Don’t listen to those productivity gurus: why waking up at 6am won’t make you successful

Aytekin Tank
The Startup
Published in
7 min readMay 9, 2018


Originally published on JOTFORM.COM

If you want to be successful, many experts and life-hackers say you should:

  • Wake up at 6 am
  • Take a cold shower
  • Exercise
  • Meditate
  • Journal and brainstorm
  • Review and set goals
  • Read news and industry sites
  • Consume inspiring content
  • Eat a protein-rich breakfast

Whew. That’s a lot to accomplish before 8 am.

I’m not sure when the dogma of morning routines began to spread, but suddenly, these mile-long checklists are everywhere — especially in the startup world.

Routines can be great, but I think there’s a misplaced emphasis on morning.

Everyone has different peak hours. If you want to enhance your productivity, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, or if you go for a run at 6 am or 6 pm.

Instead, it’s up to you to make the most of your day, and to learn when you work and feel your best. Brian Tracy calls this your prime time:

“Your internal prime time is the time of day, according to your body clock, when you are the most alert and productive.”

Harnessing your prime time can supercharge your productivity. You’ll be more effective and avoid wasting precious time and energy.

I’ve spent 12 years growing JotForm from a small idea to a company with over 100 employees and 3.5 million users. Working with my natural rhythms (which I discovered through trial and error) has been the cornerstone of that growth.

Tackling the most important, most strategic work during my prime time enables me to stay motivated, make steady progress, and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Most importantly, I still love what I do.

When I harness my peak hours, I’m excited to go to the office every day — and I want the same for you.

How to map your magic hours



Aytekin Tank
The Startup

Founder and CEO of || Bestselling author of Automate Your Busywork. Find more at (contact: