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Summary:

Jim Citrin asked 20 CEOs and top executives about their morning routine [via Lifehacker] and 17 replied. Jim found that many of the respondents practiced certain habits like getting started early, immediately running through email, exercising every morning, and using the morning for problem solving. Wendy […]

Jim Citrin asked 20 CEOs and top executives about their morning routine [via Lifehacker] and 17 replied. Jim found that many of the respondents practiced certain habits like getting started early, immediately running through email, exercising every morning, and using the morning for problem solving. Wendy Boswell of Lifehacker confirms the productivity boost of getting up early: she’s been rising at 5 am every workday for the past month and says she’s “never accomplished more.”

Lifehack.org offers five tips for starting your morning at 5:00 am so you can capture some of this CEO-like productivity. My favorite is “scrap the snooze.” Once you’ve given yourself the okay to sleep just a little bit more, you’re likely to do it again and again until you absolutely must get up… when it’s already too late to spend time on special projects that always seem to get put off in the daytime rush.

Another good one is “get into a routine.” If you train yourself to get up each and every morning at 5:00 am (or whatever time you’ve chosen), you’ll stop negotiating with yourself over it. Sounds like those top executives make it a habit to get up early every day rather than making early wakeup an occasional event.

All of this is fine for the early birds among us, but what about night owls? If your best time of day to work is in the afternoon or evening, it doesn’t make much sense to set the alarm for the dark hours of the morning. It’s probably better in that case to stay up late then catch up on your sleep the next day.

What about you? Do you get up early regularly so you can get work done? On occasion, if you have an important project? Or are you a night owl?

  1. tried the 8:45AM wake-up (which was early for me), but going to bed at 4AM means waking up at 10AM is the best I can do. productivity seems to get a boost in the late late night or early early morning because that’s when there’re no blogs being updated, less news, and people you normally chat with during the day are all asleep.

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  2. I normally wake up at 6am. I find it easier to write and get the work from the day before completed. I then get a light breakfast and relax for about an hour. This routine works really well for me. I tend to go to bed at 11pm.

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  3. Usually get up at 7.30A.M. and go to bed at 1a.m.

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  4. I wake up around 6:30AM after going to bed around 11PM. I always make sure to eat a pretty hefty breakfast–helps the metabolism during the day–and run a few miles every other day. The time I spend running helps me sort through everything in my head that I need to take care of during the day and helps with creativity at times.

    Definitely works well for me…

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  5. I have a two year old boy who takes care of making sure I’m awake at 6am but I’ve yet to transform that into productive work though. Usually I just go back to bed with him and let my wife wake me up again around 9am.

    I’ve never considered myself a morning person, but I can sense that this is changing. Slowly and naturally so that’s fine. It’s been 4 years since I used an alarm clock by the way.. it’s great, I’ve always hated those.

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  6. I dream of being a morning person. I never have been but wish I could get up a 6:30 like other people and be productive. I just don’t know if I have it in me.

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  7. During the week I’m awake and out of bed at 5:00 am so I can get ready for my regular day job… I don’t like it.
    However, on my days off I still choose to wake up at 5:00 am. I can get a lot more done (stuff I want to do and enjoy doing) early in the morning. Of course, this part of the day is also happens to be before my son, and wife wake up.

    Regards

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  8. It’s really hard for me to get up early, but I agree, every time I do I get a lot more done.

    Part of it is because when I’m up early, I’m a little miffed that I’m not sleeping. So I want to make that time count.

    Another reason is the rest of the world is still asleep and getting going. That means less distractions and I can operate solo.

    http://averageidea.com

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  9. Oh yeah, I burn it at both ends, staying up later than everyone else and getting up earlier, trying to take advantage of those quiet hours. I set my alarm clock for 6 am. My kids’ clock is set for 7 am. I love that hour. I work for the hour, get the kids put together and out the door to the bus, and then hop in the shower and get ready for the day once they’re gone.

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  10. Another early bird here. I’ve always been a morning person – these days that means 5 or 6 AM, sometimes earlier if one of the kids is feeling fussy. With their computers in my office, I can get productive time in even when they’re awake early. The flip side is I’m no good for night life; midnight is as late as I can reasonably push it.

    One key to productive mornings for me is to have a routine (email, blogs, web site updates) that carries me through the first couple of hours; I can do that on autopilot even when I’m too tired to make a lot of decisions. Then when other people are waking up, I am too, and I’ve already gotten a lot of work out of the way.

    Of course, if I’m so smart, why aren’t I rich…?

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