So I recently found out I belong to a group which includes Apple CEO, Tim Cook, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, George Bush Senior and Gwyneth Paltrow. Members of this group include some of the most powerful people in the world, from CEO’s of international brands, to politicians whose decisions shape the world we live in.
Ok, so at this point I’m sure you’re thinking I’ve become an honorary member of the illuminati. Unfortunately my realisation was a little more pedestrian. It turns out that one major thing we all have in common is that we all start our work days at 4am?!
Look! Now before you start the chorus of ‘you’re mad’, ‘so when do you sleep’, ‘don’t you know that it’s recommended you get at least 7 hours sleep’, stop! I’ve heard this again and again and again. My friends and family bombard my inbox with links, screen grabs and articles telling me, ‘if you don’t get more than 8 hours of sleep you will, die slowly and horribly from sleep deprevationitis! I know they mean well, but when will they realise, I’m a big boy and I can handle a few early mornings. And yes, I get it. Sleep is part of the fuel our bodies need to function. But for me, a 4am start is the rocket fuel that turbo charges my day, in a way that no lie-in could ever compete with.
I appreciate a 4 am start is not for everyone, but I find there is no part of the day more productive than the hours between 4 and 9am. There are no distractions, no phone calls, no what’s app, no Facebook, nothing to watch on TV and most importantly, no new email to deal with.
If Dyslexia affects you the way it affects me, you’ll know how down right exhausting writing emails can be, especially when what you need to convey isn’t particularly straight forward. Having the time and space to get through my emails, with no time pressure and no distractions, means I can really focus on my favorite act of war. Email obliteration!
As well as a chance to get some email warfare under my belt, these few hours before the world wakes, feels like the calm before the storm. This calm also gives me the head space to visualize my day. Being Dyslexic means that every day will be full of challenges. I find that taking some time in the mornings to preempt scenarios that I will find challenging, then playing them through in my head, really helps when I meet those challenges for real. I go through all the possible solutions in my head, so when I finally encounter that challenge I can just pick the best solution I made earlier. What I like to call, stress free problem solving.
4am working means that when the clock strikes 9 and the rest of the world’s computers slowly boot into action, I have a totally clean slate and am ready to take on whatever the world throws at me. Either that, or I’ll leave it to be dealt with at 4am the following morning.
As I said, my friends and family think my 4am starts are nuts. But this morning, at 4.15am, I noticed a flagged item in my inbox. This was one that had slipped through the net and I hadn’t quite got round to dealing with. It was an email I’d been sent by Linkedin and it totally validated my diurnal lifestyle. The email was promoting a series of posts under the #productivityhacks hashtag. The subject line instantly caught my attention, ‘why 4am is the best time to work’. Reading through the article I soon realised I now had some inbox ammunition of my own. I now had missile defense against the onslaught of incoming email from friends prophesying that, early morning working would send me to an early grave.
As well as enforcing the fact that, for me, 4 am starts could be a good and healthy thing. Using the #productivityhacks hashtag, I was able to access a whole host of articles and posts, giving great advice on how you can work smart as well as hard. If you’re in work, studying or running a household, there’s bound to be a hack that helps you get things done faster, better and smoother. To access this great resource check out the #productivityhacks on LinkedIn or subscribe to The Codpast on Facebook or Twitter as we will be bringing you monthly productivity hacks from across the web.