"The difference between rising at five and seven o’clock in the morning, for forty years, supposing a man to go to bed at the same hour at night, is nearly equivalent to the addition of ten years to a man’s life." - Philip Doddridge
I'm really not sure about the maths, but I do believe that there is a huge benefit to be gained by getting up early and getting a start on the day. Even 1.5 hours a day, over the 7 days of a week add up to 10.5 extra hours - which is a whole working-day’s worth of productive time. And that’s the important bit - if you are going to go to the trouble of getting up early, it’s only really worth it if you find a way to make those extra hours count….
I have already documented how I start my days in this post, but until I saw today’s quote, I had never really done the maths to work out the real benefit.
When I first left my corporate life behind, I used to get out of bed around 7:00am - after years of early starts, I figured I would catch up on all of that missed sleep. The thing was, once the novelty had worn off, I didn’t feel like I had any more energy; in fact, I always had a nagging doubt that I was missing out on something.
Over time I have evolved my waking time to be 5:30am which works best for me (6:00am added no real energy benefit, and 5:00am left me feeling too tired), and I try really hard to make sure I use those extra 1.5 hours productively.
An average of 1.5 extra hours over a year is almost 550 ‘extra’ hours - time I will have used to read 30-40 books, spent almost 100 hours meditating and written over 50,000 words.
Sleep is incredibly important - I know, I have learnt the hard way what too little sleep can do to my health, both physical and mental - but finding our personal waking rhythm, and maximising the early mornings, really can add days, weeks and even years you your life…