Selfish at 5am

Being selfish at 5am is an important concept to those hustling on their dream.  Selfishness always sounds negative, but hear me out on this one.

What does it mean to be selfish at 5am?

Get up early every day to put in focused time to get things done.  Most people have more energy at the beginning on the day than at the end — me included.  I struggle to stay focused long enough to write a good blog post after a day at work.  Every once in a while, I flake out completely and miss posting.

Drive while your tank is full

Do your creative work when you have the most creative energy.  It takes energy to create.  It should be exhausting or you are not digging deep enough.

No interruptions

When is the last time a friend knocked on your door at 5am to “watch the big game?”  It doesn’t happen.  If you try to be creative in the evenings, you just opened yourself up to all kinds of interruption possibilities.  Every time your get stopped, it takes even more time to get back on track.

5 days is easier than 3 days

Consistency is king.  It is easier to go to the gym to work out 5 days a week than it is to go 3 days a week.  When you have a daily routine, your body is more efficient at getting started on what you are doing.  When you consistently hustle at the beginning of your day, you will produce more, higher quality work.

You’ll get better creative results spending 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week creating than spending 8 hours on Saturday.

Positive side effects

I have recognized over the last couple of months that I have a reflexive action to check email/twitter/facebook about every 15 minutes when I’m just hanging out.  There’s nothing to be gained from that.  Nothing is so time-sensitive that I need to respond within 15 minutes.  On a few occasions, I’ve told myself that I don’t want to check my email as I’m doing it.  Yes, I have a problem.

I’ve also been telling myself that I can put a good post together quickly and at the last minute.  I just need to take the time and it will be fine.  The quality suffers when I do that.

So why does working at 5am help?  I am getting things done before the last minute so there is no pressure to produce.  Since I know I’ve put the time in already, I can spend time with Liz without thinking about what I need to get done.  The computer is put away and I am present.

I feel like I have more time because the blocks of time I know I’m going to have are being put in the right order.  When the sequence is correct, you stop fighting against time.  I’ve literally added 45 minutes to my day.  I’ve added more than that by working with the flow rather than against it.

Want some help and encouragement to get up earlier? Subscribe to Andy Traub and Andy Andrews Early to Rise Challenge.

Is it time for you to be selfish at 5am?  What are your challenges?

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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  • Josh Bulloc

    I check twitter every 4 days, and I have filters set up so I only check certain emails every 6 days. I still need to work on checking facebook less.

  • Raun Lauterbach

    I like the idea of that, but I’m not sure I could do it. I’m getting better at stretching out the frequency of checking email and such, but I don’t think I could go days without checking.

  • Josh Bulloc

    It took me a while but I feel overwhelmed with everything if I don’t

  • Raun Lauterbach

    I can understand that. I think what I need to do next is unsubscribe to a bunch of stuff that I get but almost never actually read. That would clean up a bunch of mess.

  • Josh Bulloc

    I have to do that periodically