Jon often recommends waking up at 5 AM to work on your dream. When I tried this approach, I often found myself snoozing on the keyboard or running on empty by mid-afternoon. My body completely rebelled, and it eventually led to exhaustion. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, I found a more balanced approach to pursuing my dream.
Instead of waking up 2 hours earlier, I get up half an hour earlier. Because it’s not a shocking change to my body, I adjusted to this pretty easily. This half hour is warm-up time. I know I’m not really awake yet, so I might just read a rough draft or glance at some notes I’ve made. I know my energy level is not up yet, so I focus on tasks that don’t require much energy.
I typically ride the bus to work, so I read or write during the commute, continuing what I started during my warm-up time. If I drive my car to work, I often use a voice recorder on my phone to record my thoughts. It is amazing how much you can get done just during the drive to work. This sets the tone for my day, and I already feel productive—all while losing only half an hour of sleep.
All morning long my subconscious keeps moving forward on the work I started. Momentum has been building, so when lunch time comes and I sit down to write, I’m often surprised at how much work can be accomplished in just one hour. Whatever I don’t finish, I work on later in the evening.
Now I must give you a warning: Writing in the evening can be very difficult, especially after a busy day. But the good news is I have a discovered a way to get some energy that does not require a fifth cup of coffee: take a break.
I’ve found that I get a second wind after taking some time to relax. So I set a timer for 45 minutes, then I’ll hang out with my wife, read, listen to music, or watch some TV. When the timer goes off, it’s time to write. Sure, I’m up a little later than I’d like some evenings. But, for me, this works much better than snoozing on the keyboard in the mornings.
Remember, life is very seasonal. Just because this specific approach works for me right now, that doesn’t mean it will a year from now. The key is to find what works best for you. There is no one-size-fits-all answer for how you should pursue your dream. You will have to hustle and make sacrifices. But it will most definitely be worth it.
Here are a few questions to help you find the right time to work on your dream:
1. When do you have the most amount of energy?
2. When can you create some uninterrupted silence?
3. When are you less likely to make excuses?
Question: When is your 5 AM’?