For the last 200 years that I've been on this planet (damn, has it been that long?) I've come to realize that waking up early to "get shit done" is just about the worst fucking business advice I've ever followed.
Business gurus and motivational Meatheads like to tell you about the early bird getting the worm, and that a life of productivity starts at 5:30am.
"Start your day early so you can get tasks out of the way! You'll have more time to do other things!"
Um. How about no?
Because I've tried that early bird shit and it doesn't fucking work AT ALL for one of a few reasons.
1.) Waking Up Early Only Benefits People Who Work 9-5
If you like waking up at 5:30am, chances are you clock-in at work by 8:30-9.
"I'm up early because it makes me feel invigorated!"
No it doesn't lol. Short of injecting your arm with a double shot of Four Loko, you probably hate yourself at 6 in the morning.
Most people need a scalding hot shower and a fleet of alarm clocks to get up that early. If waking up were so fun, mattress companies would be out of business.
If you're up that early, it's because you need to be. Your boss told you to come in. You're probably stuck in traffic before and after work, you only get a few hours to chill at home after dinner, and by the time you've binged your 8th episode of Pawn Stars, you're sleepy. So the extra few hours you gain by waking up at 5:30 really only benefits if you have lots of shit to do that can't be done after work.
And that's okay if you work like this, but most people don't. Students with part-time jobs, stay-at-home parents who babysit throughout the day, swing shift waitresses, DJs who scratch at night, and anyone with the dreaded task of the closing shift at Macy's knows that 5:30am is bullshit. The mall isn't open at that time, school ain't in session, and no one is trying to party at 5:30.
Forreals though, I think people who feel obligated to get up at 5:30am (even though they don't have to) have an anxiety problem. If you think you need to be up that early and productive AF, then maybe you should evaluate why you feel so much pressure to get shit done when you should be in bed, dreaming about flying pickles n shit.
2.) Early Mornings Don't Work If Your Clients Are In Different Time Zones
Last night I had an interview with a martial arts coach from the Philippines. I spoke with him at 9am Filipino time but in my redneck of the woods (Texas), it was already 7pm.
If I got up too early, by 7pm I'd be dead tired, wanting nothing more than to slam my head into the pillow.
I don't know why, perhaps you can blame the collision of capitalism and our culture of over-productivity, but so many entrepreneurs like to romanticize working till you're physically exhausted, as if fatigue is some cryptocurrency you can exchange for free waffles or a goodie bag.
If your work requires you to be switched on at 9pm instead of 9am, then maybe it's best you sleep in and get some rest. Maybe you should stop giving a fuck about appearing productive and start actually optimizing your sleeping schedule to fit the times when you need to work the hardest.
Too many MFs like to look productive when really, they're not.
3.) All Of The Cool Shit On Social Media Happens At Night
Baby, I've tried the 5:30 grind and by 11am I'm tired, sexually frustrated, hungry, and in need of a nap. My work relies on social media and I can't be social if no one else is online to shower me with attention.
This ain't just a "hunch," these are straight car facts. Peak times for social media use are in the afternoon. For my platform specifically, shit pops off between 6-9pm. That's when comment sections are LIT and when it's most advantageous to jump into the conversation.
But if you're up at 5:30, who you chatting with? Your grandma? The fucking paper boy?
Get your ass online when everyone else is. Be online when people are livestreaming, debating, tweeting at Nazis, and sharing cool shit on IG stories. Don't just observe the discussion, join it. There's so much life on social media at night, and to truly capitalize on that sweet, sweet engagement, you gotta be up with all the other cool kids.