How to wake up early

For a very long time, I have hidden behind the "I'm not a morning person" excuse. But no more.


The purpose of this very first LVRGD report is not argue against the fact that there might be some different chronotypes or that some people are more productive at different times of the day.


The purpose of this page is to be pragmatic and to help people wake up earlier if this is what they are trying to achieve. If you're happy waking up at 8AM or later, I have no problem with that.


The main motto of this blog will always be: Find what works for you.  And do more of that.

Table of contents

  • Why getting up early is important.
  • My Experiment: waking at 5 AM for a full year.
  • On motivation, discipline and setbacks.
  • Optimize your sleep to wake up more easily.
  • Morning Priming: optimizing the first 5 minutes.
  • Morning Priming: optimizing the first 30 minutes.
  • Avoiding the Miracle Morning Trap.
  • The Checklist

Why should we get up earlier?

Giving ourselves an extra hour (or much more, depending on your ambition, profile, constraints) is the equivalent of the personal finance advice to "pay yourself first".


Sure, you can always be very disciplined with your money and budgeting and always save the right amount of money at the end of the month, but it's much easier to take care of the saving part first.


I believe that the same advice is valid for time management. Pay yourself first with 1,2,3 hours, as much as necessary, to take care of what matters first. 


Waking up earlier to become more productive brings up two questions: how do we define "what's important" and how do we make sure that we have enough energy (and are not total 5AM zombies) to work on what's important?

We wake up earlier because:

  • Whether we like it or not, most of us have less energy at the end of the day than at the start. Less energy means less discipline. Lack of energy is a much bigger problem than lack of time.
  • Because there less interruptions (phone calls, meetings, notifications, emails, etc.) at 5:30AM than at 9AM
  • Because waking up earlier means that we have to go to bed earlier and to focus on our sleep quality. In the long run, this unlocks a lot of health benefits.

Waking up at 5AM every day, for 365 days straight

Giving ourselves an extra hour (or much more, depending on your ambition, profile, constraints) is the equivalent of the personal finance advice to "pay yourself first".


Sure, you can always be very disciplined with your money and budgeting and always save the right amount of money at the end of the month, but it's much easier to take care of the saving part first.


I believe that the same advice is valid for time management. Pay yourself first with 1,2,3 hours, as much as necessary, to take care of what matters first. 


Waking up earlier to become more productive brings up two questions: how do we define "what's important" and how do we make sure that we have enough energy (and are not total 5AM zombies) to work on what's important?

Give yourself at least 90 days

  • Whether we like it or not, most of us have less energy at the end of the day than at the start. Less energy means less discipline. Lack of energy is a much bigger problem than lack of time.
  • Because there less interruptions (phone calls, meetings, notifications, emails, etc.) at 5:30AM than at 9AM
  • Because waking up earlier means that we have to go to bed earlier and to focus on our sleep quality. In the long run, this unlocks a lot of health benefits.