How Becoming an Early Riser Changed My Outlook on Life & Success

People think I am crazy.

Every day, by 4 or 5 am, I am awake and getting started on my to-do list. It has changed my life, my outlook and my productivity. 

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By the time I get to my first class or internship, I have between 4 to 6 hours of work in the books. That’s nearly ¾ of a typical 9-5 work day done before 9:00 a.m. While my peers are dragging themselves to their 8:00 a.m. class in sweatpants, I’ve crossed off at least half of the day’s to-do list. 

 I saw a tweet from Elon Musk the other day that pretty much summed it up for me:

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According to CNBC, Musk pulls anywhere from 80 to 120 hours per week. Beyond the dedication and commitment to his brain child, Tesla and Spacex, Musk sets a tone for the motivated entrepreneurs of our generation. While his habits do raise questions regarding how well you can function on so little sleep, I believe he has a point. Beginning any new dream or passion takes grit. It takes time to build a brand or a company. It’s not easy and you need those extra hours like never before. You have to decide what sacrifices are worth making and that may mean lacking a social life and free time for the first few years. 

He is not the only one to adhere to a regimen of long hours and early mornings. Jim Cramer, my favorite caffeinated and sleep-deprived Wall Street guru, does the same. His schedule is overwhelming and awe inspiring to say the least. His day starts at 3:45 a.m. and he is scheduled until at least 6:30 p.m. every day. His routine provides stability and allows for him to accomplish an innumerable number of tasks each day. 

According to Forbes, there’s science behind the claims. Those who wake up on the early side have been shown to anticipate setbacks, get better grade and be more proactive and optimistic individuals. And, they get to avoid rush hour.

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If you reach a point where you feel worked to the bone, but have lost your passion, fire and drive, then it might be time to reassess your goals. However, if you find yourself feeling accomplished, albeit exhausted, you are on the right path. 

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect WORTHIE’s values.