As a night person myself this sometimes is really hard for me but I try to stick to the routine as good as I can. In his book Tools of Titans author, entrepreneur and “human guinea pig” Tim Ferriss published an interview with retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, who swears by getting up early in the morning. You can read about his routine in this businessinsider article.

I struggled a lot with my personal rhythm before getting the inspiration. While following my natural rhythm I would constantly stay up late but would force myself to get up at normal business hours to work with my customers and peers. That often meant staying up until 3 or even 4 in the morning and getting up around 8 a.m. Doing this several days in a row surely leaves its mark. Many of those days over several months leaves you a mess.

By getting up early (4:30 whenever possible) several beautiful things happen:

  • at that time you get several hours of absolute silence to be productive (or take care of your body/mind)
  • once you cross into the usual business morning hours it sets a natural end to your morning routine, as you have to tend to your usual commitments – no more open ended nights because I just powered through
  • you automatically develop a very regular schedule that I quickly became to love
  • I now have the habit of not working in the evening/at night most days – I love and always look forward to the routines I adopted instead.

Some personal observations:

  • Try to get at least 6 hours of sleep per night. I know if need be 4 hours or less will be fine for one or two nights, but that really is not something you want to experience regularly. Getting up that early is definitely the hardest thing for me as that means going to bed around 9 pm. When I stay up until 10 or 11 pm (sadly quite often – but you cannot control your inner circadian rhythm it seems) I try to get up later accordingly.
  • The second hardest for me was to realize and make use of the following realization: Any work you commit to being finished in the end of a day you can push into the early morning hours of the next day. It does not make any difference for the person waiting if you send the email past 11 pm or before 6 am.
  • Over the last 10+ years I never received any noteworthy notification at night. Even if I get to answer this one precious message at a later time I will happily accept the consequences. A healthy and well rested mind is just that more precious.
  • With summer/winter time where I currently live the early morning routine is easier in the summer months as I tend to get up easier with sun.
  • The routine is the basis of one of my most valued MOs: sunrise till sunset

You can follow the #0445club hashtag on twitter to get inspired by others.