Waking up early is a notion frequently present in the repertoire of many motivational professors. Nonetheless, it’s a scam tactic sold to the reader consciously or not.
Waking up early is motivated by two main points:
- Successful people do it
- Get a head start on everyone
Unsurprisingly, both points are deprived of any logic.
1. Successful People Do It
Motivational and self-improvement artists often give ultra-successful people as an example when promoting waking up before the cows.
Below are some frequent quotes:
” (insert a billionaire’s name) wakes up at (insert hour between 3 and 5 a.m.)”
“You have to sleep faster.”
“You can’t sleep for 8 hours because that’s 1/3 of your life.”
“Get up early and kill it”
Why is this nonsensical?
1. How much a person sleeps is a peripheral rather than a core habit.
Peripheral habits are not integral to one’s success. For example, a successful person might have a dog and enjoy walking that dog in the morning. That habit has zero direct influence on that person’s success.
One can make the argument that such habits indirectly push the person towards success. For example, a genius may think of a business plan while walking their dog.
Sure. But they can also do so while eating ice cream. The link between the habit and success is too weak to make the behavior essential.
Ultimately, the point of waking up early is not to earn the title “early riser”. The goal is to do something that makes a difference. If that’s not happening, you might just as well be sleeping.
Thus, the lack of sleep itself has no value.
The actual core habit that could propel you forward is the activity that the successful person does instead of sleeping.
However, if the follower/wannabe rich imitator has time to perform that activity without suffering sleep deprivation for the sake of it, there’s zero need to wake up early.
2. Lack of Sleeps Makes You Stupid and Clouds Your Judgment
There’s an old saying that goes as follows: “The morning is wiser than the evening.”
Where does it come from?
In the evening, the “RAM” of the brain is already filled to the maximum of its capacity from whatever has happened during the day.
If you play video games from dawn till dusk, you will be dreaming about video games. If you study math, you will be thinking of numbers.
Sleep is a process during which this information is recycled. The brain absorbs it and frees space for more.
In essence, sleep wipes out of the temporary files of your computer, and the next morning you experience a more clear judgment. As a result, you can see details that were previously invisible to you.
3. Successful People Sleep More Than You Think
Successful people sleep just as much as non-successful people. In fact, the richer you are, the more time you have to sleep because you don’t have to wake up to an alarm button and go to the factory. Whether rich people take advantage of that option is a different story.
4. People Are Inefficient Anyway
There are two main lines of work – mental (CPU intensive) and physical (Periphery intensive)
A writer or a graphic designer is a mental worker limited by mental energy. The CPU of the average human cannot operate at high capacity for longer than 2-3 hours and that’s extremely generous. There are some exceptions (e.g., geniuses) that can overclock their brain to 4 and maybe even 6 hours but that’s rarer than winning the lottery.
The average mental worker has 1-2 productive hours a day. The rest is fluff/busy work that doesn’t make a difference.
When I was writing my last two books, I had the opportunity to dedicate more time to them than usual because I was softly forced to quit my day job (unfortunate circumstances).
I quickly realized that I simply can’t write for 8 hours a day. In fact, I couldn’t even reach six unless I added some mindless Internet browsing or a movie in-between.
In the evening, I was mentally exhausted to edit my text even though I’d practically done 2-3 hours of work.
Or in other words, I had plenty of time but no brain to use it in regards to my work. Thus, losing sleep wouldn’t have done anything for me.
Sleep deprivation is not needed for optimal performance at a physical job either. It’s actually detrimental.
For example, if you work as a driver, sleeping less would hurt your performance for obvious reasons.
In short, mental employees can’t use the time saved by reduced sleep due to having a clogged brain whereas physical laborers need sleep to safely do their jobs.
Why Do They Sell You The Idea of Sleeping Less?
It’s very simple – motivational gurus always focus on variables that humans can change.
E.g., Sleeping, eating, time structuring…etc.
While changes in those areas can be beneficial, nobody talks about the most important ingredient, namely – THE ACTIVITY THAT ACTUALLY MAKES YOU RICH.
Here’s the formula:
Pupil asks: “How can I become a successful writer/painter/entrepreneur/whatever?”
Motivational con artists: Starts dropping generic quotes from mega-rich people that have zero relevance to the actual questions. (E.g., How bad do you want it?)
Why? Because those gurus have no idea how to become anything other than a hope seller.