No matter what industry you’re in or what title you hold, it’s impossible to escape the ‘work hard, and then harder’ mentality that surrounds us in 2022. The question becomes, with just 24 hours to the day to work harder, do you need to join the 4 a.m. Club to be productive?
I’m sure you’re aware of the hustle and grind mentality at the heart of every entrepreneurial Instagram post, but are you aware that the 4 a.m. Club is a long-standing ethos with proud supporters in every industry and age group. The concept of deep work and productivity goes hand in hand. It’s hard to scroll through your social media account or read an article in the latest business magazine that doesn’t discuss the benefits of deep work and how 80% of productivity happens in 20% of your time. An Amazon bestselling book, The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results, by Gary Keller, advocates that to be the most productive, you should do your deep work early in the morning before the sun rises.
The 4 a.m. Club is not new, although it has gained momentum over the last few years. Membership to the 4 a.m. Club begs the question – do you need to start your day before dawn to be successful and productive?
Suppose you’re a believer in the 4 a.m. Club, you get up and start your day when your alarm goes off. According to recent research, the average person sets their alarm for a 6:47 a.m. wakeup yet hits the snooze button for another 25 minutes before getting up to start the day. By the time 9 a.m. rolls around, these early birds have completed their necessary deep work for the day and spend the rest of their time taking care of other things. Most of those who practice this, believe that plowing through their to-do list before the world is awake gives them the productivity edge.
What are the benefits?
According to a recent survey, those that wake at 4 a.m. feel accomplished because they get a head start on their day and complete all their deep work without any distractions or interference. Many have also cited that they feel more focused early in the morning, making it their obvious choice. Getting up early doesn’t mean going straight to work on your desktop. It can be the time when you focus on yourself before your workday begins. Many early risers concentrate on their fitness goals during the wee hours of the morning or other types of self-care that they enjoy.
Committing to the 4 a.m. Club is not for everyone. A small percentage of people are night owls and only come alive once the sun sets. For them, the evening is when they feel most focused, once their work day is done. Despite being just as productive as early risers, those who burn the midnight oil won’t get the same recognition as their counterparts. During the day, due to regular activity and life stresses, many experiences a spike in cortisol levels, explaining why some people have difficulty concentrating during the day, and find it easier to do deep work late at night. This is due to cortisol levels dropping in the evening, which allows for more concentration.
Steps to becoming a 4 a.m. Club member:
If smashing your goals before the sun is up appeals to you, try these valuable tips to create an early morning routine. Remember that it takes at least 28 days for a new behavior to become a habit, so stick with it.
- Be mindful of your caffeine intake: If you’re a coffee drinker, you crave that first hot cup of coffee in the morning, but caffeine has been shown to increase cortisol, the stress hormone responsible for heightened awareness and activity. If you combine the spike in cortisol from a 4 a.m. wakeup with an early dose of caffeine, you could be setting yourself up for jitters that would be counterproductive to an early rising.
- Create a consistent early-to-bed routine: If you want to get up early, you must be prepared to get to sleep earlier than usual. Setting an early bedtime and creating solid sleep habits is an imperative component of the 4 a.m. Club. Most 4 a.m. risers get to bed between 6:46 p.m. – 8:15 p.m., allowing them to clock between 7.5-9 hours of sleep. This will enable them to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day.
- Ignore the snooze button: This is by far the hardest to do. Resist hitting the snooze button no matter how tired you are. A popular tip to not hitting snooze? Place your alarm clock on the other side of your bedroom. This way, you have to get out of bed to shut it off, making you less likely to roll over and fall back asleep.
- Create a routine and be consistent: Getting up at 4 a.m. has its benefits, but it isn’t easy until it becomes a habit. It doesn’t matter if you’re joining the 4 a.m. Club to get your pre-work workout in, enjoy a cup of coffee in quiet while you journal your thoughts and write your intentions for the day, or you want to smash your goals before the sun comes up, a routine will get you where you want to be. Creating a solid routine and committing to it is the best way to set yourself up for success.
At Opus Virtual Offices, we have over 650 locations across the U.S. and Canada. We offer various services, including inbound/outbound call transfer, digital mail sorting, live reception, meeting rooms, and more. You get to decide when you want to be your most productive with a virtual office. You have the freedom and flexibility to work how you want when you want.