The Early Morning Gang

In today’s world- we hear lots of buzz around waking up early as a pre-cursor to success.  In a survey done by sleepopolis comprising 21 of the richest humans on the planet, it was discovered that over 60% started their days on or before the 6am window. We have the 5am gang [Jeff Bezos, Tim Armstrong and Jack Dorsey] or even earlier at 3.45am [Tim Cook]

Of course, some people are exceptions to this rule and even as they continue to toss and turn on their beds till 10.30am [Alexis Ohanian]. Despite this, in 7 out of 10 times we have seen that people who are ‘seen’ to ‘succeed’ follow this practice

Why join the Early Bird Gang [EBG]

There are a couple of reasons why you should consider joining the Early Bird Gang. Some, we already know and some may be interesting to see!

1)     Connect with your [self, purpose and higher Power]

 In an ever dynamic and rigorously challenging world, we could easily get lost in the operational issues we have to fix… that problem at work, that exam to study for, those kids to take care of, etc. This makes us ‘busy’ and tense and normally we may not have the time to meditate and thus connect with ourselves or our purpose or even our higher power- our creator: God

When we get into the Early Bird mindset, we can dedicate quality time [short but effective] early in the morning [before daybreak] to meditate without any distractions. Meditation has been proven to manage stress, enhance self-awareness whilst improving our mental emotional and physical health as well.

We get inspired as we get in touch with our spirituality when we dedicate our first experience in the morning to truly connecting with our ourselves, our purpose and our maker as this allows us to live consciously and live with intention vs instinctively, and creation vs consumption

2) Enhanced willpower from less internal resistance

Usually when we’re awake, our prefrontal cortex is hyper-active- doing what it does best: analyzing, worrying and trying to rationalize on inputs from the amygdala. However, this activity system is toned down significantly when you wake up early in the day as the serenity allows your prefrontal cortex to switch off temporarily. This is what medical science refers to as a state of “transient hypo frontality”.

According to Kate Hays author of ‘Psychology today’ blog; transient hypo frontality means that for a while, under certain conditions, the focused thinking part of our brain gets a rest. This allows other parts and functions to become more dominant. Furthermore, it encourages the release of dopamine and serotonin, which will activate feel good emotions and keep you operating at your peak levels

3) Accelerated productivity

As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works 8.8 hours every day, yet a study of nearly 2,000 full-time office workers revealed that most people aren’t working for most of the time they’re at work. With many distractions comprising online time to texting. etc we have 4hrs 22mins of unproductive time. This means if you take that out of the 8hrs 48mins of average worktime, you would have just 4hrs and 46mins of real time work from the average worker and less than 4hrs if you stick to the 8hr work window.

Waking up before daybreak improves your chances of raising productivity levels significantly behind this piece of info. The extra two hours you would get in the morning [assume you move from 7am to 5am] would pay out in spades as you would have less distractions from colleagues, family matters, kids. I have personally doubled my efficiency levels just by doing this and I still have time to do the things I love to do. Just carving out those 2hrs would come to around 728hrs of ‘kick a** productivity which would pay out in spades!

4) Lead the day the day will follow you!

Back in the days, during a workweek- anytime I would wake up 7am or after, I would feel like I was trying to play catch-up! This is due to the fact that the day would’ve already been ‘established’ and I would be following the day’s provisions vs enjoying the converse. When you join the EBG, you enjoy First Mover Advantage on the day as a bonus.

5) Helps you promote the right activity system [Habit]

When we get into the flow state of waking up early, we gradually begin the journey of substituting life changing habits into our daily drumbeats. Our brain simply needs this flow state to run overtime before it gets into the autopilot state. As explained by the author in the article “the Micro Step strategy”, this is basically the action of in-action is still a choice- just that this time around- it’s a subconscious choice. It can be explained in science as ‘Automaticity’ from the Greek adjective- automatos meaning self-acting

So, how can we get this engrained into our mainframe. How can we truly join the Early Bird Gang and reap the magnificent benefits:

Go to Bed Early

The saying goes- early to bed, early to rise…to get up early you would need to sleep off early whilst maintaining the right amount of sleep .7hours. An extreme case, Mark Wahlberg wakes up at 3am and goes to bed at 7pm―In his own words, “I wake up at 3am to work out for 2 hours, 7 days a week (bed at 7pm)”).

Cut down on screen time before bedtime

Most of us are guilty of this one. I just started keeping to this a few weeks ago and it’s been phenomenal. Two things I have enjoyed from this, 1. Speed at which I get to sleep and 2. The quality of sleep I enjoy when I’m asleep [visible as the post sleep experience]. An article from The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you should stop using electronic devices, like your cellphone, at least 30 minutes before bedtime to improve the quality of your sleep.

Intentionally disconnect from the pressures of the day

You will not get a good sleep if you’re still stuck on the activities of the day or brooding over the plans of tomorrow. To ensure you don’t have to do this, set up time earlier on in the day to review your day and plan for the next day. Consider substituting reading that book you’ve been outing away for a long time into the last 30mins before you sleep. Try this and see how the quality of your sleep will improve.

Be intentional

  1. Activate your intention to join the Early Bird Gang as a critical goal {as it really is]. Write this down, break into Micro Steps, visualize it and create a vision board to serve as a critical reminder. Also have an accountability partner to drive this with you.

Try this out and let me know the changes you experience. Ensure to try out for a minimum of 30days and watch how you will transform into a much more efficient human, with a better sense of purpose, beaming with confidence and enjoying better mental, emotional and physical health.

Sources / Further reading

Logan B, (2021): The Sleep Habits of Millionaires

Hays, F. (2017): The Edge: Peak Performance Psychology

Suni. E (2021): How to determine poor sleep quality. Sleep Foundation

Mathew, T., & Link, R; (2020): 12 Science Based Benefits of Meditation.  Healthline

Merle, A., (2020): This is how many hours you should really be working. Work life

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