in life

Does the Early Bird Really Get the Worm?

“The early bird gets the worm”…You’ve heard the old saying time and time again. To be early, to be first – it’s something some of us commit to daily while others avoid it like a plague.

If you know me at all, you know I am a perpetual early-riser. It’s a blessing and a curse. I get a hell of a lot more done, but I also couldn’t sleep in if my life depended on it.

I’m also a huge believer in starting the day, getting a lot done, relaxing, or crossing things off my to-do list while the rest of the world sleeps (including my wife – I haven’t quite sold her on this yet).

When people have asked me what my key is to productivity, my first response is always “Wake up earlier”.

So today I implore you – as glorious as sleep can be, think about everything you could accomplish even if you set your alarm clock ONE hour earlier.

365 days in a year. Wake up one hour earlier and add 365 hours (about 15 days) to your life each year.

What would you do with all that time?

  • Take time to relax before starting your day?
  • Go for a morning jog?
  • Do something for others (like make breakfast for your still-asleep family)
  • Clear out your e-mail inbox ans start the day at #inboxzero
  • Leave a little early and avoid stress traffic.
  • Write a blog post? Better yet, write a book?
  • Watch Saved by the Bell reruns (guilty for the past 10 years)

There’s a whole heck of a lot of potential out there if you just commit to waking up earlier. I know sleep is good, sleep is great, we need sleep to stay healthy. I’m not at all suggesting you adopt unhealthy habits. But in my experience, and in the experience of those close to me – the early bird may just get the worm.

So who’s with me in starting an early-riser revolution? Or maybe I’m just crazy…Probably the latter.

(Photo Credit)

Add Your Voice



  1. I agree squeezing the most hours you can out of the day while still getting a healthy amount of sleep is definitely an easy way to increase productivity. For me, though, I add on my hour to the end of the day. I'm just not one that gets moving too quickly early in the morning, and find myself pretty productive at night when I'm the only one awake. Granted, by doing this, I also make an effort to avoid sleeping the morning away, which defeats the whole purpose of staying up a little bit later and getting stuff done.

    So what I'm saying is, for some (like me), tacking that extra hour on to the end of the day is just as effective as tacking it on at the beginning. The only difference is you have Letterman on instead of Saved by the Bell :)

  2. I love getting up early and feeling accomplished before others are even contemplating what to eat for breakfast. Unfortunately this habit has fallen away in recent months as a move in to the hospitality world has seen a time shift in a lot of what I do. Lunch at 4pm, friends wanting to catch up at 11pm and awkward shifts. I live that lifestyle for only part of the week and then blog/cook/write the rest of the week which sees me getting up later in the morning and still awake at 2am!

    At the moment waking early doesn't fit in with my lifestyle so I think the key is finding my optimal working windows, experimenting with a bunch of waking times and ensuring I get enough sleep regardless of the time I go to bed.

  3. Honestly, I'm not a natural early riser – every morning I have to basically fling myself out of bed so that by the time my brain catches on to what I'm doing I'm already out of my bedroom! But the difference in my productivity is amazing, and I'd rather deal with getting up early than try to force myself to work late. So I'm a (somewhat reluctant) convert to your revolution :)

  4. Perfect timing with this topic. I woke up this morning and rushed to get out the door. As I was frantically pulling out of my driveway to avoid being late, I realized that within the past couple months I've allowed myself to sleep as late as possible while still being able to make it to work on time. That extra 30 minutes – hour of sleep is nice but it really doesn't make a bit of difference when I'm sitting at my desk.

    Getting up earlier helps to wire my brain for the rest of the day, the sooner I get started the more energized I am throughout the day. It's just a matter of actually getting out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button 11 times (I counted the other day).

  5. Well, I won't be getting up an hour earlier – I already rise at 5am. As an early bird, I will tell you that I savor the early morning hours. Often I get a quick run in before work, but everyday I spend an hour on bike getting to the office by 7am, so I can have 2 solid hours of uninterrupted time to bang out projects, or catch up on RSS or emails. Either way, it's important to me to choose how I start the day before everyone else arrives at the office. It may mean that I work an extra hour or two every day, but I know that I am happier for having the quiet time in the morning.

  6. Well Saved by the Bell (even after seeing every episode at least – literally – 100 times) still wins that battle over Letterman, hands down :)

    But you're right – whatever works for you – early bird or night owl. I chalk it up to being an old soul. I can't stay up nearly as late as I used to back in the 'good ol days' of college.

  7. Work can and will do that to you, eh? I have friends and family in the healthcare industry so I completely understand the crazy hours (and props to you – I don't know how you – and they – do it everyday).

    But you have the right idea – if you can't be the early worm, be the midday worm, or the night worm, or whatever 'worm' works for you. Yes, I'm going to stop saying worm now…

  8. My wife recently started working an early morning shift, so now I've decided to get up at 6:00 to provide me with almost 5 hours of uninterrupted time before she gets home. I start the morning off with a Power 90 workout, shower, and breakfast before even turning on the computer. From there, I write my weekly blog post (Sundays), take online career training courses, read blogs, and work on my cookbook. After my wife comes home, I spend 2-3 hours job searching, and the rest of the day is spent with her, reading and watching tv.

  9. I've always been more productive in the evenings and night. But when I do have to get up early, I do ENJOY watching great Saved by the Bell reruns as I crank out my morning to-do lists!

  10. While I'm more of a night owl (although I have a feeling I'll become a morning person as well with the little guy due any day now), your specific situation reminds me a lot of what Jason Fried of 37signals often says about how nobody gets work done in offices anymore, and that's why many people get in really early or stay really late, so they can actually get the work done.

    Do you notice that at your office?

  11. I'm just like you, in this sense, Jackie. Always was through college and such. I'd rather stay up to 2 or 3am working on projects than get up at 5 or 6am. My mind runs and thinks better late at night and is slower going in early morning.

    And I think you make a great point. Spending some extra time is key, when isn't as important.

  12. Exactly, Jenn. I'm very much the same way. While I don't 'go into an office' anymore, I still very much wake up and value that uninterrupted solace before the day REALLY begins. There's something about it being 8am and already feeling like I've accomplished a lot – and that's why my focus here is on the morning, rather than staying up late.

    Does it really matter if your an early-riser or would rather burn the midnight oil? No. But there's something to be said for starting the day off on the right foot…

  13. Maybe so, Jackie. Wedding is fast approaching, eh? Exciting times – and it absolutely FLIES by. Totally unrelated word of advice: Enjoy EVERY minute of it. It goes by way too fast.

  14. That makes two of us – For me I'd rather wake up early – do what I need to do, so I can enjoy more time at the end of the day to relax with my wife, my dog, my friends, family, etc. The morning is great because there's not a lot going on – there's limited distractions. I never LIKE having to work into the evening after my wife gets home from work.

    I'm still not where I want to be in that regard and having that balance (I work early, late, whenever) but I'm doing what I can to get a little of that work/life swagger back.

  15. Haha you sound EXACTLY like my wife. She literally pushes it to the last second when it comes to when she wakes up, when she gets in the shower, and when she walks out the door for work. I always tell her if she'd just wake up a few minutes earlier, all that stress could be avoided. I guess easier said than done, right? Waking up early – perhaps TOO early – has been burned into my brain since I was a wee lad (thanks Mom). Now it's become a habit that, for better or worse, I can't break.

    Getting out of bed is the hardest part…I never want to actually step out of bed, but once you do, it's smooth sailing…sort of. Coffee helps too :)

  16. To each his own, right? I don't know what it is, but I've never been good at working into the wee hours of the morning…I've done it. Many (many) times – but the worst feeling ever is when 2am rolls around and you realize you have to be up in 4 hours…Or when you start to hear the birds chirping. Yikes!

  17. Sounds like you've got your schedule locked down, Edward. Kudos. I need to get better at doing the whole workout-shower-breakfast thing BEFORE opening the computer. My habit has been, for a while now, roll out of bed, grab coffee/breakfast, and open my computer. I need to focus on more “me” time before I start cranking out work, reading blogs, replying to e-mails, etc. I'm getting there…

  18. Early to rise is…early to bed. I've found that since I've become an early riser (5:30 am) that my social life has taken a real nosedive. Nobody understands that no, really, I do actually have to go home at 8:30pm, I can't stay up until 11. The price to pay for more productivity is a lot less socializing. Win some, lose some.

  19. Good concept Matt, but I am not with you…haha! I like my sleep and my naps! I tend to lean towards the idea of it is not the quantity of time you have, but the quality of work you produce. I am highly productive and need my rest to prevent burnout.

  20. I hear ya. Waking up early does mean I spent many a-night watching HGTV in bed with my wife at 9pm. May sound lame on the surface, but relaxing with someone you love at the end of a productive day? Sounds pretty good to me.

    I still force myself to not be totally lame and go to bed early all the time, but I can completely relate to seeing a 'decline' in social activities in the evening due to the fact I'm up at 5 or 6 every morning.

  21. Good point here on quality vs. quantity – but honestly, some of my best work and clearest thoughts come when I'm alone, while no one else is awake, very early in the morning.

    As for naps – I literally haven't taken a nap in years…like, many years. I've never been able to sleep during the middle of the day (crazy, I know).

  22. I'm a night owl on the opposite end of the spectrum by nature. In college, during some of those crazy long assignments I used to make up early and discovered that I do love working/writing in the early morning.

    I'm almost always up until 1-2 doing this and that, so waking up for work at 8am is already push my sleep threshold. However, this post just might be the kick for me to try something new. I've been wanting to wake up an hour or so earlier, and use that time to write to see how my writing is different in the morning. I may just do this, and have a little mini series on my writing blog. I'll keep you posted on my postings. Thanks!

  23. Matt,
    This is some great thinking… I will agree that rising early is a blessing and a curse. I absolutely agree that I am more productive when I get up earlier.

    Pros to getting up earlier:
    The morning quiet. There's nothing like it. I love being awake before the world gets busy.
    Time to clear my head before work. I've been going to the gym with my extra hour in the morning for the past couple of months. My mental and physical health are much improved and I feel more productive before I even sit down at my desk.

    Going to sleep earlier? I'm not convinced it's a con, but it's different. I'm going to sleep somewhere between 9pm and 11pm instead of 10:30 and 12:30. I'm more rested and feel better, but that could be because I've added the exercise. It's easier for me to get out of bed if I'm doing it for myself and going to the gym, then once at the gym, I might as well go to work. The other way around doesn't work quite so well… at least for me. By the time 10pm rolls around, I'm settling in and reading, watching tv or a movie, or catching up on emails before bed.

    I wonder what life would be like if I could get my butt out of bed at 5am instead of 5:30…

  24. Oh man, I pissed off my college roommate to no end when we were living in the dorms and I'd be up at 5am banging away on my keyboard…again, it's just what comes natural to me.

    But yes – give it a shot. Go to be a little earlier and wake up a little earlier. It'll suck at first. Maybe you'll hate it, but maybe you'll love it. And if you document this night-owl to early-bird transition, give me a heads up. Should be an interesting 'case study' if nothing else, right? :)

  25. The morning quiet is what keeps me coming back. Like you said, there's nothing like it. The evening quiet isn't the same – there's still a lot going on, a lot more potential distractions – more things to do, people to talk to, places to go, beers to drink, whatever. Waking up and getting things done before the day REALLY begins…it's been priceless to what I've been able to do over the past couple years.

  26. Yeah, you're crazy! :-P I've thought about getting up earlier, and I wish I could, but I'm not a morning person. I actually tried every day last summer, since I had to be into work for 7am, and I live an hour away. That meant getting up at 5am, which was tough, even in the summer. I needed to nap when I got home from work, and it's impossible for me to go to bed at 9 or 10 every night, which is what I'd have to do as an early riser.

    I find the only time I can get up early is when I'm on vacation or skiing. Those are the only situations where I'm jumping out of bed and can't possibly sleep any longer.

  27. Matt,

    Like you, I'm one of those weirdos who gets up early and I prefer it that way. Even after a night of drinking sometimes, I still get up early. I usually start my day at around 6:30am and I usually finish more in that first two hours than some people do in a day.

    One of the major advantages to getting an early start is that you are often most creative when your mind is clear. For bloggers, one of the things I recommend is that they write before doing anything else. I don't check email, I don't get on Twitter, I usually just open Macjournal and write whatever comes to my mind. Some of my best work has been produced this way. Of course, for me getting up in the morning to surf is one of the major drivers that forces me to get everything else that I'm working done.

  28. I recently started going in to work an hour earlier. Traffic is better, I get home earlier and I like it a lot better. Because I am not getting up earlier I am making my lunch, taking showers and laying clothing out the night before so I don't have to do it all in the AM. When I get home I take a short nap so I can still stay up with hubby before bed and get enough sleep.

    I am digging it.

    Looking forward to the day when the J.O.B. ends and I am working for myself. I think the early hour will still happen.

  29. I think some people just cannot be early birds, no matter how hard we try. As much as I would like to wake up at 5:30 every morning and pound out a blog post or go to the gym, I just don't have it in me. Hitting the snooze for 20 minutes is so much more satisfying.

    (I secretly wish I could get an earlier start.)

  30. There's nothing better than starting the day off with the feeling of being productive. For me, if I start my day off being productive, I'm much more likely to continue striking things off my to do list throughout the day. It's sort of like a rhythm…

    Great post, Matt.

  31. Sleeping in – What's that? My dad always had me up and out by 7 a.m. when I was a kid to do various chores. My sister slept til whenever – I still resent that. Now, I'm up at 5:30 and find those couple hours of silence remarkably 'restful' in and of themselves. I like your idea of 365 hours … why a book vs. a blog?

  32. In Ayurvedic thought, the hour around sunrise is the most potent of the day, when the agni (life-energy) is strongest. It's a time not to be wasted, but used for the most important activities of the day. I find it prime time for writing and also meditation. Hard to get to sleep early enough, though.

  33. Definitely. Nearly our entire marketing department gets in between 7-7:30 daily, though we keep the lights off and have a strict “no meetings, no talking” policy until 9am…keeps the peace and productivity. The rest of our office sticks to the 9am or later schedule, since many of our staff have evening meetings frequently for all of our volunteer-driven events.

  34. Same here, Eva! I'm often made fun of by friends because I really do need to start my wind-down routine around 8:30pm – pack the lunch, layout the clothes, get the bike ready & bag packed for the commute, and then in bed at 9pm to read for a few minutes. It gets a little rough working in the marketing/social media sphere which is definitely a night-time crowd with lots of evening events. I try to keep it to one evening event per week to keep a little balance, and respect the bedtime. ;)

  35. I have always been an early riser, got it from my dad. When I was younger, I was the first person to wake up during a sleepover, which never turned out well when you start waking people up.

    The idea though of adding an additional 15 days worth of potential productivity is something that resonates well with me – most people don't look at it like that, so thank you. Most of my friends sleep in and I am usually up by 10am latest, I just can't imagine sleeping for 1/3 of my life…

  36. Some days it is difficult to motivate myself to do my workout done before turning on the computer, but I know that if I decide to check my email “first” I won't actually get around to my workout at all.

  37. My college roommate and I were lucky to be very heavy sleepers so that we didn't bother each other with our different sleep “shifts.” He was such a night owl that some days, I woke up before he got to bed.

  38. I am totally with you on the “early-riser revolution” idea. Early in the morning is my most productive part of the day. Now, if only I could get to bed before midnight to get a proper amount of sleep…

  39. Love the concept…I tend to be more of a night owl like some of the other responders and most times my best ideas wake me up in the middle of the night and I have to get to it. I think waking up an hour early is a great way to be more productive and to not feel so rushed in the mornings, for those of us that have to get to an office at a certain time. It takes a while to become habit, though….that snooze button is FAR too tempting lol

  40. I'm working on it! By nature, I'm a night owl – in college, I was definitely the one staying up till 3 (studying, not partying, nerd that I am) and then sleeping till 8. The corporate world doesn't really support that, so I've fought it over the years, but finally now I'm consistently in bed earlier and trying to rise with the alarm, rather than snoozing for 45 minutes. I find my days more balanced, less frantic and generally more productive. I'm also trying to maintain the same wake-up time on days I work at home, using that extra time to run or work out. It's a much easier habit to set when the days are longer like now than in winter. I'm gradually adjusting my bed and wake times so that hopefully within the next few months, I can get up earlier EVERY day and funnel that time into productivity. It's much easier to burn through emails and write when no one's expecting an immediate response.

  41. Hi, Matt! I agree with you. All throughout my life in school I remember I had to wake up at 5am just to get on the 530am bus. I'd be in school before 7 and I'd get to review for my class or do some of my homework or…a little shut-eye before my teacher would arrive.

    Prior to having kids, I'd wake up late and go to work late (you know how it is when you live near your school or workplace, right?). Missed out on a lot of work and didn't get to see what was going on in my workplace (in my case it's our school). Now, I wake up at 530 so i can bring my son to school. I've been doing this since last year. I get to spend some quiet time with my boy and I'm usually the first one in school/work…I get to see our students come in and find time to talk to them before they start their day. I get an extra hour to prepare for my lessons and catch up on my mail. I get to sleep for a total of 5-6 hours only but I guess I'm used to it by now. It's just a matter of self discipline. So, I agree, the early bird does catch the worm. BTW, loved your wedding photos :)

  42. I'm with you Matt. Early rising is something I just do, like you. Can't sleep in even if I go to bed late. I find it productive, but also kind of a magical time of day as the sun rises and the world is quiet. Good creative or meditative time.

  43. Not easy – but when it's something you've done for years and years, it's almost impossible for me to NOT wake up early (although I've been getting a little bit better about forcing myself to stay in bed after I wake up to at least ATTEMPT to fall back asleep). I feel like I'm living in the bizarro world – TRYING to sleep when the rest of the world is doing everything they can to wake up!

  44. Yes. The early AM hours are PRIME writing time – and like you said, it's important to cut out all the distractions – restrain from opening e-mail, Twitter, and everything else. Writing with a clear mind without distractions first thing in the morning? Nothing beter. That's when I crank out my 'best stuff'.

  45. I think it will too, Karen. You've established that habit and regardless of your workday – you'll stick with it. Now that I've made the transition to being an entrepreneur and working from home – I find my morning 'routine' to be very similar to what it was when I had a 9 to 5 (minus the hellish commute – which is a JOY).

    Thanks for the comment and for coming by!

  46. Everyone CAN – I don't agree with you there – but yeah, it's not easy at all – and if you're happy with your current setup, so be it, but…if you want to add a little time to your day, week, month, year, life…waking up a little bit earlier CAN be done and for me, I've seen a great benefit to NOT hitting the snooze (as hard as it may be)…

  47. It is tough to get to bed early…that's for sure. I've been FORCING myself to shut the computer and go to bed to at least attempt to fall asleep at a decent hour every night. When you wake up at the crack of dawn, it does make falling asleep at night that much easier, though :)

  48. Exactly – if nothing else, I hope this illustrates that there is a LOT of time to be had if you wake up just a little bit earlier. Life's too short to sleep it all away…

    PS – You're going to Pivot, right? Looking forward to meeting you then!

  49. I'm actually a little surprised there are SO MANY early risers coming together here…I thought I was in the minority…the question is, why haven't we started some sort of super-awesome before sunrise fan club or something? haha

  50. Hey Deandra! So, my question for you is, what do you do when an idea comes to you in the middle of the night? Do you wake up and start working on it? Do you keep a notepad near your bed to jot down ideas? Do you just go back to sleep and hope you remember your brilliance in the morning? I'm sure there are many out there (myself included) who can relate to strokes of genius coming at random (sometimes inconvenient) times. How do you make sure you remember those ideas when you wake up the next morning?

  51. Personally I prefer to work from the hours of 11pm till around 4am and then sleep in. The hours of silence in the dead of night are great for getting focussed. Only works if you don't have a job though.

    - Jonny

  52. I get up early and promise myself I'll finish ONE Task and end up starting 5 others and never finishing the one that had me getting up early in the first place! At least something's getting started, right?

  53. Haha…yeah, I can't imagine doing that myself. Yes, I have a lot of freedom being an entrepreneur, but I still have a lot of things I *have* to do – calls to be on, meeting to attend, etc. that require me to be up during the daylight hours. Morning or night, to each his own. :)

  54. True, true. I fall into the 'both' category way more than I actually want to – but when I can, I get to bed earlier so waking up earlier isn't such a struggle.

    PS – see you this weekend at SocialDevCamp, right? I'm speaking at 12:30 on Sunday – you should be there!

  55. Haha…such is life, right? Starting one thing and then diving into a dozen others. This is something I constantly try to work on because I think multi-tasking is VASTLY overrated. The ability to focus one one thing from beginning to end is tough, but being able to really cross things off as complete is incredibly satisfying.

  56. Hear, hear. For me, waking up a little earlier and avoiding the frantic 'early-morning running-around' is the most important. Like I said in a comment above, I've tried to get my wife to buy into this but, so far, not much luck. She's passionate about her sleep and almost every morning hits the snooze about 10 times, waits to the last second to do everything, and then frantically rushes out the door. Whatever works, right? ;)

    (Let's grab coffee before I head out of town in a couple weeks)

  57. Thanks, Vivian! I like the bit about bringing your son to school and having that 'alone' time. One of the things my wife and I have contemplated once we move to Nashville is selling one of our cars to cut back a bit and save even more money. It may be slightly inconvenient at times, but at worst, I have to drive her to work and pick her up? Is that time together such a bad thing? I think not :) – Self discipline is one of those words we throw around a lot, but it's one of the hardest things to achieve…

  58. Even though I'm currently working late nights, I still believe in waking up early–although now that my bedtime is after 2 am, early to me is just means before 10 am. However, I love when I wake up refreshed bright and early–it's so nice to get things done early, and then relax the rest of the day. Can't imagine wasting half of the day sleeping, like many of my coworkers do!

  59. I'll know if I'm going to grad school in London next week – if I get in then unfortunately I won't be able to go. Unless they want to fly me in :) Should be amazing though.

  60. yes – see you there! I need to look at the schedule again…

    Ps. when was the last time we talked… I think Dr Seuss quote? In that case, I def haven't shared the latest with you ~ I'll dm =)

  61. I'm with you on the early bird revolution! I've recently started waking up an hour early to work out. It was a pain at first – and sometimes it still is – but once I get up and get my heart pumping I feel so much better. I find that I have a lot more energy throughout the day and am generally more productive. I guess the one downside is that I have a hard time sleeping in even a little bit.

  62. 12:30 on Sunday – I'll be leading a discussion (final topic to be voted on) related to entrepreneurship. And you have left me hanging all day on this latest news…do tell!

    PS I don't think I've EVER gone to bed at 6pm. Wow.

  63. I've REALLY been trying to be better with this. The hardest part is actually getting out of bed – once you're actually DOING whatever it is you're doing, it's no problem – but getting to that point can often be a huge obstacle to overcome…

  64. I don't tend to sleep in very late but I wouldn't say that I am natural morning person either. I do agree though that on those days that I get up …MoreI don't tend to sleep in very late but I wouldn't say that I am natural morning person either. I do agree though that on those days that I get up earlier, especially on the weekend, I tend to have already cleaned the house and made a good start on my emails and uni stuff by the time I would normally have gotten up. I also feel alot more alert and productive on days I don't lie in bed until 10am.

    I have a friend who is a very early starter normally up and at it by about 6am every morning. Problem with being that kind of morning person though is you may get a lot done in the morning, when it's quiet and the world sleeps, but when it comes time to chill at night and watch some TV she is so tired she either falls a sleep on the couch or is in bed fairly early.

    All in all maybe the revolution should be less about early rising and more about not sleeping too much. After all some people may rise about 10am but if they a productive until midnight or even later then really, its not much different to the early riser at all!

  65. Having kids meant having to find a car that could fit all of us PLUS all of our stuff when we go out so my husband is hoping to find a smaller car for just the two of us :) but….have to save for that first ;) Yes, times are hard even here and we had to choose fuel efficient cars because my boy's school is quite far from our place.

    Driving your wife to work means you get to kiss her before she puts on her “work hat” and she gets to kiss you when she gets to put on her “wife hat”. My husband and I get to talk (and laugh) about so many things while in the car. I'm sure you'll find it great as well.

    Yeah, self-discipline is tough…but then again…i just said that only because I've been an early riser before. Just let a couple of years slide after giving birth but I do get to do more when I wake up early. If only I can do the same thing for exercise :( just thinking about it makes me tired…how bad is that? I'm not getting any younger and I've been putting off the scheduled executive check-up…clearly i don't have self-discipline when it comes to exercise. :((

    Tomorrow is family bonding time…with my in-laws. We're going to one of the scening spots near manila…Tagaytay – where the volcano within a volcano is found :) I'll post pictures in facebook and tag you :)

    Enjoy your weekend!

  66. I grab my phone and type in the idea and go back to sleep…sometimes though when i read it in the morning it's just a bunch of jibberish…LOL…i think it's cuz I can hardly see with the glare of the screen :( however, there are times when I am thinking of what to say to a person, i'd play it over and over in my head that i can't go back to sleep :S

  67. oh my goodness, you're right! my mom is an early riser because she goes to hear mass every morning! :) I would always sense when my mom is up cuz I always wanted to go with her. i think in some ways she has influenced me on this one…and in a lot of other ways :)

  68. I am not a morning person. At all. My circadian rhythm doesn't lend itself to waking up earlier; my body is always exhausted if I have to wake up at 6am every day. I don't know if it's a matter of will-power, but it doesn't work with the nature of my body to wake up earlier.

    My peak waking hours are from 10pm-2am, and that's when I do the best work.

    For every one, their peak waking hours are different. So though waking up earlier works for you, it won't work for everyone.. that extra hour people spend awake, they're probably spending half asleep! Half asleep, and half as productive as if they stayed up LATER by an hour.

  69. I watch SBTB reruns every morning too even though I’ve seen them all countless times! I also watch Fresh Prince after that…. gotta love that Carlton.

    Love the perspective of adding 15 days to your life each year… pondering telling my boyfriend that, but he’d probably start waking me up TOO early.

  70. He,y Matt
    Early starts rock! I set my alarm for 0500 but always wake up about 0430, go for a run have a relaxed breakfast and start work at 0700 which means I can finish at 1500 and have the rest of the day to myself :o).
    (Admittedly I do go to bed pretty early but I love the peace and solitude of the early morning and seeing the sunrise. Also, I get more done in the 2 hours before my colleagues arrive at 0900 than I do in the rest of my workday.

    Keep up the good work


  71. I’ve been working to consistently wake up earlier for years… I am a night owl naturally. I get a tremendous amount of work done while the world sleeps, but it is on the other end of the spectrum… in the early morning hours of night. Still, I’m with you in that I prefer to wake in the morning and get my stuff done. (Plus the sun rise is awesome.)

    I had difficulty switching from late night work to early morning work. It isn’t the work but the shift in my sleep schedule. So if anyone out there is having trouble switching your sleep schedule, I highly recommend trying acupuncture three times per week. I really didn’t know what acupuncture was about. I thought it was just a relaxation thing. But as it turns out, it can have profound positive effects on helping with jet lag, insomnia, excessive sleep, switching your sleep schedule, and all sorts of other sleep related issues. I just completed four months of acupuncture to help me with my sleep issues and I am happy to report that I wake up bright and early each morning full of energy and I tend to fall asleep around 11pm or midnight without trouble. Awesome.

    That’s my 2 cents on sleeping and productivity. Thanks for the great article, Matt.

  72. My dad got me in the habit of waking early when I was in JR High. Then my ex-husband got me in the habit of sleeping late and getting nothing done.

    Now I work a morning shift in a cafeteria and have to catch the shuttle to work at 5am, so I wake up anywhere between 2-4 everyday even on my days off. My friends & co-workers think I’m nuts for getting up so early everyday.
    I have an alarm clock; stuffed in a box and tucked somewhere in the closet. I don’t need an alarm, I go to bed early and wake up whenever I want.

  73. I forced myself to wake up at 6am (I usually wake up at about 8:30). I was shocked at how much I was able to get done. My mornings are usually hectic. Today was like a vacation. I got 10x more done before I had to start working and I had zero stress doing everything. It really does make a big difference. How did I wake up? I set up three iPhone alarms to go off five minutes apart. I basically annoyed myself into a fully conscious state.

  74. acknowledged

    I will not forget

    wake up 1h early every day

    nice saying ….I`ve heard it on a track from devin the dude
    The early bird gets its worm sucked for sure….
    That is a good reason to wake up one hour early