The three key lessons from The 5 AM Club are:
- The solitude of 5 am will help your brain work at it’s best
- To fully utilize 5 am, you need to sleep
- Use the 20/20/20 formula to get the most out of your morning
Lesson One: The solitude of 5 am will help your brain work at it’s best
Think of your cognitive capacity like a phone battery. You start at 100% and slowly throughout the day, your battery runs out before charging it again overnight.
Waking up at 5 am ensures that you spend time on one high-level activity without distraction. In a world of constant distraction, this is so important.
Also, at a peaceful 5 am start, the part of your brain which tackles rational thought, the pre-frontal cortex is inactive. This means that you stop over-analyzing everything and you stop worrying.
This combined with the dopamine hit of sunrise ensures that you automatically enter a state of flow, where your brain is working at it’s best.
This state of flow means that you will be more focused and more productive throughout the day, not just in the morning.
Lesson two: To fully utilize 5 am, you need to sleep
I know what you’re thinking…. yes, 5 am is early.
So, in order to make sure you’re a functioning human at 5 am, you need rest.
In fact, the curse of the side-hustler and entrepreneur is that you try to hustle your way though life, and sleep becomes less of a priority.
But to work effectively, you need to understand that growth doesn’t just happen through the work phase, it also happens through the recovery phase.
Talk to any farmer, or even any bodybuilder.
Their growth doesn’t happen in the hours they’re working, the development also happens during recovery.
The same is true for any high performer. You cannot work at the same efficiency 24 hours a day. In fact, you probably become busier but less effective.
So, you need to make sure that you are fully rested so you can make the most of the hours that you are working.
To ensure you are rested, stop using devices at 8 pm. Yes, 8 pm.
The blue light that comes from screens is a key contributor to disrupting sleep. Instead, read, talk to loved ones, meditate, exercise… whatever you need to do.
From there, look to go to bed at no later than 10 pm, so you can be ready to produce at 5 am the next day.
Lesson three: Use the 20/20/20 formula to get the most out of your morning
So even if you do wake up early, what is to say you don’t waste most of it scrolling though social media and checking emails?
The best way to combat wasting your extra hour, is to use the 20/20/20 formula.
That means for your hour, you should look to move for 20 minutes, reflect for 20 minutes, and grow for 20 minutes.
Look to exercise for 20 minutes as it helps your mind think more clearly; Sweat gets rid of cortisol, which is the hormone of fear. Sweat also produces protein BDNF, which repairs brain cells and quickens the formation of neural connection. So, sweat literally makes you think better!
From there, look to reflect. This can be in form of a journal and a mediation session. Using the quiet time to be alone with your thoughts grounds you for the day.
Finally, look to grow and learn something. This could be reading a book, watching a documentary, listening to a podcast, or any other activity which helps you learn.
Put it into action
Rather than try and wake up at 5 am tomorrow and more than likely fail, start tonight. Start by having no screen time after 8 pm and going to bed at an earlier time.
You’ll find that you may naturally wake up earlier anyway.