The internet is filled with articles about successful and influential people who start their days before the crack of dawn. These stories show how the benefits of having an early morning routine can extend throughout your day.
But among these stories, the one that had the biggest impact on Birdie Wealth Director Nathan Smith was a story of a former Navy SEAL who continues to wake up at 4:30am even after retiring. For this former SEAL, true freedom comes from discipline.
Feeling that there’s never enough time in the day to look after his three young children while running a business, Smith decided to challenge himself by following the former SEAL’s morning habit.
These are the things he learned:
1. You have more clarity and creativity early in the morning
Rising before sunrise allows Smith to have more time for himself. With the phone silent, his kids still asleep, and his team members not throwing any questions, Smith finally has the time to clearly think through some of his more complex deals and marketing ideas.
2. You become productive for the rest of the day
Solving business problems and getting some exercise in before 8:00am sets Smith up for a productive day. By the time his staff comes in at work, Smith already knows what he needs to prioritise and is raring to take them on.
3. You still need sleep
Smith admits November was a tough month to run the challenge. With all the Christmas functions and conferences, he found that keeping on top of sleep was difficult. “It was important to get in bed earlier than normal,” Smith told MPA. “To me it simply meant eliminating one hour of Netflix at night in exchange for productive hours in the morning.”
4. Energy levels adjust quickly
It didn’t take long for Smith’s body clock to adjust. At first, he thought he would easily run out of energy, and evening appointments would mean guzzling down extra cups of coffee. But after three days of doing the routine, he realised his energy levels felt the same as it did the month before.
5. It was hard, but worth it
Smith admits getting up early and fighting the alarm clock didn’t get any easier. Every morning for him was a battle. “The first 15 minutes involved a lot of internal dialogue, complaining to myself why I can’t just sleep on that day. However, come 8:00am, the buzz of satisfaction would strike. With exercise and 90 minutes of work ticked off, the rest of the day felt like it would easily be mastered,” Smith said.
By deciding to wake up at 4:30am every day, Smith is now about to break his submission record in a month thought of as a quiet yet complex time in the market. He also feels healthier because he can exercise regularly without sacrificing his family time.
“People want to know if I’m going to continue getting up early. Based on the results I will definitely be continuing!” he said.