12 lessons from a man who knows how to wake up early at 4:30 am

You want to know how to wake up early? A motivating story by Filipe Castro Matos, will help you not only to train yourself to get up early, but also to cope with working problems more effectively.


Read the story of a person, who managed to train himself to get up at 4:30 am in 21 days.

April 2, I set myself a new challenge. The task was simple: for 21 working days I had to wake up at 4:30 am. I used to wake up early (at 6 am almost every day), but this time I wanted to go even further. I wanted to test myself and to set my limits.

And at the same time I wanted to share my achievements with other people, so that they could follow my example. I also wanted to disprove some misconceptions in which society believes blindly.

I decided to keep to the order on weekdays, because weekends and holidays are another story. Of course, I do not have time to cope with some things during the week, so I have to postpone them on Saturday and Sunday. But mostly the weekend is the time for fun and night parties.

Of course, I could keep to such a regime every day, but I would have broken my life balance then. As I planned to continue to wake up early even after the 21 days, it became a real torture.

Why 21 days? Well, I was guided by the old idea of Dr. Maxwell Moltz, who affirmed that in order to form a new habit you should do it for 21 day. I didn’t know if it worked in reality, I just needed to set a goal.

I have a rule I always try to follow: set a certain goal, so you can understand if you succeeded or failed to achieve what you wanted.

What was the ultimate goal of all this? Increase of productivity, I wanted to make the most out of each day. I always think about how to improve my work, my life, and I like to think about all the details and take measures that will help me to achieve the goal.

I always knew I was an early bird, and my goal was to get up even earlier every morning and to be sure that it will increase my productivity.

So, what did I find out in that time? A LOT.

1. If you want to change something in your life, it is important that all the time somebody supports you.

This will help you not to give up and not to drop everything. In my case, I decided to share my observations with friends on Facebook. I knew that I needed to talk about it to anyone, because it was an additional incentive to get the target.

But when people will know about your new habit they will be interested and will ask you questions. The most useful thing is that you’ll be afraid to show your weakness, and this will be enough for not to give up. Moreover, I wanted to give someone else this idea. Of course, I understood that I might fail, but it wouldn’t be a tragedy. The thought of potential followers helped me to move on.

2. People are attentive to details.

Some people find such early awakening not quite normal, so I had to defend my position very actively in the comments. People were worried about me. They asked a lot of questions. And at the same time, they thought that they could never train themselves to get up early.

I had long and meaningful conversations with the people who read my posts, and I was grateful to everyone who responded. These people made me think about many things and this article you are reading now was written thanks to these conversations.

3. People do not want to wake up early, because they think they will sleep less.

In the beginning, many people were actually worried about me. The most asked question was: when do I sleep? Of course, I planned out everything in advance.

I knew very well how much sleep needs my body. As I changed the time of awakening, I had also to change the time of going to bed. It was easy. 6-7 hours of sleep was enough for me.

So when it was 9:30 or 10:00 pm, I knew that I had go to bed. To my surprise, most people who asked me when I sleep, in fact, slept less than I do. And I began to sleep much better than before.

4. Lift the obstacles that you cross on your way.

People like very much saying that it’s impossible to do something. Of course, there are certain circumstances that may be an obstacle. But I believe that many people are simply lazy and do not want to put extra effort to improve their lives. They just go with the stream, without thinking about their real possibilities.

It may be easy for me to say, because I had the right conditions, I was not married, I had no children and my life belonged only to me. But, on the other hand, many things depended on my desire and motivation.

If I lived with my parents, would be much harder to do it, because I would have to reckon with my family, with their habits and rhythms of life. So, I started this way making sure in advance that there wouldn’t be obstacles.

Think about everything that bothers you to achieve the desired goal.

It concerns not only the desire to wake up earlier, but also the desire to give up smoking, to start going to the gym or, to eat more fruits and vegetables. How to get rid of all obstacles that bother us to achieve the goal?

In my case, I knew that I would need complete independence, possibility to sleep when I want, possibility of not waking up at night in cold sweat, realizing that I have a lot of unfinished work, possibility to work in any place at any time … Fortunately, I had all this.

I usually work for startups, which means that I have a free and flexible schedule, and that’s why I can start working at 4:30 am. This schedule allows me to go home early. Besides, no one depends on me, and I do not depend on somebody. And, despite the fact that seven other people lived in the same house with me, I could fall asleep early easily.

5. Your physical condition will help you very much.

I’m very lucky to fall asleep very quickly (it takes me 5 minutes). I wake up at night rarely. No problems with waking: I get up with the alarm.

Of course, this is a consequence of my lifestyle: I eat well, go in for sports, there are no permanent and global problems in my life. And I believe that most people can also wake up if they decide to change their lifestyle.

All changes begin with small things, but after a few weeks or months you realize the benefits of all of these small changes.

6. Forget the phrase “10 more minutes”.

Many of us abuse this option: they do not get up with the alarm signal, but postpone it for another 10 minutes later. Fortunately, I did it rarely, and now I am finally convinced of its uselessness.

If you want to wake up at a certain time, please forget about “10 more minutes”. It will seriously affect your day: studies prove that you will not sleep enough during these 10 minutes, moreover, you may feel more tired, and it’s the most negative impact on your work.

7. I love to sleep very much, but my body needs just 6-7 hours of sleep.

After 6-7 hours of sleep I can’t sleep, I just toss and turn in the bed. It’s better to get up and do something interesting and useful.

8. You have more time for work.

After I started to wake up at 4:30 in the morning, I’ve got the extra 2 hours for work. How? As I said, I am an early bird and after 6 pm I can’t do something useful, my productivity falls in the second part of the day.

So these two useless evening hours I spent on the Internet, I carried over the morning and could spend them on work. Now I could finish to work earlier and just relax when I needed it.

9. I’ve got time to clean up the mail.

As a rule, in the 2 hours I can answer all emails and plan my day. It’s wonderful to see the zero in front the “Inbox” folder at 6:30 am. It’s good when a few can answer the messages at this time. Especially it concerns Facebook – the biggest enemy of our time. Message by message, we can chart with some person all the day.

Most people don’t need immediate answers to all their questions, and nothing happens if you answer a letter tomorrow.

10. More time for training.


I went to the gym before my decision to get up early. But as I started to wake up at 4:30 am, I decided to add one more workout per week. Then I had training three times a week, but now it’s not enough: I need four or five workouts.

Early waking up helps me: I do not come to the gym tired, as it usually happened before.

11. A new outlook.

My early waking up made me notice the details of the world, which I almost didn’t see before.

Going for a jog or a walk until the sun rises was not possible when I lived according to the standard schedule.

12. And, of course, you need the willpower to rebuild your routines.

If you have no will power, you may give up. Train your willpower to achieve the desired goal.

In the long run, if you really want something, no one can stop you!

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