This is Why Successful Leaders Always Wake Up So Early

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Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

He must have known what he was saying, because some of the most successful people and honorable people in history—people like Mahatma Gandhi and Thomas Edison and Nelson Mandela—were early risers.

One of the biggest secrets of very successful people is the fact that they wake up early.

Studies show there are great benefits in putting in an extra hour each morning. It can feed your mind, care for your body, and develop your character.

Most of us don’t get up until we have to. But there are good reasons to inspire yourself to set the alarm a little earlier.

Early risers give themselves a gift. There is something truly special about the feeling of being awake before everyone else, when the phone is not ringing and the noise of the busy day is still. It’s a gift to begin the day in peace and calm.

Early risers have more productive days. Early risers feel more in charge of making things happen. When you begin the day not with a mad rush but with some quiet time spent alone with your internal thoughts, your days will become dramatically more productive.

Early risers are more optimistic. Earlier risers have a tendency to exhibit character traits like optimism, agreeability, satisfaction and conscientiousness. Being a night owl, while linked with creativity and intelligence, is also associated with traits like depression, pessimism and being neurotic.

Early risers have “me” time every day. Imagine an extra hour every day that you can spend however you like. It’s time spent directly in making your life better, however you see fit.

Early risers are better strategists. Many early risers use their morning quiet time for organization, goal-setting and planning out their days and weeks ahead.

Early risers have time to exercise. Many successful business people get up early to exercise, whether that means exercising their body through fitness, their mind through reading, or their heart through meditation or prayer.

Early risers have more time for the relationships that matter. If you are always working late, you are losing out on the spending time with your family. Make rising early worth its measure by using it to focus on the most important people in your life.

Early risers get better sleep. Experts on sleep say if you wake up early you can go to bed early, and your body gets the restorative sleep it needs to start fresh the next day.

Give yourself a few weeks to create the new habit of becoming an early riser. Change takes time, effort and lots of patience. But the results you will receive and the benefits you will achieve will be well worth it.

Lead From Within: At the end of the day, what we are all searching for is to become a better version of who we are. Get a head start, literally, every day by training yourself to be an early riser.


N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Eddie mayfield

    01. Dec, 2015

    Great post – I am an early riser and I love the feeling of being up when no one else is.


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  2. Duncan - Vetter

    03. Dec, 2015

    Great article Lolly and truly inspiring! It sounds almost incredible to have a whole hour just for ourselves. Furthermore, the idea of waking up early, when everybody else is still asleep, and having the opportunity to hear the birds sing and not the people running from one place to another can indeed make us feel happy. I like to wake up early in the morning, and I always enjoy a productive day.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Lucille M. Lopez

    06. Dec, 2015

    Thanks Lolly for such an awesome post. You have pointed out the benefits of early rising. I am a late sleeper. Most of the time I am busy with chatting via phone at night. For that, rising early is difficult to me. But I have to try.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Juliet Alonso

    07. Dec, 2015

    Thanks Lolly! I love waking up early too. My mother always told my siblings and I get up early way before the sunrise 🙂 Now, I’m telling my children the same thing.

    Reply to this comment
  5. John

    07. Dec, 2015

    Looks like I knew what I was doing before I even went to college. The ‘me’ time is so true. A great post

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  6. Mark

    07. Dec, 2015

    I’m curious what is considered “early”? I’m waking up between 5:30 and 6:00 in part because I have a cat-alarm but don’t feel that is “early” as many of my colleagues are up at 5:00am.

    would love your perspective

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  7. Ray

    08. Dec, 2015

    Great article Lolly. Sleeping early has been a goal of mine as well as my wife’s, but with kids and their schedules… and alone time to catch-up with my wife and chores- following that goal can be inconsistent and sometimes a struggle and the whole goal itself is pushed back from depleted attempts. Your article just lit that flame again and inspired us to give it another go, becaue I totally agree on the power of early risers and the potential it ignites in our crafts to do better and be the leaders within. Thanks!

    Reply to this comment
  8. john miller

    08. Dec, 2015

    yeah, like Churchill.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Nathan

    09. Dec, 2015

    I have heard this wisdom shared most of my life. I normally wake up early and have enjoyed the peace of the morning. My beginning as a boy was because dairy cattle insisted on being milked at 5:00 AM regardless of my opinion. However, demands have always pushed me late into the evening, which I resist as much as I can. Twelve years ago I decided to throw out the alarm and sleep until I was done. It surprised me that I rarely woke up later than before, and now I feel refreshed for coming day.

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  10. Janine Cudney

    06. Apr, 2016

    I always get up at 5 a.m and do everything for my husband and children. Then exercise and read a new book. I feel more energy for a new day.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Katherin Garrett

    02. Feb, 2019

    Hi, Thanks for your top-notch article. I want to add something with you. I think starting your day early improves your concentration. In addition to being able to focus on goals and task lists without being interrupted by family members or coworkers, getting up early means that by the time you get to work or school, you’ve had hours to properly acclimate yourself to the day. You’ll be more alert during peak hours as a result. Am I right?

    Reply to this comment
  12. Vijay Chauhan

    28. Mar, 2022

    First time I have read the full post really great content.

    Reply to this comment

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