Can getting up earlier help your career?

Some of the world’s most successful people get up early. Richard Branson reportedly gets up at 5.45, LinkedIn Executive Chairman Jeff Weiner wakes up at 5.30am, Apple CEO Tim Cook gets up at 3.45am, Oprah gets up at 6am and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is already in the gym at 4am, to name just a few.

50% of self-made millionaires and 90% of executives get up before 6am, or 3 hours before their workday begins, in order to engage in activities like exercise, dog walking, meditation, reading the news, checking email, eating a healthy breakfast and getting their kids ready for school.

We explore the benefits of getting up early and how it could help you be more successful too.

It allows you to get a head start on the day

Ever wondered why some people always find the time to do things like going to the gym, socialising after work, making a healthy packed lunch and engaging in career boosting activities like taking a short course? Could it simply be because they have given themselves a few extra hours to do it in by getting up earlier than the rest of us?

Be more proactive

Morning people are more proactive, studies have shown. Being proactive is defined as “the willingness and ability to take action and change a situation to [your] advantage” and is a skill considerably more predominant in those who get up early, says renowned biology professor, Christoph Randler.

You avoid sleep inertia

Many of you will have experienced that groggy feeling that comes from when you haven’t woken up naturally – you’re jerked from sleep by your alarm clock and continue through the rest of the day half-asleep. When we wake up naturally, this grogginess only lasts about 15 minutes. If we’re woken up suddenly by an alarm clock while we are still in a deep sleep state, sleep inertia can last for several hours, impairing our abilities to make decisions, be productive, remember things and pay attention. Combat this by training your body and brain to wake up earlier, making sure you get out of this groggy state long before you have to clock in at the office.

You get a positive start to the day

There are huge advantages that come with not starting your day by jumping out of bed and rushing to work. Instead, starting your day with the peace and quiet and spending time by yourself can give you a peace of mind that continues throughout the rest of the day. Create time for yourself and engage in something positive like exercise, eating a good breakfast, a creative pursuit, or meditation.