The cofounder of the standing-desk company NextDesk Dan Leewakes up really, really early.
How early? 3:30 a.m. “It’s not for everyone,” Lee said about the mega-early start to his day.
He shared the four things he does every morning when he wakes up:
First, drink a whole lot of water. The first thing Lee does when he wakes up is drink two liters of water followed by two cups of coffee and a smoothie.
Then he spends some quality time with his pet. “[I have a] 30 minute ‘mutual appreciation time’ with my dog,” Lee said. “Not sure which one of us benefit from this the most.”
He shares this morning trait with Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, who also spends time with his cat every morning before starting the day.
Lee makes sure to read a book. By 4:15 a.m., Lee said he has started his one hour of reading time. He’s currently reading “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” by Simon Sinek.
This is pretty common for successful people to start their day by reading, especially something that helps them in their field. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told The Guardian that he reads during the first two hours of his day.
Next, he hits the gym. By 5:15 a.m., Lee is at the gym, where he works out until 6:15 a.m.
Unsurprisingly, so do CEOs like Vodafone’s Vittorio Colao, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Xerox’s Ursula Burns.
And that’s it! He spends the next hour showering, shaving, and traveling to his office. By 7:15 a.m., he’s ready to start the day.
While Lee runs on a very early schedule that he says is not for everyone, he did have some tips if you want to give his early schedule a shot:
- You don’t have to go to bed early. “If you can’t fall asleep within five minutes or so it’s probably too early,” Lee said. “My personal belief is that you should turn in when you’re tired.”
- Write down your plan. “I write down my plan for the following day’s activities before I retire,” he said. “You’ll find that your subconscious will go to work homogenizing all of your activities while you sleep.”
- Keep it consistent. Your body will start to adjust to the change and pretty soon you’ll be a early bird instead of a night owl.
- Remember waking up isn’t who you are, it’s what you do. “Changing who you are can be a lifetime project,” Lee said. “It’s a lot easier to change what you do.”