5 Reasons Why You Should Get Up Early

People who wake up early have a real productivity advantage. It's no secret that some the world's greatest thinkers and achievers have been early risers. For instance, serial entrepreneur Richard Branson gets up at 5:45 am every morning. The current CEO of Apple gets up 4:30 am, and Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks drinks his first cup of coffee at 6 am. You've heard the old adage, 'The early bird gets the worm.' Well, it's true. Here are five reasons why you should get up early.

1. Get in the zone

Have you ever been so absorbed in an activity that every action, every movement, and every thought seemed to follow inevitably on from the previous one? Your whole being was involved and you found yourself using your skills to the utmost. This is 'being in the zone.' Picture famous athletes doing what they do best. They are completely consumed by their performance on the field, track or on the court.


By now, the myth of multi-tasking has been blown well and truly out of the waters of popular conception. It simply doesn't exist. When we try to multitask our brains are constantly switching back and forth between those tasks, but to truly achieve we need to dedicate time to focus on one thing. The early-riser environment is usually devoid of other people, which means you have the peace and quiet to concentrate deeply on whatever task you choose to undertake. In other words, you can get 'in the zone.'


2. Offset ego depletion

Ego depletion is a term coined by scientists and it refers to the tendency for our willpower to be accessible in limited amounts only. Think of your willpower as if it is a car battery. As you go throughout the day you are continually exerting your willpower, resisting temptations, filtering distractions, suppressing emotions, restraining aggression, trying to impress others, implementing new behaviours, doing things we don't like etc. All of these things decrease our willpower, or in other words, our battery loses its charge.


Have you ever had a day at work where you've been irritated and everything seems to be going wrong, then when you get home you find yourself angrily snapping at your partner? Or otherwise taking your frustrations out on someone else? This is because your willpower is low and its harder for you to resist the urge to respond in a negative way.


The same applies to a day of hard, labour-intensive work. When you get home all you want to do is kick back and watch TV and avoid anything that involves exerting your willpower. Of course, the physical tiredness plays a role, but more than that, the mental fatigue you've experienced throughout the day is also taking a toll. So, if you can do your most intensive and important tasks early in the morning when your willpower reserves are full, you'll find you are way more productive than if you try those same tasks in the afternoon or evening.


3. Take advantage a morning ritual

Getting up early gives you time to create and enjoy your very own morning ritual. This includes doing the same activities every single day. It could be meditating for twenty minutes, exercising and eating a healthy breakfast before you begin working on your most important task. Over time, your morning ritual will become a habit. Habits shape us. They become component factors of our subconscious minds. In the long-term, even small, constructive habits can have a huge, positive impact on our health and wellbeing, on our attitude and outlook on life, and on our lives in general.


People who get up early and perform a carefully thought-out morning ritual are actively dictating the day that lies ahead. If you're waking up late, rushing into the bathroom then dashing to get to work, you are not dictating your day. Rather, you are letting the day dictate you.


4. Use the time to think and plan

The fourth reason why you should get up early is perhaps the most important. Waking before everyone else gives you time to sit and think and plan. You can use the quiet time to be alone with your thoughts and see if you are on the right track towards achieving your goals. You can reflect on your past and your future, you can take the opportunity to examine your values and ethics, and your personal metrics. Be honest with yourself. Are you going in the direction you want to go?


Each and every one of us needs to spend time on our own. For a lot of people, this 'alone time' takes the form of a vacation with one or two weeks off work. Which can be great, but the effects quickly wear off when they return to the daily grind. But if you wake up early you can enjoy the same benefits every single day.


5. Build a psychological advantage

This last reason to rise earlier is a bit of a selfish one. There's something about waking up before sunrise that fills us with a kind of intrinsic motivation and gives us an advantage over others. Think of a heavyweight boxer out running in the dark before dawn. He knows he is going to win his next fight because he is training harder than his opponent, who at that time of the morning, is probably still in bed.


You can get that same psychological advantage when you wake up at say, 4 am or 5 am every morning by simply knowing that the majority of your work colleagues are all still in bed. And you can accomplish more in the first three hours than most people accomplish in an entire day.



Getting up early gives you more control over your life. It means you can choose the activities you want to do, whether it's concentrating on an important task, or working on your health and fitness, you decide. Of course, you might have to go to work later on or engage yourself elsewhere throughout the day, but those first few early hours of the morning are yours to use however you please. Why not use them to your own advantage?






Leave a Reply