The 4AM club

Wak­ing up early can bol­ster your per­sonal pro­duc­tiv­ity as well as your gen­eral state of mind and health. Here’s how to get an early start.

Finweek English Edition - - ON THE MONEY - By team

the ev­i­dence is in: The early bird does catch the worm. A num­ber of re­cent stud­ies have con­firmed that wak­ing up ear­lier can have a pro­found im­pact on ev­ery­thing from ca­reer achieve­ments to your waist­line.

Early ris­ers are more proac­tive. Ger­man re­search showed that peo­ple who like to wake up early are more in­clined to an­tic­i­pate prob­lems, and try to min­imise them, than night owls. They are also more likely to set long-term goals for them­selves.

A 2012 study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Psy­cho­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion’s jour­nal Emo­tion, found that those who go to bed ear­lier are gen­er­ally hap­pier and health­ier than those who stay up late. The study also found that morn­ing peo­ple are more de­ter­mined, agree­able, con­sci­en­tious, and co­op­er­a­tive.

An­other study, pub­lished in 2010, also linked a pref­er­ence for “evening ac­tiv­ity” with greater rates of de­pres­sion.

A 2014 study by the Univer­sity of Lon­don showed that evening peo­ple tended to drink and smoke more, and re­ported higher stress lev­els.

Sci­en­tists at North­west­ern Univer­sity also found that ear­lier ris­ers gen­er­ally have fewer prob­lems with their weight than those who go to bed later (who have am­ple time to raid their fridges).

A study by DePaul Univer­sity in Chicago showed that evening peo­ple are far more likely to be pro­cras­ti­na­tors.

Many of the world’s top busi­ness peo­ple get a very early start to the day: Star­bucks CEO Howard Schultz (4:30AM), GE CEO Jeff Im­melt (5:30AM), PIMCO co-founder Bill Gross (4:30AM), Vir­gin founder Richard Bran­son (5:45AM), Pep­siCo CEO In­dra Nooyi (4:00AM), Ap­ple CEO Tim Cook (4:30AM) and Dis­ney CEO Bob Iger (4:30AM).

They know that wak­ing up early can have a trans­for­ma­tive im­pact on your time man­age­ment and per­sonal pro­duc­tiv­ity.

It al­lows you to work with­out be­ing dis­turbed (no-one is around to email or call you, or di­vert your at­ten­tion with small talk or a funny video on Face­book), and you can get a lot of mean­ing­ful work done while you are still fresh and fo­cused.

It also gives you the time to prop­erly plan your day, and make sure that you know ex­actly what you want to take care of, says Stephen Beukes, a life coach and early riser in Cape Town. He gets up at 4AM ev­ery day – a habit he picked up from life at board­ing school. He uses the time to ex­er­cise, draw up a plan and agenda for the day and see clients be­fore they start their work­ing day.

But get­ting up ear­lier won’t come nat­u­rally for at least half of the pop­u­la­tion be­tween the ages of 30 and 50. The world is di­vided be­tween two so-called chrono­types: those who pre­fer evenings, and those who like morn­ings. This will change over your life­time: Most teenagers and younger peo­ple pre­fer the night time, but by the time you are in your fifties, most peo­ple will start to pivot to­wards morn­ings. While your chrono­type is partly de­ter­mined by ge­net­ics, it is be­lieved that the ma­jor­ity of peo­ple can be trained to be­come morn­ing types.

Here’s how to be­come more pro­duc­tive in the morn­ings:

Do it grad­u­ally. Don’t sud­denly set your alarm clock two hours ear­lier and ex­pect

Stephen Beukes Life coach and early riser

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.