waking up earlier is to be able to focus on myself more and so it only makes sense that this becomes where most of the time will go.
So if you’re still reading this, it means that you understand the value waking up at 5 can bring and you’re interested in learning how to physically make this happen. Here are a few suggestions:
- sleep earlier
At the end of the day, this has to be something you want to happen. Have you fully internalized the reasons and benefits that 5am will bring to you?
Are you sleeping at midight? 11? Or are you closer to 1 – 3am? Why not pull your bedtime in and explore sleeping at 9 or 10? I mean, once you start working on yourself in the morning, you won’t have much left on your goal list and as we covered earlier, your brain is probably done for the day anyway. This is the perfect way to spend your evenings – to have quality time with your family and friends (instead of being constantly distracted when you’re with them). Even after some quality time, you’d be left with 7 – 8 hours of sleep! I’m currently attempting to sleep at 10, leaving me 7 hours of sleep.
Waking up at 5 is one of the biggest thing I can do for myself in order to be optimal at this point. It took me a while to seriously do it, but now that I’ve accomplished one day, I know I can make it happen tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and so on. How about you – how does it feel waking up at 5 or what is keeping you from doing so?