the rise of the early birds

On the way home from work tonight, I was listening to a Mamamia Out Loud podcast, ‘The 5:30am Club’.

In it, hosts, Holly Wainwright, Mia Freedman and Claire Stephens discussed the topic of the ‘5:30 Club’.

The premise behind the ‘5:30 Club’, they say, is people who get up “earlier and earlier every day, shunning sleep for a better self”.

Holly Wainwright, Head of Content at Mamamia, references an article, which was recently published in The Age by Kimberley Gillan – ‘Shun sleep for a better self – the secrets of the ‘5:30 Club’’ – which suggests that “an ambitious group of larks are catching up each weekday at a local café to propel their side hustles and personal projects”.

Apparently, what was started “in a Sydney café” in 2019, according to Ms Gillan, is “becoming a bit of a movement in various cities across Australia”, as Ms Wainwright explains in the podcast.

The idea behind this is getting up early to get your day off to a productive start.

However, as they clarify on the podcast, this isn’t about getting up early to excise, as Ms Wainwright says, “it’s a networking and productivity thing”.

Interestingly, reading the article, Ms Gillan quotes Psychology Consultant and Author, Dr Jo Lukins who says, “that getting a head start on our days can be a powerful step towards success”.

“When people start their day with good intentions and positive actions, it sets them up for the remainder of the day,” Dr Lukins is quoted as saying.

And … I have to say, I couldn’t agree more.

BUT. I’ll take your 5:30am and raise you to 4:30am.

Since moving to Brisbane, Queensland (into a unit with no aircon, mind you – so, getting up early is a given because it’s … SO HOT!) I’ve become accustomed to the early morning lifestyle, even more so than I was when living in Melbourne.

I’ve always been a morning person but it’s next level in Queensland.

While it does mean that I’m generally ready (actually, most of the time it’s involuntary) for bed by 9pm, I have become accustomed to happily waking up at 4:30am.

That’s waking up even ahead of my alarm these days.

And I have to say, I love those early hours when the world is still asleep … it’s dark and still … you’re uninterrupted … and you’re already hustling.

I get sh*t done in those early hours!

Whether it’s spending an hour working on my Master’s thesis and then exercising, or reading and then training, I love nothing more than getting up and getting things done in those early hours of the morning.

Being a natural early bird, I love the mornings, which means that I function best in the morning, so for me this makes sense – it might not make sense to everyone though.

But as Claire Stephens, Editor in Chief at Mamamia, asks: Is this another excuse for a phenomenon dubbed, “toxic productivity”?

Maybe. If you’re not a morning person, to begin with, perhaps? And depending on what you do with those extra hours?

Also, are you still getting enough sleep when getting up early? Or are you burning the candle on both ends? Because, for me, I prefer getting to bed early and then getting up early … because, well, early is when my brain is FIRED. UP.  

But for me, those early morning hours are for those extra little tasks that I simply have no energy for after a long day at the office.

So, whether that’s training and working on my Master’s thesis, or training and doing some reading or self-reflection through journaling, those hours are sacred to me, because I simply can’t do that in the evening.

I’m basically a zombie in the evening. Evening hours are all about dinner, a show I’m currently watching, calls and possibly Facetime with J and sleep.

So, what do you guys think? Are you an early bird or a night owl? Are you a member of ‘The 5:30am Club’? Is it about getting about early or more about making the most of the hours during which you’re most productive?

I personally think it’s the latter. It’s not necessarily about getting up early – it’s about recognising when you’re most productive, on an individual level.

If you’d like to know more about this phenomenon, you can also check out the book by Robin Sharma, ‘The 5 AM Club’.

Happy reading.

x G.

Feature image by Jess Vide from Pexels.

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