Wake up 1 hour earlier and you’ll be 100X more productive (over time)

When you wake up in a hurry, over time, you actually miss millions of ideas.

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“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” — Richard Whately

The difference between waking up at 5 AM and waking up at 6 AM (or at 6 AM instead of 7 AM) may not seem like a very big deal.

However, when you look at the compounding effects over time, you’ll be shocked at how much that one hour could do to your life. Not only the compounding effects but when you look at the ripple effects into all other areas, you’ll also be stunned.


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Here are a few reasons why this one hour can make such a big difference:

  • The ideas you get when you are up earlier are not available to you if you wake up later
  • The time for concentrated action is not available later
  • The confidence you build by putting first-things-first is not available later
  • The compounding effects and their unpredictable but natural byproducts (such as relationships, opportunities, etc.) are not available later

Most people wake up at the absolute latest time they have to, based on their busy schedule. They purposefully don’t leave themselves much time. They definitely don’t leave themselves time for thinking, meditating, reflecting, visualizing, learning, exercising, or creating.

Compound effects: You miss ideas by missing that 1 hour

“Tell me how you use your spare time, and how you spend your money, and I will tell you where and what you will be in ten years from now.” — Napoleon Hill

When you wake up in a hurry, you miss million dollar ideas.

When you wake up in a hurry, over time, you actually miss millions of ideas. Think about it, if you got 10 extra ideas during that one hour of alone time, that would be 3,650 over a year. Over 50 years, that would be 182,500 ideas.

But over those 50 years, you’d become a much different person. If you actually started getting up early and getting new and better ideas, and then acting on those ideas, you’d develop a new brain and personality.

This would lead to more and better ideas.

So, over those 50 years, you’d increasingly become more creative. You’d become a better thinker. Your actions would become better. Your goals would become more clarified. You’d become more courageous at acting on your ideas. You’d develop more capabilities, skills, and confidence over time.

Thus, your ideas wouldn’t just increase by 3,650 every year. Actually, using a compounding interest calculator:

  • if you multiplied those 3,650 ideas (or dollars) by 5% over 50 years,
  • and if the compounding effect occurred 4 times per year, every quarter,
  • then you’d actually end up with 812,800.39 ideas.

As you’ll notice in the image below, I made the starting place 10, because if you start today, you could have 10 new ideas.

There’s something compounding interest doesn’t fully take into account, though, and that’s opportunity cost and opportunity expansion.

Let’s just say you get 10 new good ideas per day. But over time, the quality of those ideas become 10X or 100X better.

The truth is, you’re actually already having thousands of thoughts daily. It’s the quality of those thoughts that matters. 95% of your thoughts recur daily. Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

When your brain becomes more creative, when you have more knowledge, skills, connections, and confidence — then the value of each potential idea could become millions of dollars.

But if you never give yourself the time and space to get those ideas, then you’ll never experience this effect on your mind.

Also, if you never give yourself the time to act on your ideas, then you’ll never witness how thoughts can become things. You have the innate power to harness your mind to create.

The more creative you become, the more abundant you become. You start to realize that what you send out into the world — in the form of thoughts, emotions, deeds — comes back to you (some have called this the law of the boomerang).

Ripple effects: You will fundamentally change as a person

You also start to realize that by small and simple means, great things occur. The small act of waking up one hour early, over time, will change every area of your life. It will change you as a person in fundamental and profound ways.

In the book, The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains the idea of “keystone habits.” A keystone habit is one change you make in your life that then goes on to change everything else.

From a systems perspective, the idea is: when you change a part of any system, you change the whole system.

When you begin waking up one hour earlier, you’ll start to think better. You’ll start to knock out those things you’ve wanted to do, but have been procrastinating. You’ll have more time for meditation, reflection, and prayer. So, you’ll likely become more spiritual.

You’ll start to look at your whole life differently and begin noticing things you didn’t see before. You’ll see where things have gotten out of control and disorganized. You’ll begin to see all of the time you waste on stuff that doesn’t matter.

Most importantly, you’ll begin to realize that the entire system of your life is generating the results you’re currently getting. You’ll see that your whole life is based on ideas, stories, and assumptions that are incredibly limited.

You’ll see that how your family is currently operating could be 10X or 100X better with more intention, time together, and a totally different way of interacting.

You’ll see that, in order to create new and better experiences with your family, you’ll need more time with them and ways to earn more money. Therefore, your current job and lifestyle will have to change.

Because your awareness and motivation and vision are expanding, new ideas will start to come your way. The degree to which you nourish those ideas through courageous action will determine if the ideas go away or come with greater force.

The more action you take on your ideas, the more they will come. The more action you take on your ideas, the more you will change as a person.

Small ideas — like buying flowers for your wife on the way home from work, looking her deep in the eyes, and telling her how much you love and appreciate her — will change your life.

Acting on those ideas leads to other ideas.

It’s usually the idea after the idea that brings the most gold.

But if you don’t act on the first, you’ll never be in a place to experience the second, or third, or fourth.

Experiences are the doorways to better ideas.

Experiences reshape your confidence, imagination, and future.

The more powerful experiences you start having, the more you’ll upgrade your thinking and your life.

Over a handful of years of living and thinking better, you’ll have a totally different life. You could be making millions of dollars. You could have an absolutely amazing family. You could be living your dreams. And from there, you could then really begin thinking about how you could make this world a better place.

How to become 100X more productive (and successful)

Thinking 10X or ever 100X bigger isn’t that strange when you start living by different rules.

When you start using your time better, you begin making more time. Even though we all have 24 hours in the same day, those 24 hours are not the same. Einstein made it abundantly clear that time is RELATIVE.

Time is relative to each person.

For some people, making $1 million dollars, at their current rate, would take 20 years. For others, making $1 million dollars can occur in a single day.

So although we all have 24 hours, the possibilities of and within those 24 hours are quite different.

When you give yourself 1 extra hour per day, you are potentially expanding your time and potential by 10X, initially. You’ll start getting new and better ideas. You’ll start taking action on the stuff you’ve have been procrastinating. As a result of getting better ideas and taking action, you’ll begin developing confidence in yourself, which will immediately expand how you see yourself and your future. Thus, you’ll start setting bigger goals and striving for better things.

Your increasing confidence will ripple into the other areas of your life. How you do anything is often how you do everything. Thus, you’ll start to become more organized in your business. You’ll start to become more caring and thoughtful in your relationships. You’ll start to organize yourself and your life to match your highest values.

Over 5–10 years, you could easily be making 10X what you’re making now by doing this. How you spend your time and where you live could be different.

Over 10–20 years, you could easily be making 100X what you’re making now by doing this.

Over time, compounding effects can be huge.

Over time, ripple effects become huge.

Conclusion: The two easiest ways to build unstoppable confidence

The two easiest ways to build unstoppable confidence are:

  • Starting the day right
  • Ending the day right

Starting the day right is easier than ending the day right. A lot of people are starters, but few people are finishers. Hence, many people end even what would have been a good day by binging on TV and junk food.

Going to bed a few minutes later than you could have because you were mindlessly wandering on FB is not how you build confidence.

If you end your day with negative momentum, that will subconsciously affect you during your sleep. That negative momentum will affect your confidence and decision-making ability the next morning.

Anyone who has learned to master their mornings also learned the importance of their evenings. You don’t want to wake up earlier without adjusting your sleep schedule. The idea isn’t less sleep. It’s sleeping at the optimal time given your situation in life.

Many people will complain about the idea of not being able to go to bed an hour earlier. But with some self-examination, it wouldn’t take a lot of rearranging to adjust their schedule for one hour. We all waste way more than one hour per day. And usually, in our evenings, we waste several. Those evening hours could be re-allocated, and when done so, the return could be astronomic.

Building confidence requires that you continually start and end your days better.

You end your days better by engaging in better activities.

You don’t have to eat junk food and waste your time at night. You could be present with your family. You could do some learning, or recovering in better ways.

Going to bed having spent your time in meaningful ways is powerful.

Laying your head on your pillow and knowing you spent your night on your highest values and priorities is how you build your confidence.

That confidence will ripple HUGE into your next morning.

Over time, you’ll find yourself as a different person with a totally different life. You’ll have a bigger imagination. You’ll have more confidence. Your daily behaviors and thinking will be totally upgraded. Your relationships, opportunities, and goals will be enormously bigger and different than you can presently imagine. Your lifestyle and environment will be inspiring.

You can do this.

You have so much to lose if you don’t.

Small and simple things create HUGE change.

One hour per day will change your whole life.

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This article originally appeared on Medium.


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Benjamin P. Hardy|is a husband & father of 3