- Courtesy of Susie Moore
- Entrepreneur and author Susie Moore started waking up at 5 a.m. after years of sleeping until 8 or 9 every morning.
- She’s been doing it for more than two months, and she’s found that the habits she’s built for her entire day make her wake-up call much easier.
- For instance, she spends five minutes prepping for the next day each night, and makes a point of meeting friends for dinner no later than 6:30 p.m. on a weeknight.
Let me begin by saying there is nothing better than sleep. And there is nothing worse than the sleep-deprived fog you feel at the office, in a meeting, heck – even on the sofa at the weekend.
Science shows that most of us all need an average of seven to eight hours of sleep per night. We all know this now, right? Good. Because burning the midnight oil is not gonna fly if you wanna be an early bird. And if you want to get up at 5 a.m. consistently? Well that means a 10 p.m. curfew (latest!), my friend.
I’ve been waking up at 5 a.m. for more than two months now, and I have no plans to stop. Since I started working for myself in 2014, my usual wake-up time had been 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. But after reading Robin Sharma’s “The 5 a.m. Club” and hearing about all the benefits early risers receive – plus that fact leaders like Richard Branson, Tim Cook, and Michelle Obama rave about waking up early – my husband and I challenged ourselves to do it.
Here’s how I manage (most days!) to stay in the 5 a.m. flow:
I always start with the same morning routine
Because I like to take my day slowly – while still accomplishing a lot – I love to give decision fatigue the boot and pretty much follow these steps:
- Fire up the Nespresso first!
- Tap (EFT), journal, and meditate to some Abraham Hicks to kick into peak positivity state.
- Crack open the computer. I like to dive straight into work. It’s the most potent two to three hours of my day. These “golden hours” have been proven to be the most powerful hours where your best work is done is the most minimal time possible. Everything creative for me happens here. Then the afternoon is for any meetings and email correspondence which don’t require the same morning Midas touch.
- Leisurely walk to a workout class around 9 or 10 a.m. (at which point I’m pretty much ready for lunch).
I spend 5 minutes prepping for the next day
I spend five minutes – yes, just five minutes the night before (ideally before 8 p.m.) reviewing the next day’s plan. It reminds me why I want to be up before the rest of the world, and I’d tell anyone to try it. Got a side hustle that needs some, well… hustle? Great – you’ll have hours to get busy. Want to work out more consistently? Well, that alarm clock is your best accountability, bud.
Spending just five minutes knowing how much I will achieve in my morning solitude fires me up to put on the PJs. So, I put my laptop and phone on charge outside of the bedroom. I have my “get to do” list for the next day set. I have my Classpass workout booked.
Are the lights out yet? A day of badassery awaits!
I instituted a party policy
As an extroverted socializer in NYC, this was surprisingly easier to institute than I thought. I simply meet friends at 6 p.m. (6:30 p.m. latest) or at the weekend. Easy peasy. When you have a transparent 5 a.m. start, people get it. Some applaud it. Some are even fascinated by it.
I explain I have to exit by 8:30 p.m. I’m coming to realize not too much great stuff happens after then, anyway (you might save yourself a hangover, too)!
I created an environment worth waking up to
This is subtle, but it makes all the difference. When there’s coffee in the cupboard, milk in the fridge, a fancy candle to light and fresh fruit for smoothies, putting those feet on the floor first thing becomes a whole lot easier. A tidy, clutter-free apartment is the ultimate morning embrace from your home.
We all need enough shut-eye on the daily, yes. And sadly, it’s not up to us how much sleep we actually need. That’s why I choose my bedtime with intention. Because come late morning, when most people are getting fired up on their second or third coffee, I’m walking my pup in the park or winding down with the remote control.
Susie Moore is an author and confidence coach based in New York. She’s been featured in Oprah, Forbes, the Today Show and more. Sign up here for her free confidence boosting advice.