January 2, 2019 by Andrew Minalto - 4 Comments

Waking up at 4 AM ​(my business secret)

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I hope that everyone is as excited as I am! I LOVE this time of the year – it’s like you open a new page in your life/business and start something entirely new! I hope that your New Year’s wishes haven’t vanished yet and you’re already making first steps towards the goals you have set for yourself in 2019!

I certainly have started it on the right path as I did wake up at 4 AM today and by the time you read this, I will most likely have finished the most important/difficult tasks for the day.

WHY on EARTH I do wake up at 4 AM EVERY DAY, including weekends & Holidays?

Let’s find out.

In my late teens and early twenties, late nights were where all the action was! Even though I did work/studied a lot during evenings/night time, I also managed to party on weekends, which meant going to bed at 4 AM on a Saturday or Sunday morning, NOT waking up at that time.

As I got older, met my wife, the night-life started to fade away, and I somehow started to feel the MAGIC and POWER in waking up early in mornings.

Most people can fall into two groups:

  • Early birds (people who like to wake up early in the mornings).
  • Night owls (people who like to stay up late at night).

If you asked me this question at the age of 20, I would tell you that I’m a 100% Night Owl and I can’t stand waking up early. But as my own experience has proved, I don’t think this classification is set in stone. Over your lifetime, you can change it, and I think it’s more of a question of HABITS rather than what you inherit or what your genes tell you to do. More on this later.

So, in my late twenties, I started to experiment with waking up earlier – in the beginning, it was 7 AM (yes, that’s still early if you usually wake up at 9, LOL), later on – at 6 AM. And now, for last five years or so, I have been continuously following the 6 AM wake-up routine (more or less, apparently sometimes you get sidetracked with some life events, holiday or whatever).

And I LOVE IT! Waking up early in the morning and starting your day while the rest of the World sleeps, has a very magical touch to it. Especially during spring/summer/autumn months when you go outside that early for a walk or something. The air is entirely different than it is during the day and the quietness is just magical. It’s hard to explain it, but people who follow the same schedule will know precisely what I mean.

I was the most productive during the 6 AM to 9 AM window and managed to get most difficult tasks done during that time.

Now, fast-forward to 2018, November – somehow I started thinking about this whole waking up early thing – I wanted to re-schedule my day, so I have more time to spend with my kids, family and hobbies (like the piano thing).

What I did is what everyone does in a situation like this, right? GOOGLE IT!

I can’t even remember what keywords I used, but very quickly I stumbled upon this topic and realised that there’s a whole movement behind it! Yes, there are people on YouTube/blogs that preach this waking up early habit, have written books about it and what not! And I had no idea that “this” is a thing! At least, not on a level like this!

I believe this is one of the most popular videos on the topic:

There are many more on YouTube! It turns out that many famous people, celebrities follow this principle including Tim Cook, Mark Wahlberg (wake up at 2:30!!!) and many others! Here’s a quick video on that:

Many of them are CEOs and business owners, like the famous real estate TV star Ryan Serhant:

This doesn’t mean ANYTHING on its own of course – there are many famous and successful vegans for example, but I’m still eating my burger. But what it showed to me is that there’s SOMETHING behind the concept of waking up early, AND I just saw that I’m not making full potential of it. 6 AM is nothing compared to Mark’s 2:30, right?

So I changed my daily routine and started to wake up at 4 AM two months ago, and I hadn’t skipped even once, apart from yesterday – when I went to bed at 2 AM. I don’t think it would be beneficial for my body to wake up after 2 hours sleep on a New Years day. (I could do it though if I wanted as I DID wake up at 4 AM anyway, as usually – just went back to sleep).

Results? Nothing but AMAZING!!!

I now accomplish MORE in the first 5 or 6 hours a day than I previously did in a whole day. Seriously, this has been a LIFE CHANGING decision that will affect my entire life.

I am way more productive in those early hours, and now that I have studied it more, I found out that it has been scientifically proven that some parts of the brain, especially parts that are responsible for “creative” work (which basically is all PC work nowadays) are more active during the night time. It just works – from 5 AM to 8 Aor 9 AM your energy levels are through the roof, and you can get day’s work done in that 4-hour window.

And there’s more to it- if you watch that first video I shared, where that ex-military person talks about the concept (he’s the one who has books on this), it’s ALL about how you pre-program yourself by waking up so early each day. IF you start your day with such a STRONG decision, to wake up at 4 AM, everything else in the day becomes so easy. You already have done the hardest part, and that motivates you throughout the day.

And it works. I know it works as I’m experiencing it every day.

If you have never done anything like this, it will take you 2 or 3 weeks to fully adapt to the new schedule, that’s normal.

If you decide to go with this, try waking up 15 minutes earlier each day, so the progression is more natural and not so shocking. Otherwise, you will be very sleepy all day and won’t see the effect or positive results.

What about bedtime? At what time I go to sleep?

I highly value a good nights sleep so on most days, I go to bed at 8 or 9 PM, so that I get full 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Sometimes, If I feel energised, I would stay up till 10 PM and occasionally, on weekends, when friends come over for dinner or something – till 11 PM.

But no later than that. I will make very few exceptions throughout the year (like the New Year’s) when social life asks me to stay up at night. That’s fine. Life is life, and you don’t want to miss out on your Moms 60th birthday party, right!?

What’s important though is that you do this EVERY DAY and not just during the work week and then sleep in over the weekend. It won’t work – your schedule will mess up, your body will not adapt, and you will feel miserable.

You need to wake up at the same time every day! If you do this, you train your body, and the inner clock works amazingly well – almost every morning I wake up 1 to 3 minutes before the alarm, naturally. Yes, I have set the alarm (just in case), but I almost never wake up by it. I watch it go off 🙂

Does it get awkward sometimes when in public, parties I say that I’m finishing the day @ 10 PM? Yes, it is. But I do hang out with people who I know, who I love, and my friends and family support me on this and to be honest – I don’t care what any stranger thinks. I don’t care – it’s my life, and if going to bed at 9 PM makes me happy, I will do that.

The main advantage of this routine is that you suddenly realise HOW LONG the day is! Seriously, when you finish your daily tasks by 10 AM, and you see that there are 10 to 12 hours left in the day to do everything else, you understand that the 99.99% of the population are doing it wrong and YOU’re the one who parties all day long.

Another thing – when you wake up so early in the morning, you do what matters – you do productive things. You won’t wake up at 4 AM to watch a TV. So you spend your time wisely and productively.

On the other hand, what do most people do with those late evening hours?

NOTHING! They watch TV, phone, tablet or whatever. They don’t do anything as they’re too tired to do anything. They waste many hours each evening on NOTHING! I instead go to bed at 9 PM and take a good night’s rest! I can still fit an hour or two Netflix time when I want. Or watch TV all day long, after all the work has been done by 10 AM! It’s my choice and my freedom as I have all those hours on hands.

Lastly, I believe that this concept is very suitable for people who work full-time jobs and always complain that they don’t have time to learn a new skill, build a business or whatever. Here’s a perfect solution – wake up early and spend those 3 or 4 hours on the thing you want to do BEFORE you go to that job you hate and have lost all the motivation by the end of the day.

I understand that this won’t work for everyone. I just wanted to share my own story, and my personal experience with the “wake up early” concept. It works for me, and I believe it is super powerful just like healthy eating and regular physical activities. When you combine all these three things, you become THE BEST version of yourself.

P.S. Many years ago I did a blog post about the 4 Hour Work Week (by Tim Ferris) – a well known, even famous book and movement. That book opened my eyes on many time management and outsourcing tricks & concepts. BUT I never really believed in the “work 4 hours a week” concept. I don’t think it’s doable in most situations.

But, all those years ago I decided that I will try to plan my life in a way that I can switch to a “4 hour work day”, which I can see working perfectly well for any online based business owner.

Now, that I have introduced the 4 AM wake up routine in my life, I can 100% see that a 4 hour work day is possible. It’s a reality for me already, and even if some days I work 5 or 6 hours, if I finish the work by 10 AM, that’s a MASSIVE achievement in my opinion.


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4 Comments
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  1. Really interesting idea Andrew.

    Do you have the same routine everyday? i.e. do you exercise first thing everyday or spend time on the computer first thing and exercise later?

    Really like the thought of a daily structure to get everything done.

    Thanks,
    Dean.

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Dean,

      Yes, every single day – including weekends, holidays, travel etc. (unless it totally doesn’t make sense due to time difference).

      I used to exercise first thing in the day BUT now I don’t do that as I realised that exercising takes too much of my “creative” energy and it’s hard for me to concentrate on difficult tasks later on. Now I go to the gym or do outdoor exercise at around 10 AM, after all the major tasks for the day are done.

      This will be highly individual though as I know that many people prefer to exercise first thing in the morning. You need to test this to see how your body & mind reacts to it, especially as it also heavily depends on what type of exercise you do (cardio vs HIIT vs weight lifting etc.).

      Thanks,
      Andrew

  2. This is enough to convince me to give it a try but I’d need to think hard about how I can make it fit my life. The kids are up at 7am and need to be prepped and taken to school. Then as they get older I’m assuming they’ll be up later than 8pm. Who will look after them?! How do you make this work? Does your wife continue with ‘normal’ hours? Is a nanny needed to tend to the kids in the morning and ecenig? In order to make it work?

    1. Andrew Minalto

      Hi Claire,

      Yes, I’m lucky enough that my wife continues with “normal hours”. She and kids are in bed @ 9 PM (basically same as me) and are sleeping by 10 PM. Waking up at 6:30 to 7:00.

      So not much of a difference apart from 3 extra hours of sleep for them – which kids do need.

      Each situation is different of course BUT if you can go to bed at the same time as your kids, you should have extra 2 to 3 hours in the morning if you wake up early.
      Thanks,
      Andrew

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