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How great entrepreneurs sleep fast, wake up early & take care of their human needs
Did you know that by the time our alarm goes off at 8 am, Sheryl Sandberg has already dropped her kids to school, Elon Musk has already tackled some of his most critical emails and the Chrysler Fiat CEO has already updated himself on the latest news from the European markets?
While you don’t necessarily have to be up at 4 AM to be successful, a healthy, consistent early morning routine can greatly improve your mood, performance and productivity. So we asked our community of founders and influencers whether they agree that great entrepreneurs sleep fast and get up very early. Here’s what the LAMAers said:
1. Waking up early can help you plan your day
“As a person who works in a startup, goes to college and tries to have a life, I can see why this perception of sleeping fast and waking up early seems off-base. But I think it is completely correct. My tip on how you can make the most of your day is to sleep at around 11pm, wake up by 7am, and plan out your day. I plan out my meals. I plan out when I have my meetings. When I should have a break or a nap. Because if you don’t plan this out within your day, you will forget.”
“I think great entrepreneurs take care of themselves. In order for me to be productive, I meditate in the morning. I do not have a lot of time to do it during the day because it’s so busy. But if I am a stressed out entrepreneur or boss, I am going to be horrible to be around. I am not going to produce what I am capable of producing. Meditation, 30-minute power naps, going out to lunch is important. So finding out those things that bring you back to the human world so that you are not a machine.”
“My day is organised in 3 parts. First of all, a little bit sports, healthy breakfast and meditation. Second part is concentrating on my clients and selling services. The last part is taking care of administrative stuff but only when I have taken care of all the important things of the day.”
I love this question. It’s a matter of priorities. I still sleep 7ish hours a night. I exercise daily. I cook most days so I can eat healthy and get proper nutrition. I take time to meditate everyday even while working 12–14 hours a day. It’s important to have that balance. Proper nutrition gives you energy throughout the day. Proper sleep helps you recharge both your muscles (after exercise) but your brain as well. You have to sort out all the different thoughts. You need to take time to appreciate who you are and what you are doing and take a step out of the flow. To be present in the moment. And be grateful for all the gifts that you have and the position that you are in. If it feels like it’s impossible for you to make time for all the things, do an evaluation of where your time is going. Are you distracted too much during the day? Every email you get, is there a popup, a text message, that is pulling you away from your flow. Is that taking away from your bandwidth and controlling how much you are able to contribute. So maybe it’s a matter of moving distractions so that the time that you are focused, you can be more effective in it.”
5. Sleeping early can help you get off caffeine and redbull
“If you sleep enough, you’ll be surprised at how productive you are. If you miss the window of opportunity at night and stay up ploughing through the night, you always end up waking up at around the same time because you have to get up and go to work. Your body has a rhythm. And because of this, you are actually depriving your body of sleep. When I do that, I have found for myself is that I end up pushing the pencils around but not get anything done. So if you really want to be productive during the day and take care of your human needs, then make sure you get at least 7–9 hours of sleep. Anything less than 7 hours can be detrimental to your health. If you listen to your body at the time that it’s tired and you want to go to to bed and you will realise how productive you are the next day. You will not need any stimulants, coffee or redbull in order to keep you going though the day. “
6. Waking up early can give you time to journal & visualise
“I’ve tried the principle of 10–10–10 where the first thing you do when you wake up is 10 minutes of reading, 10 minutes of meditating and 10 minutes of exercise. I read another book called the Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod that also talks about how you can make the most of your morning by taking care of your self-care things. Things like affirmations, journaling, visualising your day or your future. I have made it a habit to do them as often as I can.”
7. Waking early gives you more time to get things done!
“When you wake up early, you have more time to achieve your results. I come up with lists of what I want to achieve for the year, for the month, for the week and for the day. It reminds me of what to do next and keeps me on track. I wake up at 5:30 in the morning and do the hardest tasks first because my mind is most awake.”
Still not a big fan of the early morning grind? Many artists and creatives get more work done in the wee hours of the night! If you are a night owl and have a completely different schedule, then share it with us on the Lama app. Our global community of entrepreneurs would love to hear how you are making your dreams a reality!