Quantcast

I Tried It: I Woke Up At 5 A.M. Every Day Like A CEO

If you wake up earlier, you're more likely to be successful because you have a head start to the day.

I Tried It

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.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our weekly newsletter here to receive our latest articles and news straight to your inbox.

Featured image by Getty Images

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

Today is Malcolm X’s birthday. As an icon of Black liberation movements, his words are often rallying cries and guideposts in struggle. In 2020, after the officers who executed Breonna Taylor were not charged with her murder, my timeline was flooded with people reposting Malcolm’s famous quote: “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the Black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”

Keep reading...Show less

As her fame continues to rise, Tiffany Haddish has remained a positive light for her fans with her infectious smile and relatable story. Since Girls Trip, fans have witnessed the comedian become a modern-day Cinderella due to the many opportunities that have come her way and the recognition she began to receive.

Keep reading...Show less

We’ve all been there: Exhausted, lacking motivation, on edge, or simply not feeling like working at all. And we might have even used up all of our sick days, not to rest from a cold or injury, but just to get a bit of relief from those job or business responsibilities. Sometimes, you're not able to shake that nagging feeling of gloom, eventually finding yourself in a toxic pattern of unhealthy habits and behaviors. There's a larger issue that goes way beyond just needing a break.

Keep reading...Show less

CultureCon is one of the top conferences for creative people of color to attend to meet fellow changemakers. The event, which is presented by the Creative Collective NYC, has attracted some of our favorite entertainers as keynote speakers such as Tracee Ellis Ross, Chloe x Halle, Michael B. Jordan, and many more.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Exclusive: Jay Ellis Shares ‘Full-Circle’ Moment With His Parents & His Self-Care Ritual

Staying grounded is one of the actor's biggest priorities.

Latest Posts