I have always loved the Army commercial from 1981. The tag line was, “In the Army, we do more before 9 am than most people do all day.” I’ve always thought it was a great concept to aspire to accomplish something great during the day before anyone else even gets started.
A little over a year ago I became frustrated at the lack of time that I had to do what I wanted to do. It’s not that I wanted to something to unproductively waste time to entertain myself. I wanted to do more meaningful things that actually produced more results. I simply did not have uninterrupted blocks of time in the evenings or on the weekends. When I tried to block time I always felt that I was stealing valuable time from my family.
So, what could I do? I committed to wake up extra early every morning. I used to wake up at 6:45 to be able to get out the door by 7:30 every morning. This new commitment required me to wake up at 5:45.
For some people 5:45 is no big deal, but for me this is very early. However, this has become a solid hour every day that I can have uninterrupted without feeling that I am depriving my family.
When I started, I regularly felt that it was impossible for me to sustain getting up so early. No matter when I went to sleep, I still felt sleep deprived the entire day. It simply didn’t seem worth it. I was more tired than the productivity I gained in the morning.
After several months my body and mind started to get used to getting up early. I also became more productive with my hour each day. I think that my increased productivity has driven my ability to wake up early. I also implemented a wake-up technique which I blogged about here. When I wake up in the morning now, I am excited to do what I have planned each morning.
I allow myself to sleep in a little on weekends but still wake up by 6:30 or 7:00 on Saturday and Sunday (and even holidays). I can get almost 2 hours of stuff accomplished before 9 am, which as the Army used to say, “is more than most people do all day.”
When do you wake up every morning?
How have you found extra time to get things done?