Apple CEO Tim Cook starts his day at 3:45 a.m. Here’s why you shouldn’t miss the boat on this new trend.
A few days ago, I shared my thoughts on what billionaire entrepreneurs do to stay productive in their spare time.
What I didn’t know is that there’s a recent productivity trend on the rise. A number of successful leaders and entrepreneurs, I have found, are declaring that they are most productive while the majority of us are still under the covers in a deep sleep.
The 4 a.m. productivity shift.
A new report published in the Wall Street Journal says that 4 a.m. may be the most productive time of the day. The reasons behind the increased productivity at such an ungodly hour include:
Minimal distractions (like kids or work) before the sun rises.
No one is emailing or texting you.
There’s less to see on social media.
Productivity in this context may not necessarily be work-related. The trend seems to be pointing toward reserving this “sacred time” for things that will energize you and set you up for success the rest of the day — self-care, exercise, family time, personal growth, and spiritual connection.
Among the most famous executives who are coming out to say 4 a.m. is the way to go:
Tim Cook: The Apple CEO actually starts his morning routine at 3:45 a.m.
Sallie Krawcheck: The chief executive of Ellevest has written, “I’m never more productive than at 4 a.m.”
Richard Branson: The billionaire entrepreneur actually wakes up a tad later, at 5 a.m., to exercise and spend time with family. He says it “puts me in a great mind frame before getting down to business.”
Michelle Gass: The former president of Starbucks EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Russia, Africa) and now chief merchandising and customer officer at Kohl’s department stores, sets her alarm for 4:30 a.m. to go running.
David Cush: The Virgin America CEO wakes up at 4:15 a.m to call business associates on the East Coast, then he’ll listen to sports radio, read the paper and hit the gym.
There is a tradeoff. Getting up before the crack of dawn means falling asleep earlier–much earlier. That could mean less social time with friends or downtime to catch that important playoff night game.
Peter Shankman, a 44-year-old entrepreneur and speaker based in New York City says in the Wall Street Journal article, “I’m exhausted, but in a good way, which means I won’t have the energy to do something stupid like eat two gallons of Ben & Jerry’s at 10:30 p.m.”