Have you heard of the ‘5 AM Club’?
Anyone can join. You don’t have to pay any more for the privilege unless you wish to buy the book of the same name by Robin Sharma and read more about it.
What’s the club itself about? You get up at 5.00 a.m. to start your day, which begins with what Robin calls the ‘victory hour.’ This hour consists of three 20-minute periods, each one devoted to a specific activity:
It’s important to follow this order.
Some people swear by the routine and feel it has changed their life for the better. Others think it’s a bad idea because of the potential for sleep deprivation.
So, is it good or bad to join the ‘5 AM CLUB’?
How it could help you
The club is popular, and some members have talked about the benefits. Here are some of them:
Above all, this routine is an exercise in self-control. If you exercise self-control in one area of your life, the newfound discipline spreads to other sites, too. Even when you don’t sleep well, if you can drag yourself out of bed when you have to, instead of hitting the snooze button and getting up late, you have the time to do the things you want effectively. You will feel less as if you’re chasing the day.
Part of the method is to do your most important 90 minutes of work immediately after the victory hour, 5 a.m. – 6 a.m. No messing around. After you complete the learning part, dive straight into that important task.
Time to reflect
The second 20-minute period is for journaling, although you can use it to meditate, pray, plan, or contemplate. No devices, no emails, no phone calls. Nothing. It’s a period of pure calm, and you take a timeout from the world. You’ll also feel the routine lift stress because you’ve created more time to complete the tasks you’ve lined up for the day.
Since you’re getting up so early, you learn to develop healthier habits. You’ll go to bed earlier, which, by default, steers you away from some of the bad habits people tend to indulge in at night. This means habits such as snacking or staying up late because you can’t tear yourself away from video games, Netflix, or social media accounts.
How it could hinder you
Of course, this is a very early start. It’s not for everyone, and you might not like it. Here are some reasons why joining the club could be bad news:
The routine interferes with the body clock
Have you ever heard of the circadian rhythm? This is the biological clock that controls our sleep-wake cycle. It’s part of why we feel more tired or more energised at certain times of the day. Think larks and night owls. The routine disturbs the natural sleep-wake cycle and could do more harm than good to your productivity if you’re a night owl (or even if you’re not).
If you’re getting up between 6:00 and 9:00 am or onwards, switching to 5.00 am is a brutal shift in the morning routine. You’ll face the rest of the day feeling too tired to function. Not only that but since you have so much of the day left ahead of you, you might end up doing too much (or trying to). You could be lacing yourself on a collision course with burnout the longer you keep it up.
Joining the ‘5 AM Club’ creates the potential for sleep deprivation, as some people may get up early as required but still go to bed at the same late hour. Burning the candle at both ends will do you no good at all. Sleep deprivation can lead to problems such as weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease. It may also become more burdensome to fight off illness or recover from it.
If you want to make the ‘5 AM Club’ work for you, you must go to bed earlier. The tendency is to slip between the sheets around 9:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Don’t subject yourself to unnecessary sleep deprivation by getting up much earlier than usual but still going to bed as late as usual.
You don’t have to go down the 5 AM Club route, however. You can get up early, but you should ease yourself into it by gradually getting up a little earlier until you reach a time that suits you (which isn’t 5:00 a.m.). Even getting up 15 minutes earlier than usual each day could be enough.
Whatever time you get up, it should allow you to attack your day. If you’re getting up early but sacrificing sleep when you do it, it won’t work. The day will start to feel as if it’s attacking you. No one wants that.