I Woke Up At 5 A.M. Every Day Like A CEO - Here's What I Learned

Workin’ Girl

Studies show that there is a connection between millionaires and the time they wake up in the morning. In a poll cited by Vanderkam, 90% of executives said that they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. Many believe there is a direct correlation between the two; if you wake up earlier, you're more likely to be successful because you have a head start to the day.


I do not consider myself a morning person at all. And while I have a terrific work ethic that allows me get things done efficiently, I couldn't help but wonder how my life would change if I tried getting up by 5 A.M. for one week.

Would I find myself checking more things off my checklist throughout the day? Would I inevitably see that I was working smarter and not harder? Here are three huge takeaways I noticed after my week-long experiment:

Discipline Is Key.

When 5 A.M. came around, I forced myself out of bed, but I wasn't even mentally in a place to get things done.

While this got easier as the week went on, I personally didn't feel like I was more productive in the morning because I felt groggy and still tired. I think people focus so much on the time of day, instead of making sure that you are getting a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast in the morning.

You can be up at the crack of dawn and still not be as effective as someone who gets up later but feels well rested.

Your Morning Is Not A Race, Take Your Time 

The first thing I did every morning was pray and I immediately jumped into the work right after.

I mean, that's why we're getting up early right? Nah.

When I woke up and jumped right into my work for the day, I noticed that once I started, I couldn't seem to stop, especially when the rest of the world started waking up and checking their emails. My mind felt like it was exerting even MORE energy than before, and I immediately felt mental fatigue trying to dedicate more time working.

Once I realized I felt more mentally fatigued than productive, I tried a new routine. Instead of hopping right into the work day after my morning prayer, I took about an hour to ease into my day.

I would pray and meditate, read a little bit (a book, nothing social or on my phone), eat breakfast, and just relax. I went to the gym and did a bit of exercise, or stayed in and followed along with guided yoga poses. It was the difference I needed. My mind was clearer, and my work started really showin' out.

Work Smarter, Not Harder.

The secret to success behind dope people like Oprah, Beyoncé, and Rihanna, is that they've mastered working smarter, and not necessarily harder. Y'all know how everyone says you have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé? Well, that doesn't really matter as much as how you utilize your time.

I learned waking up three hours earlier didn't do me any good if I was in full go-mode the entire time.

Alternatively, I looked at how I could get the maximum out of my time and get the best return on my self-investment. Nowadays, instead of hopping into all my emails first thing in the morning, I use apps like Boomerang, where I can schedule out emails in advance. Once I had all my responses pre-written out, all I had to do was hit the 'Schedule' button! Also, I made sure to tackle the harder tasks first, so by the end of my workday, all I had to handle was the easy stuff. THAT made a huge difference, because I didn't feel drained by the end of the day.

I would suggest this week-long experiment to anyone looking to challenge themselves, whether you're a morning person or a night owl.

But remember, you were born to be your own CEO and certified #GirlBoss, so don't beat yourself up or determine your success on what everyone else is doing. You slay, all day.

Sign up today and be the first to get notified on new updates, exclusive events, retreats and giveaways!

More Posts

In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, their life, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.

Can women have it all? Undoubtedly, there have been many attempts to answer this question over the years, most with a mournful no. But with just one glimpse into the life of plus-size blogger and beauty/style influencer Rochelle Johnson, the answer it would seem should be a resounding yes. A doting husband, beautiful toddler, AND a booming career? She holds the trifecta of a life well lived and fulfilled. And if you aren't familiar with her brand, you definitely should be.

Keep reading... Show less

Last May, I took a trip to Cancun with a few friends, some old and some new, where every morning I was awakened by my roommate around 7 am, talking loudly on the phone.

Keep reading... Show less

It's been a few months since that vision board party where you and your friends vowed to manifest the lives you know you deserve. Everyone brought some food, drinks and old magazines. As you cut out images that represent your deep desires and pasted it to a large cardboard, you became excited about the possibilities for this year.

Keep reading... Show less

With the questions of down payments, closing costs, and how much home can you afford, it might seem daunting to step out of your comfort zone and purchase your first home. Especially as a single woman. But it is most definitely something that can be done.

Keep reading... Show less

Dear Queen is a series dedicated to letters from women written for themselves and other women. Have a "Dear Queen" letter? We want to read it! E-mail your letters to submissions@xonecole.com with the subject: Dear Queen.

To the woman who struggles to celebrate herself:

I see you.

Keep reading... Show less

As boss and career women, we often don't realize how we can sometimes be our worst enemies when it comes to putting ourselves in the running for life-changing experiences.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews
Latest Posts