I’ve been making it a habit of waking up at 4am for over 10 years now. My wife will tell you that this habit sometimes wanes. And I never do it at the weekend. And, surprisingly, it never gets as easy as people think it would.
I was in a meeting with someone a few weeks ago. He asked why he got an email from me at 4:30. I mentioned that I wake up very early to get things done. I usually try not to make a big deal about this kind of thing. He said what everyone says: “Oh, I couldn’t do that. I’m not a morning person.”
Believe it or not. I’m not a morning person, either. I never have been. I would much rather stay up until 3am than get up at 4am. But it is not about the type of person I am. . . it is about the type of person I want to be. And that’s hard sometimes.
To be honest, the first hour of the morning is not my most productive. Between 4 and 5 o’clock, I’m pretty grumpy. I get moody. I need a few cups of coffee before I can function. But here’s the problem . . . when I get up at 7am, I’m grumpy then too. The early wake-up affords me the opportunity to be grumpy in peace.
And why not just stay up late like normal people? Here’s what I find: when you stay up late, you alienate your family. The night starts in the early evening and carries on until the wee hours. You don’t go to bed at the same time. But when you wake up at 4, no one cares what you are doing. You could be robbing banks for all they care.
Waking up this early is not easy. Still, after all these years, it’s not easy. It’s easier than it was in the beginning, but I was very tempted to turn off that alarm this morning.
But it is not about the person I am . . . it’s about the person I want to be. And that person I want to be needs a few more hours.