”One hour before 9am is worth two hours past 5pm” - Ali Abdaal
The streets are quiet, the sun peaks over the horizon, things move slowly, your body is rested, and your brain is fresh. Yes, there may be nothing more valuable than the morning, but many people fail to recognize the powers a new dawn brings. And even while many recognize the sacredness of mornings, we do not capture the powers of the morning and channel this energy into the highest good.
In this Productive Brew, I am going to make the case for why one hour of morning time is worth two hours of evening time, and how we can best tap into the new day’s potentiality.
One of the best arguments I have ever heard in favor of the morning comes from the same episode of the “Not Overthinking” podcast where this Ali Abdaal quote comes from. Ali’s brother, Taimur, frames waking up early as a choice to exit or rebel against regular society. Rather than living within a normal society, which dreads mornings, pushes through with caffeine, and works while daydreaming of late evenings out with friends, waking up early changes the tone.
By setting an earlier bedtime, we are not sucked into the entertainment and content consumption that fills so many people’s evenings, and we find ourselves occupying our leisure time while our brains are sharp and ready to tackle a new day. We need to think of our brains as muscles. When we wake up, our brain just rested for eight hours and the muscle is fresh. Upon repeated reps of usage, our brains will only become more exhausted throughout the day, so why not make your brain’s first assignment something you care about the most? Why wait until your brain has taken repeated blows from all the cognitive work is has completed to then say, “okay brain, now do the thing I enjoy doing.”
Instead, we should prioritize our cognitive energies selfishly and fill our mornings with a side hustle or growth task such as writing that blog, taking some time to read, or even exercising before the day pulls us away with work. As my running schedule has freed me from morning practice, I have begun to take back my mornings and I fill this time with deep work. Similar to Demetri, I recognize the value of having no responsibilities and all the energy in the world in the hours before 9am, and I capitalize on this opportunity window to the greatest of my abilities. Granted, I am not on the 4am wake-up train yet, and perhaps I am not the expert in this field yet, but I am certainly enthused and respect the notion immensely.
Now, many of you may be reading this and saying, “this all sounds good, but I just don’t think I am a morning person.” Trust me, I hear you. I am not innately awake and fully ready to crush the day in the early mornings. Yet, as I continue down my self-help journey, I have found too many experts advocate for the early mornings to turn away. Ali Abdaal, Jay Shetty, Cal Newport, Gary Vee, and so many others have argued in favor of the morning work and all from different angles. Much like leafy veggies, I did not love waking up early at first, yet as I noticed the increased level of mental clarity, output, and fulfillment I felt from this practice, I learned to love it.
Even now as I am enjoying time away from running and school, I still choose to wake up around 6 or 7am to pleasure read or write script, enjoy a cup of tea, and set a strong precedent for the day. So I encourage you all, if you don’t wake up early already, just give it a shot. Go to bed by 10pm tonight, set your alarm for 6 or even 7am, and do something you love doing before the day begins. Go to the gym, read that book you’ve been pushing off, or just listen to a podcast and tidy up your room. Choose to Rise Productive, it will change you.
Have an awesome week!