Please Stop Telling Me I Need to Wake Up Early to Be Successful 21



Have you noticed a trend?


It would be hard to miss if you have ever read a news feed.


Every article is plastered with morning routine advice. That advice is always followed up with wake up early.


What are you supposed to do with that early morning time they say?


Mediate (or just sleep sitting up because it’s 5am).




Eat Breakfast.




Do advanced acrobatics.


Read the latest book Bill Gates recommends.


The list goes on..


Here’s something new, you do not have to wake up early to be successful. Hearing this proclaimed on every personal development article ever written is becoming tiring.


You have to produce results to be successful. It does not matter what time of day you wake up.


If the hours between 5am to 8am for you are best used to sleep so your brain will function at peak level, then do that. If they are best used meditating and humming to the tune of “Old McDonald had a farm” then do that.


Results are all that matters.


Setting aside the time to produce those results is what the mourning routine is getting at, not the act of waking up early.


I am not hating on the people who get up at 5am. I go through periods of my life where I do it to increase productivity or test a side project.  But, I know for a fact that everyone should not be doing it. Stop feeling guilty by listening to people who say you need to wake up early to create success. It’s just not true.


I Fell Into The Trap









I used to think the morning had some sort of magical power. Yes it’s quiet. You are not bothered by anyone else. If you have kids, it may be the best time or only time that you can work from home.


I did the prescribed routine that many swear upon. The affirmations, visualization, journaling, reading, and exercise. You know how much my productivity increased from the collection of doing these activities specifically in the morning?




Could I do these activities throughout the day and still achieve the same results?




I experienced no amazing change in my brain function. No amazing benefits to my body. I did not write better, make better decisions, or run my business more efficiently.


I did this for several months wanting to believe the hype. I wanted to somehow magically become better in my business. I thought maybe I was doing it wrong and pushed harder. Instead, I came home exhausted and in a mood that my wife described as “cranky”. My results actually decreased from this experiment.


I would try to justify my waking up early as beneficial to my amigos. Saying stupid things like “wow, I just feel so much better and productive.” The first few days I did. I was on cloud 9 until about 1pm. Then, I was hit with the afternoon wall. This wasn’t just any wall, it was a complete mental block. My amazing feeling was from the nerdy adrenaline and excitement I felt from trying a new thing.


I see many people doing the same thing. They proclaim how great waking up early is only to find that they do it for a few weeks or months then fade back into the routine that was for them.


As long as the time is set aside, you will produce to the same results not matter what time you rise.  


I now wake up between 5:30am and 7. I can listen to my body the night before and figure out when I need to get up. I don’t do any fancy routine. I drink water, eat breakfast, high-5 the dogs, give my wife a kiss, and start working. If your goal is produce results then there is a little secret.




You don’t have to wake up early.


You don’t have to read the 5 books Bill Gates recommends this summer.


You don’t have to journal.


You don’t have to meditate.


You don’t have to perform advanced acrobatics in your living room.


You do have to work.


You must produce more than you consume. This is the anti-morning routine because it comes down to this one simple thing.


The point of this is to save you from thinking you must wake up early to produce results. To crush the guilt you feel for not waking up early. For some people, waking up early is amazing. They need to wake up, that’s when their brain functions at it’s highest level.


For others, it leaves them feeling like a wasteland for the whole day. They walk around feeling groggy and unproductive.


Choose the time that works best for your schedule and life. If you are not seeing results, don’t use these words as a crutch, do whatever it takes to get those results.


I get up early. I love the morning. I go through phases of crushing AM workout routines. It’s an amazing time to get something done because your schedule is usually wide open. Most people are not scheduling appointments at 6am.


I just don’t think it’s a requirement for success.


What are your thoughts? Do you feel the morning is the magic to success?





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21 thoughts on “Please Stop Telling Me I Need to Wake Up Early to Be Successful

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher

    I love your different view! The reality is that everyone is productive at different times of day. I think we tend to want to sleep in and stay up late, so that’s where the early-riser advice comes from. I’m one of the waking-up-at-5 folks since it works best for me. At the end of the work day I’m too emotionally exhausted to clean or work out, so I do it in the morning when I’m free from distractions. But no, waking up early isn’t going to guarantee success. I do think it’s an under-utilized time of day, though.

    • andrew Post author

      I completely agree! I actually rise early on most days as well. I see too many people feeling guilty for not waking up early and thinking their success suffers from it. It’s all about the time we put in.

      Thanks for reading!

  • J. Money

    Haha… love it. Even as someone who wakes up at 5 am to hustle 🙂

    I will say though that it’s probably helpful to at least try it once like you did to see. Sometimes the shock of trying something new gives you a little pep even if it dies out later and you go back to your regular routine.

    But the ultimate answer here is correct: just work!

    • andrew Post author

      Absolutely! I go through phases all the time where I wake up at 5:30 and power through projects for months. It’s quiet and I’m undisturbed. I love it.

      I do agree that everyone should try it and see if it’s for them. My hope is that anyone who realizes that it’s not for them won’t feel guilty.

      Keep crushing it J. Money!

  • William Parker

    I SO resonate with this message Andrew. For decades while in the engineering field I awoke at ungodly hours to beat the commute only to hit that same, after lunch wall. I had a routine and was in a rut. You recall the definition of rut? A grave with both ends knocked out. I’m not a “morning person” and never have been. Last March I left that grind to create my own business and now I work when and where I wanted to. I no longer set an alarm clock. I get up when I feel like I’ve slept sufficiently. If that’s 7a or 10a, fine. I put my time in and do exactly what you said – I WORK. Results are the key to success, not morning rituals and meditation or journaling. Sure, those can help us all to focus a little better, but when it’s all said and done, be productive. Of as Dave Ramsey says, “Get up. Leave the cave. Go kill something and drag it home.”

    Keep on keeping on Andrew!

    • andrew Post author

      Congrats on taking the leap with your new business! it is the best feeling in the world to create your own hours. I love the Ramsey quote, it makes you want to get after it!

  • Steveark

    Great post! Although I’m early retired and still get up before five AM three days a week to distance run I agree that it isn’t a prerequisite for success. And as long as we are listing things that really have nothing to do with success why not get them all? Yoga, meditation, ice cold showers, positive self talk, journaling, paleo diet, minimalism, dividend investing, avocado toast, Starbucks, mastermind groups, performance coaches and I am drawing a blank now, but I’m sure there are others. I suspect that almost every billionaire currently breathing got there without any of those or without most of them. That one you mentioned though, WORK, that’s the one they all had in common! Well said.

    • andrew Post author

      Congrats on early retirement! That list could go on for miles! As cheesy as the quote is, it still resonates with everyone. “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” You are spot on,work is what every person who came from nothing and made something of themselves has in common.

  • Steve @ Think Save Retire

    As a fairly early riser myself, I must agree with this. Waking up early isn’t some magic sauce to being successful. Meaning, just waking up earlier than you usually do won’t automatically turn you into the next millionaire. If it were that easy…

    I think what some of these articles are trying to say is that those people who *are* successful tend to be early risers, not necessarily that waking up early will turn you into a successful person. I haven’t done the research on that one so I can’t comment on the validity.

    But, I’m with you – basically, do whatever the hell works for you. If you’re a successful badass waking up at noon, then do it. Who cares. Life is too short to worry about what some “expert” online believes you should be doing.

    • andrew Post author

      Exactly! Success is dictated by work. I wish we could wake up early and just magically become successful. What a world that would be. I love your last line: “Life is too short to worry about what some “expert” online believes you should be doing.” I think too many people get caught up in feeling like what they are doing is wrong, when in reality, if you are executing, it will all work out.

  • FullTimeFinance

    I so agree. As a night person I find my work is higher quality after lunch. Morning work is not going to make me more successful. It might even make me less. Focusing on work and working hard is really the key. When the best time for you to do that is unique to you.

  • Financial Samurai

    I hit a wall too right after lunch, but that I take a 30 minute nap and all is good again 🙂

    Because the stock market opens at 6:30 AM, are used to always wake up around 5:30 AM and read.

    But with a little one, I’m just much too tired now.


  • Mrs. Wanderlust

    I agree with you 100%.

    I hate that I am an early riser. I do not want to be. I love to sleep. After graduating college and getting my first full-time position I felt rushed all day and evening. I started waking up at 4 am to workout. Hated it. So I stopped. I still wake up at 4 am. I shower, make breakfast and coffee. While the French press is sitting I boot up my laptop and load World of Warcraft. Then I eat and sip my coffee playing that game for about an hour to an hour and a half. It is a glorious part of my morning routine.

    Not everyone is a morning person…and that is okay!

  • Miss Mazuma

    Love this. I am a big believer that everyone should do what works for them. Obviously, if something isn’t working, it’s ok to test out new patterns and see if something else fits. But you don’t HAVE to do any one thing to be successful. I am an early riser by default. It’s how I am hardwired – like clock work, 6-630 is my natural wake up time and 9-10pm is my natural bed time. Of course, I am doomed to live in a house full of night owls so getting good sleep is tough. And that brings up another subject – how much sleep do we need?? Through trial and a lot of error, I have come to realize that I need at least 7 hours sleep to work at full capacity. I don’t always get it (I LOVE my FitBit to keep in check with my sleep times/patterns) but when I do I can feel the difference. Like, an early am wake up call, 7 hours of sleep doesn’t work best for everyone. Some need more, some less. This is what works for me and that’s all that matters! 🙂

    • andrew Post author

      You nailed it! I need an even 8 to function properly. If I even lose 30 minutes of sleep I feel like I’m in a funk all day. Some need less some need more. Do what works for you and your body.

  • weenie

    Enjoyed this post – I’ve never been a morning person and was perplexed at first that everyone seemed to be up at the crack of dawn to do whatever it is that makes them successful. All I can think of is that when they’re tucked up in bed by 9pm, I’ve still got another 3 hours to be productive before I hit the sack!