The Wall Street Journal ran an opinion article yesterday called “Why 4 a.m. Is the Most Productive Hour” 1 in which they made the case through various personal testaments from executives, entrepreneurs, and executives that 4 A.M. is the best time of day for creativity, work, and exercise.
Despite the article’s anecdotal basis, I’m inclined to agree. If I’ve noticed one pattern in how I use my waking hours, it’s that early hours tend to be well-used with writing, reading, and work while later hours get wasted with far less noble pursuits like watching TV.
I’ve personally been flitting with early wake-ups for years now, and while I sometimes make them, I very often don’t. The biggest problem by far is my propensity for wanting to stay up late, despite knowing how little value it’ll add to my life. A secondary problem is that I don’t need to get up for these small hours of the morning, and when my alarm goes off, my groggy mind knows this. I don’t have a perfect answer for either yet, but I’ve taken to adding calendar appointments that buzz my phone and remind me to go to sleep at 9:30 P.M.
Getting down to 4 A.M. is going to be a work in progress. Today I managed to do 5:30 (with some difficulty). I’ll see if I can walk it back from there.