What on earth is the 5am Club?
Over the last two weeks, I have been no stranger to ‘you are mad’, ‘but, why can’t you just do that at 7am?’ ‘Don’t you just want to sleep though?’ Partly because I am currently in the process of a lifestyle choice that is a littttttle different to the normal day-to-day routine, and partly because, no normal human would choose to do what I’m doing.
I am currently sitting here on my bed at 6.40am writing up a new website piece, having already been out for a walk, journaled everything going on inside my head, planned my day, read some pages of ‘Ten Types of Humans’ and made a coffee. All before 6.30am. Yep, that’s a lot, and it started at 5am this morning. Why I hear you ask (well, digitally think you’re asking)? I am the newest member of the #5amclub.
To put it simply, the 5am Club was created by life Guru Robin Sharma based on maximising productivity within a societal time that is very much ‘go go go’. The basic structure revolves around waking up, exercising for 20 minutes, reflecting for 20 minutes and learning for 20 minutes, all before 6am. this ‘power hour’ allows the member to focus on themselves with no distractions (yep, the phone stays FIRMLY on airplane mode) before the day starts.
With living in a city that feels like it never stops moving, and working within a role that is very much based on human interaction and getting things done, this hour of personal development and focus every day with no distractions, is exactly what I have been needing in order to not only schedule some self-care into my routine on a daily basis, but also to just get my head ready for work, before work has even begun and to feel like I am growing and developing as a human being.
What I do
For my first day, I decided that my morning exercise would be running - at the time, I was also quarantining so I needed the cardio. Since then, I have chosen to just go for a quick, brisk walk for 20 minutes, around my neighbourhood, with a bottle of water. Some mornings, I wake up with slight anxious thinking due to Cortisol levels being at their highest first thing in the morning. Going for a quick walk in the fresh air as soon as you wake up helps to bring the Cortisol levels down, and helps with the sleepy eyes.
I then start journalling for 20 minutes as soon as I get home. This has been structured around what I’m grateful for (to start the day on a positive note), how I’m feeling, what is currently going on in my head and what I want to do for the rest of the day and how I want to approach my day. This really helps to get my head in order, as I have found that as soon as I start work, I know exactly what needs to be done, meaning I’m a lot more productive.
I then read for 20 minutes. This is based on the learning element of the routine, so the book (or even a podcast) should be based around something you wish to know more about, rather than a fictional book. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing you have gotten through 10 more pages of your new book, and that you have learnt something new before the day has even started. That feeling you get when find out a cool fact and you can’t wait to learn more? Imagine having that before your day has even started? Talk about starting the day on a high!
How do I feel so far?
It has only been 2 weeks, but I already feel a hell of a lot more productive and organised. I feel as if I have a lot more focus on what I want to do with my life (yep, I think about ALOT of things, not just the day-to-day things), which has meant I have actually been pushing myself more than usual to work towards life goals that I want to achieve.
I have also found that this power hour between 5am and 6am also gives me additional time between 6am and 7am to tick off life admin, anything that is clogging up my brain, or even just to post on social media - side note, my social media presence has become a lot more regular since starting the 5am Club, purely because I am making the time to actually post!
The Other Side
The 5am club isn’t easy. Getting up early means you have to go to bed at 9.30pm most nights, meaning that sometimes, you just have to say ‘no’ to late night social events, or you have to be prepared to flex on the 5am routine when you really want to stay out the night before. I also choose to not follow this routine at the weekend, purely because I want to rest - rest is also important for this lifestyle choice. There is no point exhausting yourself whilst trying to structure your day in a different way.
I have also found that I’ve had to re-work my morning gym routine slightly so that I head to the gym in the evening, in order to ensure my mornings aren’t too hectic.
You also have to fight off tiredness and the temptation to nap between 5am and 6am; trust me, black coffee is a god send. This does get easier as you continue, since your body clock gets used to the early start and will start waking up naturally at 4.45am / 5am.
Lastly, be prepared that the people you live with (and the partners you share a bed with) may not be on the same level as you, and may not be in agreement of the early start (and noise).
Final note from me
There is nothing more satisfying than being able to see the sunrise in the morning, hear the birds sing, have messages on your phone and to feel like you have done more with your morning than just waking up and going to work.
If you feel that you want to experience more than your usual day-to-day life, join the 5am Club.