Sunrise rays piercing through the misty forest, reflecting the awakening of AI in daily life optimization.

I’ve started noticing that my most productive, fulfilling days — the ones where I fall asleep at night feeling that satisfying kind of tired that only comes from a great day’s work — are the ones where I am awake when the sun rises. So I’ve begun waking up at 5 a.m. to ensure that I’m always up with or before the sun.

After doing this for over a year, I’ve noticed something else: most people don’t wake up this early, and those who do rarely want to reach out and potentially bother others outside office hours. So the early mornings are blissful, largely uninterrupted time that gives me a ton of flexibility. I can ease into my morning routine (versus rushing through it), or move through it with purpose so that I have a block of time to get ahead on the work I choose to do.

In these early hours of the day, I’m at my most rested and relaxed. The day's stresses haven't happened yet, and I'm mostly working with a clear slate -- so this time of day is reserved for activities that I simply enjoy and/or energize me.

Some of the tasks I now almost exclusively do in the 5 am - 7 am window include:

  • Exercising
  • Reading, journaling or playing brain games
  • My morning coffee meeting with Mike
  • Relaxing and letting my brain wake up at a natural pace for that day (rather than opening my email and shocking myself into waking up)
To-do list for sunrise date: Reflect, journal, prioritize tasks, exercise, and quality time, all with the sunrise as a backdrop.

Give it a try -- plan a sunrise date with yourself and/or your significant other. Use those extra hours in the morning to set the tone for the day by engaging in activities you love and/or normally wouldn’t have time for.

The additional time will help your brain ease into the day and ensure you are energized and ready to tackle anything that comes your way. Build this habit over weeks and months, and you'll get back hours of your week to spend as you please.

Notes Against Complacency is our on-going newsletter series that provides you with weekly tips for small ways to make big impact in your life. For more tips like this, sign up for the Ridiculously Efficient newsletter here.

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