These two small habits will change your life.
I’m a night owl at heart. For years, I stayed up late and slept in. I told myself I was most productive then. I found blog posts that backed up my bias and pointed to studies that confirmed what I already believed to make myself feel better.
I actually started writing in the morning just to prove to myself that it wasn’t any different. I wanted to prove that I was just as effective as a night owl.
I kept a log of my daily output for a few weeks. The difference was staggering. My output went through the roof!
I more than doubled the number of words I used to write when I wrote at night. I was twice as productive when I woke up early, and I simply got more done in a day—it was like finding free time! I was awake for the same number of hours in a day, but those hours had shifted.
What do I do now? I could either dismiss this data because it conflicted with my existing beliefs, or I could make a change. I decided I want to be successful more than I want to be right.
I now wake up at 4:30 AM and my life looks completely different. I sleep more, I’m more productive while working less, I exercise, and I write a million words per year.
I don’t expect I’ll convince you to wake up early. I wasn’t convinced until I saw results. I just want you to prove it to yourself with an experiment.
If you truly care more about being successful than being right, then for the next three weeks, log whatever metric matters to you (writing, drawing, composing, etc.) to establish a baseline.
Next, commit to waking up at 6:00 AM (or earlier) and do your most important task first. Log your results while waking early for three weeks.
At the end of the experiment, compare your output between the two times.
Prove to yourself with data when you’re most productive. Then pick the time that works best for you. But don’t assume you already know when that time is before performing an experiment and logging the results. I know I was surprised.
Chapter 12: Rise and Write (from the Overlap book) talks more about this. The book is free to read online: