Yet another article about the virtue of early rising.
Tl;Dr: as regards my personal experience, early rising raises my global energy level, and helps me go through the various challenges of daily life (shame and guilt especially). Oh and of course, it gives me choices over everything.
However, I definitely think of all habits, this is the first defining one to adopt.
I think that rather than writing a kind of “pro-early rising manifesto”, which you can find pretty much anywhere on the Internet, I can describe a bit better the differences from me between an early rising day (4–5 a.m) and a “normal day” (7–9 a.m).
On a normal day, I generally get into a real hurry. As my commuting time is quite long, I often have to renounce going to the office due to the fact that it does not appear as convenient enough. Or as I arrive “late” (9/10), I also leave late (6–7 p.m).
Actually my all day feels a little bit rushed and unplanned. I move on from one urgent task to one another, in the order I recall them or they impose upon me. Timing is essential when you are releasing an album, and when you set a rhythm to your company (1 video per week in our case, 1 original song per month). So that means though you have a simple and iterative checklist, you always need to make adjustments.
Generally I come back from work around 8 p.m — 9 p.m. I cook, chill a little, and as I have worked a lot, I feel like I need to ‘enjoy a bit”. I end up sleeping late and hoping for the week end to come soon.
That’s a normal day.
On an early rising day, the routine is quite different.
Since I wake up with the feeling of ‘having more time”, I can take some time for meditation. I will explain later on why this is an important step.
I will then prepare according to the same routine as in a “late-rising day”. But this time, when I wonder whether I should go to the office or not, it becomes a matter of choice, and not a matter of time. Perhaps this day I have no particular meeting? Or perhaps I feel like moving outside? Anyway, it feels much less forced.
As I get to commuting, a late bus or train will not bother me. “More time for reading /writing /thinking /listening to music!”
At any rate, it will soften my emotions, which will prove useful in the next sequence.
You might think leading a start up is a dream job. For me it’s more being a captain on a pirate ship, except the ship seems not to move according to navigation rules that are yet to discover.
Anyway, my days are stressful. Not to complain, but I need to state that. I don’t know for other countries but in France, most people who want to obtain something from you after an initial refusal will try to use guilt and shame to make you change your mind. That comes from an educational system in which those two emotions are often used. Public shaming especially. But that is not the point.
The point is that resisting those feelings when you are a pure product of this educational system is a key asset to success. And when you are an early riser, you have an advantage: you manage your time.
When I get to my office (1 to 2 hours before the normal time), I an all alone. At 7/8 a.m, nobody is there to engage into small talk. I can review all the current projects, and choose either what stimulates me most (“I have thought of this amazing project. How could I make that happen?”) or on the contrary, what stimulates me less (Administrative stuff for me).
That also means that you can also spend some time to backup late projects, send reminders to your colleagues, re-think some strategies. Or simply prepare for the incoming challenges of the day.
And when sometimes try to use guilt or shame over you, you deflect it mentally like a Jedi deflecting a blaster shot.
As I arrive early, I will not feel any kind of guilt when I leave, as I actually know my day has been effective. I can even take a bit of time to clean up the mess of my own desk (yes, really).
As I get back earlier, I can enjoy my time in a more pleasant way: some workout, walking, reading. In fact that makes it meaningful.
And I end up getting to bed early because I feel like “I got my day”.
The funny thing is that actually despite all the “subjective lateness” I feel I accumulate over time (while writing this article my bus and metro accumulated together around 20 minutes for instance), I don’t feel it in the same way I do on a normal day, in which time is more critical. And interestingly enough, my objective lateness is in fact less significant than I generally think (I am actually only 5 minutes late on my initial timing, due to the fact my final train is an express and not an omnibus as the one I generally take. How cool is that?).
Anyway, early rising, in my case, raises my global energy level (I feel much more resilient and prepared), gives me choices, and makes me happier (enjoying the sun rising is a miraculous experience you owe to yourself!). And most importantly for me, it removes feelings of guilt and shame people try to manipulate me with, and helps me keeping focused on meaningful goals!