The 5am Routine
I’m not one for New Years resolutions, but having fallen out of any sort of structured routine over the past few months, I felt it time to change things up. I stumbled across interviews with people like Jocko Willink, David Goggins and Casey Neistat. They, like many others, wake up crazy early. Like, 4:30am early.
I watched this video in bed, at 10am, having not got up yet and decided it was time for a shake up. That’s freelance life in a lockdown for you… 4:30 seemed a little too extreme, so I compromised at 5am. What encouraged me most was Casey Neistat’s routine, straight to work first thing in the morning, with zero distractions. My phone is in “do not disturb” mode and away from the desk, no one is emailing me, no one is active on social media, it’s the perfect time to get things done.
Here’s how my new mornings look:
5:00-7:30 I’m working at my desk. Be it putting a treatment together, going through my mailing list, researching for a project, writing a blog post… mostly admin tasks.
7:30 get out for a walk. Usually 30-40 minutes. I’ll stick on a podcast and really pace it out. I’ve listened to Joe Rogan for years, so its either that, The Stalman Podcast (great for tech) or catching up on episodes of Hip Hop Saved My Life or This Cultural Moment.
8:10 a few quick push ups, squats and stretches, shower, then breakfast back at my desk so I can crack on. Most mornings it’s porridge made with Oatly, frozen blueberries, honey and almond butter.
9:00am comes along and just as people are getting to work I’ve already been up for 4 hours and got loads done. It’s a satisfying, almost competitive thing which spurs me on to keep doing it!
The rest of the day is filled with what ever I like. I tend to save the more fun work tasks like editing photos (or shooting them!) for the day time and make no pressure to work solidly until 6pm. If the weather is nice I’ll head out for a skate or bike ride at some point. Come 9:30pm my phone goes back into sleep mode and do not disturb, all screens turn off and its time to wind down with a book before bed at 10. I’ve found the wind down to be just as beneficial and so far the whole process is great.
I’ll check back in after a solid 30 days of my new routine and let you know how I’m getting on. I wonder if it’ll stick…
The images above were taken at the base and summit of Mont Ventoux in France at 4:30am and 5:30am respectively.