by Rachel Adnyana
Jul 1, 2013
Image courtesy of Greg at http://www.gdpalmer.com/blog/
Study the habits of the world’s most successful people – prolific novelists, political leaders, CEOs of multi-million dollar companies – and you will find one thing in common: Those people who have achieved great success in business and in life tend to be early risers.
It seems that the phrase “the early bird gets the worm” may well be true once you start to study the early morning habits of these successful people. So, is simply getting up a couple of hours early the key to optimal productivity? Do early risers just get more done?
Famous early risers
Tim Cook, CEO of technology company, Apple, begins every day at 4.30am. He starts his day by sending out business emails and then heads to the gym for 5, before being one of the first to arrive at Apple headquarters in the morning.
John Grisham, lawyer and best-selling author began his career by rising every morning at 5am to start writing. He would get up, shower, head straight out to his office and be at his desk with a cup of coffee, ready write for up to two hours before starting his work as a lawyer.
Disney CEO, Robert Iger, gets up every morning at 4.30am and uses the early morning hours for reading the newspaper, exercising, sending emails and listening to music, before getting to the office at 6am.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is in the office every morning by 6am but still manages time to fit in an early morning workout with his wife before going to work. Perhaps helped along by a cup of his company’s coffee?
Architect, Frank Lloyd Wright did most of his real work between the hours of 4 and 7am. He would start sketching immediately upon waking for several hours and then go back to bed for a morning nap.
Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States, is commonly credited with the quote, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” Every morning he would get up and start his day by thinking, “What good shall I do today?”
The benefits of early rising
The correlation between getting up early and overall achievement seems to be pretty clear so what is it exactly about the early morning hours that allows you to get more done?
- More time. Rising before the rest of the household or a few hours before you have to be at your day job is a common strategy for people with busy lives. Many famous authors held down 9-5 jobs while writing their debut novels, rising before the sun to get a few hours of work in before they have to leave for the office.
- Fewer distractions. When the rest of the world is sleeping and the house is calm and quiet, productivity is bound to increase. Many early risers find that they can squeeze a lot more work into the morning hours than they can at any other time of the day.
- Increased creativity. Nobody does their best work when they’re tired and starting work soon after waking takes advantage of your brain being at its most alert.
- Faster commute. If you have a daily commute to get to work, getting up earlier means you will beat the traffic and eliminate wasted time sitting in traffic.
- Improved mental attitude. Getting the majority of your day’s work done before most people have even got out of bed feels incredibly satisfying and will give you a huge mental boost for the rest of the day.
- Less stress. Waking early will allow you more time to get ready in the mornings meaning you are not rushing round at the last minute and getting a stressful start to the day.