Learn how to succeed early and make the most of the first hour of your day with The 5 AM Club summary.
Learn how to succeed early and make the most of the first hour of your day with The 5 AM Club summuthor, Robin Sharma introduced The 5 am Club concept over twenty years ago. Sharma’s 5 am club is based on a revolutionary morning routine that has helped his clients maximize their productivity and activate their best health.
The three key lessons from The 5 AM Club are:
- The solitude of 5 am will help your brain work at it’s best
- To fully utilize 5 am, you need to sleep
- Use the 20/20/20 formula to get the most out of your morning.
Lesson One: The solitude of 5 am will help your brain work at it’s best
Think of your cognitive capacity like a phone battery. You start at 100% and slowly throughout the day, your battery runs out before charging it again overnight.
Waking up at 5 am ensures that you spend time on one high-level activity without distraction. In a world of constant distraction, this is so important.
Also, at a peaceful 5 am start, the part of your brain which tackles rational thought, the pre-frontal cortex is inactive. This means that you stop over-analyzing everything and you stop worrying.
This combined with the dopamine hit of sunrise ensures that you automatically enter a state of flow, where your brain is working at it’s best.
This state of flow means that you will be more focused and more productive throughout the day, not just in the morning.
Lesson two: To fully utilize 5 am, you need to sleep
I know what you’re thinking…. yes, 5 am is fucking early.
So, in order to make sure you’re a functioning human at 5 am, you need rest.
In fact, the curse of the side-hustler and entrepreneur is that you try to hustle your way though life, and sleep becomes less of a priority.
But to work effectively, you need to understand that growth doesn’t just happen through the work phase, it also happens through the recovery phase.
Talk to any farmer, or even any bodybuilder.
Their growth doesn’t happen in the hours they’re working, the development also happens during recovery.
The same is true for any high performer. You cannot work at the same efficiency 24 hours a day. In fact, you probably become busier but less effective.
So, you need to make sure that you are fully rested so you can make the most of the hours that you are working.
To ensure you are rested, stop using devices at 8 pm. Yes, 8 pm.
The blue light that comes from screens is a key contributor to disrupting sleep. Instead, read, talk to loved ones, meditate, exercise… whatever you need to do.
From there, look to go to bed at no later than 10 pm, so you can be ready to produce at 5 am the next day.
Lesson three: Use the 20/20/20 formula to get the most out of your morning
So even if you do wake up early, what is to say you don’t waste most of it scrolling though social media and checking emails?
The best way to combat wasting your extra hour, is to use the 20/20/20 formula.
That means for your hour, you should look to move for 20 minutes, reflect for 20 minutes, and grow for 20 minutes.
Look to exercise for 20 minutes as it helps your mind think more clearly; Sweat gets rid of cortisol, which is the hormone of fear. Sweat also produces protein BDNF, which repairs brain cells and quickens the formation of neural connection. So, sweat literally makes you think better!
From there, look to reflect. This can be in form of a journal and a mediation session. Using the quiet time to be alone with your thoughts grounds you for the day.
Finally, look to grow and learn something. This could be reading a book, watching a documentary, listening to a podcast, or any other activity which helps you learn.
The proper response to life is applause.’ ~William Carlos Williams
The Gradual Method
The best method for changing the time you wake up is to do it gradually — 10-15 minutes earlier for 2-4 days, until you feel used to it, and then repeat. If you get up at 8 a.m. normally, don’t suddenly change it to 6 a.m. Try 7:45 a.m. first.
3 Steps to Actually Get Up
So you’ve set your alarm for 10-15 minutes earlier than normal, and maybe got through the first few days, then set it another 10-15 minutes earlier, and soon you’re at 30-45 minutes earlier than usual … but now you have the tendency to hit the snooze alarm and stay in bed (sometimes awake) without getting up.
Here’s how to beat that in 3 steps:
- Get excited. The night before, think of one thing you’d like to do in the morning that excites you. It could be something you want to write, or a new yoga routine, or meditation, or something you’d like to read, or a work project that’s got you fired up. In the morning, when you wake up, remember that exciting thing, and that will help motivate you to get up.
- Jump out of bed. Yes, jump out of bed. With enthusiasm. Jump up and spread your arms wide as if to say, “Yes! I am alive! Ready to tackle the day with open arms and the gusto of a driven maniac.” Seriously, it works.
- Put your alarm across the room. If it’s right next to you, you’ll hit the snooze button. So put it on the other side of the room, so you’ll have to get up (or jump up) to turn it off. Then, get into the habit of going straight to the bathroom to pee once you’ve turned it off. Once you’re done peeing, you’re much less likely to go back to bed. At this point, remember your exciting thing. If you didn’t jump out of bed, at least stretch your arms wide and greet the day.
What to Do When You Get Up
First, things not to do with your newfound early-morning time: don’t check email, news, social media, blogs. Don’t waste this new time doing the same thing you always do.
Here are some other things that are better, in my experience:
- Drink a glass of water. You’re dehydrated from not drinking any water all night. Drink a full glass of water if you can. It’ll make you feel more awake.
- Meditate. Even just for 3 minutes. It’s such a great way to start your day — doing nothing, just sitting, and practicing mindful focus.
- Write. Or do some other kind of creating.
- Exercise. Go for a walk or a run, or do a home workout. Even just 10 minutes.
- Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. Either one of these makes the morning better.