Back when I had my podcast, I once spoke to a successful entrepreneur that told me, “I do the two things that are hardest for me to do early in the morning. So I (1) wake up early and (2) work out.”
I thought this was kind of genius since I never thought of “waking up” as an actual action. I thought of it as something that just kind of had to happen. Which it does have to happen, but I realized that I can control how it happens beyond just setting an alarm because I had to be somewhere.
I’ve always been a night owl because I liked the idea of working when others weren’t, but I noticed that my effective productivity started to go down as the night wore on. It was not uncommon for me to be up until 1 and wake up at 7. One issue I had with my bedtime, aside from being tired, is that it was always so inconsistent.
The life of a revenue generator often takes place during night time hours. So I could be up later than I wanted working on a client project or building relationships over drinks. Both activities are productive but can hinder a consistent time in which to go t bed.
So, I asked myself, “What if I went to bed between a set range closer to 10pm and started waking up at the same time regardless of what I had done the night before?”
I started with a time that seemed early but not crazy.
Apple’s iPhone has a feature called “Bedtime” on it. I set it for “6:30 AM” each day. As an added incentive, I started going to OrangeTheory classes at 7 AM instead the midday or late afternoon classes I had been accustomed to attending.
During the course of the next 90 days, my body started waking me up 15 minutes before my alarm. So I started setting my alarm for 6 AM each day. With 30 days, my body did it again and started waking up 15 minutes before my alarm, so then I started going to the 6 AM OrangeTheory class.
Fast forward about a year, and I’m now waking up at or a little before 3:30 AM each day and going to a 5 AM class. My wife says I keep “serial killer” hours. Thankfully, I’m a force for good. :)
People often ask me, “How I do this?” So I tell them about the process that I just mentioned above.
They rarely ask me the more important questions which is, “Why do I do this?”
It’s simple. I’m mission-driven. As cheesy as it sounds, if you don’t love the mission of what you’re working towards, you just won’t power through the times that suck.
Many days can suck as an entrepreneur for a variety of reasons, especially if you have any sort of anxiety disorder, which I do.
But, If you don’t have mission, you will not get up each day to own your day.