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Poll Results – What Time Do You Wake Up?

First off, thanks to all of you who contributed to the recent poll on what time you arise in the morning.

The results:

Highest Amount of Votes – 44% arise between 5:00am and 6:00am
2nd Most Votes – 34% arise between 6:00am and 7:00am
3rd Most Votes – 13% arise after 7:00am
4th Most Votes – 6% arise before 5:00am

I don’t think the results are too surprising. I teeter between the 2nd (between 6 and 7) and 3rd (after 7). I’d say on average I wake around 6:45am. I work from home (when I’m not traveling) and typically make some coffee, hang with the family for 20 minutes (if they’re up) and then get my work day started by 7:30 or 7:45. My goal, however, is to arise earlier than this. I’m impressed and jealous when I hear people talk about waking at 5:00am, working out, then getting a head start on their day. I think this is awesome.

My brother wakes up at 4:45am everyday. He starts his day with an intense workout and catches up on some work items. By 6:30am, he has a head start on his day and the confidence that comes from getting after it. I love this. Talk about getting in the zone and having “the edge” throughout your day. Some other successful people you may of heard about that awake early – John Gruden (when he was coaching used to wake at 3:17am everyday – ok, kind of crazy) and Jim Cramer (around 4:00am). I’m sure there are countless others.

One of my big intentions early this year is to wake earlier to get that “edge”. The key is to take this in small steps. It’s not to go from 6:45 to 5:00 in one day. That’s the New Year’s Resolution curse waiting to happen. My plan is to do this in 6 weeks. By Feb 15th, I will be waking by 5:00am everyday (Yep, I just threw that out there). The first step (or Next Action) is to wake everyday this week at 6:30am. Next week, I will move to 6:15. Look for some updates in the coming weeks.

I heard someone say a couple years ago that every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two and every hour of work before noon is worth two. Seems to make sense to me.

As always, would love to hear your thoughts. Have you ever changed your wake schedule? If so, what made you successful? What were your challenges?

Some links on this topic from other writers that may be of interest:

This Post Has 49 Comments

  1. Hi. I've recently taken up rising early (04:50) and manage to empty squeeze in some work before my 4 year old and girlfriend wakes up at around 06.30

    For me It's not difficult to wake up, it's difficult to go to bed. There are so many reasons to stay up until 02.00…. Internet surfing, Xbox 360, movies… If I could manage on 4 hours I'd be very happy.

    As a father I am used to getting by on 6 hours. So 11pm – 05.00 pm is my goal.

    Feel free to take a look at my GTD blog at, I'm "white belt" but working out real hard -)

  2. Glenn – Thanks for the comments. I hear you on the 'father' thing. I have a 2 year old and an 8 month old….full night of sleep are rare. You must get a lot of focused work done that early. That's awesome. I aim to get there, as you read. All the best. I checked out your blog by the way…good stuff.

  3. Am I the only guy around here who prefers vampire hours? The "early to bed, early to rise" model never fit me; I've been wired for late nights since I was a kid. In fact, I've done some of my best work in all-nighters, and the only thing I ever gained from unavoidably early starts was to be totally exhausted by noon.

    All that said, I'm getting to bed earlier and earlier these days and I'm actively trying to join the early riser camp. I turn 50 this year, and the all-nighters aren't quite as easy to pull these days!

  4. I can relate to Greg. I believe everyone has a different time clock – times in the day when they are more creative or productive. I have always been a night owl and would prefer to bake a banana bread or work on taxes at 1 a.m. than to get up early to do it.

    My father is retired and has followed his natural rhythm – he gets up at 10 a.m. and goes to bed at 3 a.m. You can just see the energy coming from him starting at 11 at night….

    I will say that I prefer to get up early to work out so I have it done for the day. But baking or calculating, nah, I'll wait till the evening.

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