I’m very excited to share a guest post from another 5am Rockstar, Jemma Martin. Jemma is KILLING IT in both her business and personal life. She goes on a daily date – with herself – each morning that helps her plan, execute, and live life by her own design.
Daily Date – How waking at 5am boosts my performance
You’ve heard it before. Waking up at 5am can change your life. But how? Can changing the time you begin your day really make that much of an impact in your personal and professional life?
For me, the answer is simple: HELL YES.
I’ve been waking up at 5am for years, but not consistently. I’m not gonna lie, I go through ebbs and flows like everyone; times of peak motivation and lows of burnout and stress.
But through it all, this has remained a constant truth: My ability to wake up at 5am is a key indicator of my daily performance.
When I wake before the sun rises, I achieve more. I’m clearer, more focussed, produce better work and achieve far superior results than when I arise even 1 hour later, at 6am.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and discuss why this 60 minutes makes such an impact on my day:
1) The Discipline Muscle
Rising at 5am takes discipline. As a child growing up in an adults’ world, we exercised our discipline daily by following guidelines created by parents and teachers. That’s why we run amok when we move out and make our own rules. We’re finally in control.
But over the years this lack of structure can result in a lack of self-discipline. We drink too much, spend too much and make mistakes. How do we grow out of this phase? With self-discipline.
When I wake up at 5am, before the sun naturally wakes me up, it’s a sure-way to do a rep on my discipline muscle. I find this makes my decision-making muscle much stronger, particularly later in the day when I need it most. It helps me skip the afternoon cookie or not watch an episode on Netflix when I don’t really have the time.
2) Priorities – the Stress Indicator
Whatever action you first take in the morning, is your number one priority. It’s the nasty-truth we pretend isn’t real, but deep down we know that our first cognitive attention is going somewhere we place an enormous amount of value. We then build habits from this action.
When you wake up, are you checking emails on your phone – or kissing your love-ones good morning?
If I wake up and grab my phone before hugging my husband, it’s a clear indicator that I’m under an unhealthy amount of stress. If this happens, I listen to my body and cut back on any unnecessary tasks that week.
3) Produce Great Work
Our brains are clearer in the morning. At 5am we have less mental clutter clogging our creativity. This is a terrific time to achieve what we really want most. This will change over time – and that’s a good thing.
A couple years ago, getting into great physical shape was my primary focus. I was at the gym by 5.15am every day. It was the most important task on my to-do list. My mental and physical energy went into my
This changed when I began studying my MBA at university. I would get up at 5am and open my textbook immediately. This was now my primary focus and by the time I rolled into my office job at 9am, I had a few serious study hours under my belt.
Now I’m an entrepreneur and my most important goal is creating quality content for my community. I still study at university and I still hit the gym almost daily, but my peak mental energy is reserved for my most important task: my business.
Your brain is fresh at 5am. Devote your ‘peak thinking time’ to your most important task and reap the rewards.
“My ability to wake up at 5am is a key indicator of my daily performance.”
4) Follow through on commitment
We’ve all made promises that we haven’t lived up to. We make commitments to friends, family and colleagues, but it’s likely that the promises we fall short on are the commitments we make to ourselves.
When I tell myself, ‘I will wake up at 5am tomorrow’, I actually do it. When I give somebody my word, I honor it as a vow, and I show the same courtesy with myself.
This has a tickle-on affect in other areas of my life. When I promise myself that I will finish writing anarticle or send an email by a certain time, I don’t sit around doing fake busy-work. I execute my time towards the goals I have set for myself and follow-through with my intentions.
What has this surmounted to?
Looking back over the last 6 years, waking up at 5am has ultimately lead me to complete several tertiary qualifications, lose 39lbs and found a social enterprise – in addition working full-time, getting promoted and generally just loving life.
I see 5am as a daily date with myself and the world. It’s a place where I choose where I’m going and execute the tasks that get me there, with intention and clarity.
Do you wake up at 5am? Have you noticed a difference in your performance?
Jemma Martin loves to inspire people to think differently, create innovative solutions and take action for their professional future. She is the founder of Her Future Moves, a social enterprise creating accessible and affordable Women’s Professional Development. Jemma is an avid learner who enjoys traveling, connecting with new people and going out to brunch. Your can connect with Jemma on LinkedIn and find out more at Her Future Moves