I used to wake up at 3:30 am to go to work. I was a shift supervisor for a massive coffee chain. Our location needed me to make sure everything was stocked, ready, and third-place perfect by 5 am. Like everyone else, I always gave myself just enough time to wake up, get dressed, get in the car, and get to work. Because I am a natural early riser, my brain would kick into gear the minute I stepped inside the store at 4:30 am and would go non-stop until I was done.
I always told people that the best part of my early workday was being done by noon and having the rest of the day to myself, but this wasn’t exactly true. I was usually fatigued by 5 pm and in bed by eight.
When I worked in an office, I always gave myself just enough time to get up, get dressed, take care of the dog, and walk to work by 8 am. I would get home by 5 pm, wholly fatigued and unable to reconcile why I couldn’t get anything else done.
These days I wake up between 4:30 and 5 am. I work from home, so no one needs me to be anywhere, except for my dog, who goes out at 8:30 am every morning without fail.
So why the early wake-up time?
Because no one needs me to be anywhere.
Because I am a natural early riser, and my brain does kick into gear at 4:30 am, I get that chunk of time all to myself; to organize my mind, write my to-do list, and give myself a small dopamine hit by adding items to my cart, then closing the browser.
I use that time to get inspired for the day: to think of what to write, who I can connect with, and how I can bring value (“the fire”) to my day.
I usually do a small workout, journal, drink coffee, and read something educational. By 6:30 am I am ready to be a good human for my husband, dog, and the rest of humanity.
But that two hours in the morning, when my brain is at its most electric, is for me. To reconnect with my self, reconnect with my purpose, and explore my critical thinking skills with a freedom that I don’t get when other people are around.
Interested in optimizing your morning, but don’t want the 4:30 am wake up? Try waking up just 30 minutes earlier. In my upcoming book, “How to Change the World in $10 or Less,” the very first tip is:
By doing this one practice in the morning, I lost five pounds in a month. I became more productive at my office job. I could see where my passions and interests were, and I started reorganizing my life to accommodate those interests better. I was so jazzed up by what I was learning that I wrote the first draft in a single week.
Reconnecting my body, mind, and purpose was essential to getting my life on the right track, and it can do the same for you. So try this tip for one week, and see where your mind goes when you give it the time to wake up.