Early Rising for more productivity

The 5 AM Club: The health benefits of rising early


The quietude that dawn brings is not just a physical phenomenon but a metaphorical representation of the mental clarity and tranquility that can be achieved by joining the 5 AM Club.

Waking up super early, like at 5 AM, is more than just avoiding the snooze button. It’s about getting that quiet, uninterrupted time in the morning when you can think clearly and feel calm. This idea is from a book called “The 5 AM Club” by Robin Sharma. He suggests that starting your day early with some exercise and a bit of thinking can improve your sleep quality and make your whole day better.

Morning Activities

I read the 5AM club book about a year ago, and was inspired to try based on the recommendations of the Author, Robin Sharma. Robin Sharma says to divide the first hour into three parts: moving (like a morning walk), thinking, and learning. But doing this can be tough with a busy life, family, and personal stuff. Sometimes, the warm bed wins, and you end up hitting snooze for some extra time asleep.So let’s talk about it. Why the 5AM club is a thing, how it works for some people, and how other people can learn from the benefits of it, but make it work for their own chaotic lifestyle

While this is all well and good in a book, the actualities of it happening? Well, in my life, any downtime is usually spent decompressing, walking the dog or sleeping.

There is so much going on in daily life with a family, kids, and your own brain on a roller coaster that getting up early feels like it’s a crapshoot. You can have ALL the intention in the world, but when that alarm goes off and you are exhausted. Getting out of bed is super-fecking-hard.

Daily chaos of getting kids ready

The benefits of a morning routine

Okay, so you know I like productivity, I like the attempt at living your life with some intention and not just letting the winds of luck or privilege or “that’s what it’s always been” choose my path. The early morning hours tend to be seen as the most productive time of day because you are fresh from quality sleep and there are minimum interruptions.

Being productive really means using your energy wisely, so that when you are rested, motivated and energized, you do the things that take the most mental effort, to be able to move that much closer to your goals. You could also call this “peak performance”

What are the health benefits of rising early?


Rising early has numerous health benefits (duh!). It boosts productivity, enhances mental well-being, and allows time for exercise and a nutritious breakfast. Early risers tend to have better sleep quality and improved focus throughout the day, leading to an overall healthier lifestyle.

Peak performance is a concept that refers to achieving the highest level of productivity and efficiency in your work. It’s about being at your best, consistently. A morning routine can play a crucial role in reaching this state.

As a mom, a wife, an entrepreneur… this “peak” performance feels like something that some childless 20-something “bro” came up with.

As much as it irks me, it’s kind of right. In order for us to be able to be our best for our company, our family, our friends, taking care of ourselves should be our number one priority.

The point of the morning routine is to start your day with a clear mind, focused vision and healthy outlook. Being able to start your day slowly, doing things that you personally enjoy and fill your soul, whether that be meditation, writing, or prayer can fill you with a sense of calm and patience.

Having a morning routine can do wonders. It helps you tackle your day and tasks with energy and enthusiasm.

Basically it sets you up to succeed in whatever it is that you want to do for that day… and who doesn’t want that?!

Oprah Winfrey swears by her morning routine. She starts her day with meditation, followed by a workout, and then spends time planning her day. This routine helps her stay focused, energized, and productive throughout the day.

Other well-known entrepreneurs and businesswomen, Richard Branson and Michelle Obama take time every morning to meticulously plan their day including spending time with family and alone time to reflect.

A well-planned day is a day with room for everything that actually matters.

It’s not just about getting more done. It’s about spending time on things that make you feel good and are good for you. Starting your day with physical activity, like a short walk, is great for your body and can help avoid health issues like obesity and high blood pressure. Spending some time thinking or learning can help you feel more alert and ready for the day.

Morning Routines and Mental Health


Starting your day early can also have significant benefits for your mental health. Morning is a time of quiet and calm, perfect for activities that nourish your mind and soul that you wouldn’t have time or bandwidth to do otherwise.

Whether it’s meditation, yoga, reading, or simply enjoying a cup of tea in silence, these activities can help reduce stress, improve focus, and boost your mood.

One of my favorite morning activities is going on a 2-mile walk with my dog. Even just the act of going outside, breathing the cool air, and walking the neighborhood is enough for me to feel inspired and ready to take on the day.

For women entrepreneurs with ADHD, these benefits can be even more pronounced. ADHD can make it challenging to focus and stay organized. A morning routine can provide the structure and framework to boost dopamine, helping to manage these symptoms and improve overall mental health.

Health of morning routine and focus

Does it have to be in the morning?


This is the question that I find myself asking whenever I read books like the 5AM club.

Do you need to set your alarm clock super-early to have these types of morning routines?

Choosing to wake up early for the 5 AM Club means changing your sleep habits. It’s hard to go from your usual routine to something new, especially if it means getting less sleep at first. You have to fight the temptation to stay in bed. It’s about saying no to sleep inertia (that groggy feeling when you wake up) and using your morning for a head start on your day.

Even though waking up at 5 AM is great for some people, it’s okay to tweak it to better fit your life. Maybe you need a bit more sleep or prefer different morning activities. It’s all about finding what’s best for you and your sleep schedule preference.

The short answer is no. You don’t NEED to get up before everyone else, but you should find time sometime in the morning to center yourself, get your blood pumping through morning exercise and prepare for the day.

Being reactionary is not only unproductive, it is also stressful and causes anxiety when you flip from one thing to the other all day.

Starting your day with a morning routine, WHENEVER that time is, should help you maintain control of everything for the rest of the day.

It helps with mental clarity, consistency, and most of all, better time management.

The reason why it’s so effective to get up and start the day this way, is because you won’t be interrupted by small children, husbands asking questions, friends calling to ask you to bring their kid to school, clients with emergencies to clear up…. you get the point.

I personally try to get up by 5:45 to get an hour of my own morning routine, to wash my face, drink my water, journal my hopes and fears and plan the details of my day… all before the kids get up at 6:45. I think I would be lost without it.

Crafting a Productive Morning OR Bedtime Routine


So what makes a morning or bedtime routine perfect for crafting a productive day?

It’s basically a spa treatment for your brain. Involve a little movement, a little deep thinking, and a bit of forward thinking.

In short, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Robin Sharma recommends doing 3, 20-minute segments of movement, reflection and growth.

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. When you get up, drink a cup of water to hydrate and help your kidneys clean out your insides.
  2. Include some form of exercise, even if it’s just a short walk.
  3. Add a mindfulness activity, like meditation or journaling.
  4. Identify your most important tasks for the day.
  5. Plan a healthy breakfast that will give you energy.
  6. Stick to your routine consistently.

Here’s my self-care routine:

  1. Get up and drink water and start the coffeemaker
  2. Go to restroom, wash face, brush teeth, put on sweats or something comphy that’s not my PJ’s
  3. Take my freshly made coffee downstairs to my office
  4. Journal about my health, mood, and things I’m grateful for
  5. Review my scheduled appointments for the day and the week and plan my day around those appointments so I’m prepared
  6. Wake up the kids and get them ready for school
  7. Take the dog for a walk
  8. Make a quick breakfast (oat bran pancakes and yogurt or an egg usually and more water)
  9. Shower
  10. Do my morning work activities which include checking metrics, replying to high-priority emails and client work.

For women entrepreneurs with ADHD, you too can have morning routine success


It can be helpful to include strategies that specifically address ADHD symptoms.

Using a visual planner, or digital tool that is easily accessible to help you prepare for the day. I have found that even though I have events of the day on my calendar, writing them out helps solidify them in my mind and make me less likely to be late to a meeting or accidentally skip.

Taking the time to meditate or pray in the morning, to clear your mind of obtrusive thoughts is also a GREAT exercise for those of us that have too many thoughts all the time. Even if it feels impossible, just the practice of it will help give you more control over time.

Prepare the night before. Leave a cup of water out by the fridge for your first drink. Make sure the coffeemaker is set up to go so all you have to do is turn on the switch (or better yet, set the auto-timer). Make sure your computer has all windows closed at the end of the night so you won’t be distracted on what you were working on before bed.

These are just a few tips that I have found works for those with ADHD, but again, everyone is different, you will need to find what works for you.

Successful Women Entrepreneurs with ADHD


There are many successful women entrepreneurs with ADHD who have harnessed the power of a morning routine. Take the example of Karina, a tech entrepreneur. She starts her day with a yoga session, followed by a healthy breakfast and a planning session. This routine helps her stay focused and productive throughout the day.

Or consider Lisa, a fashion entrepreneur with ADHD. She wakes up early to meditate and plan her day, then goes for a run before starting work. Her morning routine is a crucial part of her success.

I have also heard of other ADHD superstars who can’t STAND a morning routine. They like to roll out of bed at 9AM and hit the ground running. They are night owls, who’s energy peaks in the evening. They do have a nighttime routine where they make sure everything they need in the morning or have their workday planned the night before.

In the end, it doesn’t matter WHEN you do it, just that you do it.

For some who’s dopamine is best in the morning, using the self-control to get up early and take time for yourself is best. Others, they get a flood of dopamine in the evening. Whenever it is, grab hold of it and make it your own!

Collage of women doing morning routines

How to become an early riser to take advantage of this?


While the benefits of early rising are clear, making the transition is often met with hurdles.

Much like any sort of habit in life, consistency is key!

Your body gets use to your sleep/wake cycle that you normally follow. This is otherwise known as your body clock. This is why jetlag exists. When suddenly you want to walk around, when your body feels like it should be in a deep sleep, it will drag you down and make you feel as though you are walking in mud and just want to curl up in a ball and sleep.

So don’t expect to get up at 5 AM some day and feel happy about it. 🙂

It’s better to take it gradually and then be consistent about it.

If you want to start waking up earlier, do it bit by bit. Set your alarm just 15 minutes earlier and see how it goes. Keep to this new schedule every day, even on weekends, so your body gets used to the new sleep cycle. This can help improve your sleep quality and make waking up early feel more natural.

Once you are getting up at a time that feels good and allows you to fit in your morning routine… then make it consistent.

This means don’t sleep in on the weekends. A consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends, to reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Yep, I said it, you may hate me for it, but you ASKED!

Keeping this consistent waking time even when you DON’T need to be up that early will not only make it easier to get up at that time but also make you more productive on the weekends. 😉

Granted, in actuality, I don’t get up that early on Saturdays, because I like to stay up with the hubster and watch a show on TV on Friday nights. But I know that it’s going to make it harder for me to get up early on Monday, but that’s a hardship I’m willing to face to be able to spend time with my husband.

Now you know the facts 🙂

I like to look at it in the words of Buddah:

Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. – Buddha

Following a morning, mid-day, or evening routine really just allows us to live our life with intention and meaning. So many of us just kind of float through life following someone else’s plan for us or reacting to other people’s needs. We only get one of these things (that we REALLY know of) called life, and I personally choose to live it with intention.

This means taking the time to a) Understand what my values are B) create a schedule and activities that support those values and C) being consistent about revisiting and staying the course.

Especially for those with ADHD, a routine and systems are so important for us to have the structure required to thrive. A morning routine is a great start to establish that structure had habits regardless of the stress and chaos the rest of the day brings. You are in charge, you make the plans.



What is the 5AM Club and why does it matter?

The 5AM Club is a concept popularized by Robin Sharma through his book “The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life.” It revolves around the idea of waking up at 5 AM every day to dedicate the first hour of your day, which Sharma calls the “Victory Hour,” to personal development activities. This could include exercise, meditation, reading, or planning your day. The significance of the 5AM Club lies in its emphasis on using the early morning hours to focus on self-improvement before the demands of the day take over, thereby setting a positive tone for the rest of the day.

What are the benefits of waking up early?


Waking up early has several benefits that contribute to both personal and professional growth:

  • Increased Productivity: The quiet of the early morning is often considered the best time for deep, uninterrupted work. There’s less noise, fewer distractions, and it’s easier to focus on tasks.
  • Enhanced Mental Health: Early risers often report having a more optimistic outlook on life and lower levels of stress, as the morning routines help in setting a positive tone for the day.
  • Better Physical Health: Utilizing the morning for exercise can boost your energy levels for the day, improve your physical health, and help in establishing a regular fitness routine.
  • Improved Quality of Sleep: Following a routine of waking up early usually leads to going to bed earlier, which can improve the quality of sleep over time.
  • More Time for Personal Development: The morning provides a great opportunity for self-improvement activities like reading, meditating, or planning, which might be harder to fit into a busy day.

How can you craft your own 5AM Club?


To create your own 5AM Club, consider the following steps:

  1. Gradual Adjustment: If you’re not a natural early riser, gradually set your alarm earlier by 15 minutes every few days until you reach your 5 AM goal.
  2. Evening Routine: Establish a calming evening routine that supports good sleep, such as limiting screen time, reading, or meditating before bed.
  3. Purposeful Mornings: Plan your early mornings with activities that you find fulfilling and energizing. This could be exercise, reading, meditation, or planning your day.
  4. Consistency: Stick to your 5 AM wakeup time even on weekends to reinforce your body’s internal clock.
  5. Accountability: Share your goal with a friend or join a community of early risers for support and motivation.

Can you wake up early, or does another time of day make more sense?


While many people benefit from waking up early, it’s important to recognize that everyone’s biological clock, or circadian rhythm, is different. For some, their peak productivity might come later in the day or even at night. It’s crucial to listen to your body and observe when you feel most alert and productive. If early mornings don’t suit you, consider identifying another block of time that can be dedicated to personal development and focused work. The key is consistency and ensuring that you allocate time for your priorities, regardless of the time of day.


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