I Guess All Those Successful People Are Right…

…The most productive hours are those before dawn.

Here in the bread basket of America, I’ve heard it said that farmers accomplish more before 7 a.m. than most people do all day.

sunrise farm

Until recently, I wouldn’t know. For most of my life, I have forgone sunrises in favor of the snooze alarm. Or no alarm at all.

You see, I’ve always naturally been a nocturnal creature, accomplishing more in the hours of serenity around midnight than I ever could during the day. But as I wrote in a previous post, I adjusted my schedule this summer to become more productive and to better meet the needs of my family (and to suit my forty-three-year-old brain, which just doesn’t function that well in the wee hours anymore).

But as is typical of my be-ever-better philosophy, I couldn’t just tread the waters of wakefulness halfway between the shores of earliness and lateness. Although 7:30 a.m. seemed awfully early this summer (as compared to 9 a.m., my typical feet-hit-floor time for many years), it proved to be too late to be as productive as I wanted to be once our homeschool year began.

So, over the Christmas holiday, I watched many, many YouTube videos on the habits of successful, productive people.

How did they achieve success? What was their mystical, magical secret?

The fact is, most successful people rise around 5 a.m. *Sigh.* (And I mean, I actually just sighed as I typed those words.)

Well, I was frustrated enough with the piles of work left undone at the end of each day that I decided to swim for the shores of extreme earliness and give it a try.

The first few nights were difficult, I admit. But rising early turned out to be less traumatic than I anticipated, once I was able to fall asleep earlier. I’ve been applying some helpful tips, such as using a favorite activity to kick off the pre-dawn sessions. For me, that translates to reading a chapter from a library book reserved for that purpose. Then, I’ll curl up with my Bible, prayer journal, and devotional book; later, I’ll check email and read all of your lovely blog posts until it’s time to work out with my daughter. And all of that before 7 a.m.!

For me, that’s shocking. And strange. And exhilarating! The results are worth the early morning effort.

As in all things (as I am sometimes slow to discover), God knows best when he emphasizes the benefits of rising early throughout Scripture…and the drawbacks of sleeping in.

And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord. – Genesis 19:27
So we laboured in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. – Nehemiah 4:21
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. – Psalm 5:3
Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. – Proverbs 6:10,11
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. – Proverbs 31:15
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. – Mark 1:35

because home wasn't built in a day

13 thoughts on “I Guess All Those Successful People Are Right…”

  1. My wife’s work schedule requires rise-and-shining at 5:30, so for years now I’ve risen-and-well-whatever with her, good and noble husband that I am. Used to it? Nope. But, yes, I do get more done. Plus I get to have coffee with my favorite human.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meredith, it is true that a disciplined schedule (routine) helps tremendously and that getting up early helps you to get a better start to your day, and it helps you to get more accomplished, especially when you are at your age when you still have children (or a child) still at home, and especially if you are homeschooling. I have a daughter your age who is homeschooling her 9 year old son, but she also has a 3 year old and a 10 month old, so they keep her busy.

    I am at a different stage in my life. It is now just down to me and my husband – has been for 14 years now. And, God has me on his schedule, truly, so I have no set routines or a set schedule. He may have me stay up late and write something or he may get me up in the middle of the night to write something. I never know when exactly, or what he will have me write about, either. So, I might be up at night and sleep during the day, or I might sleep 4 hours then work for 4 hours and then sleep 3 hours, etc. And, it works!

    The important thing in all of this is that we are listening to the Lord, following his lead, and doing what it is that he wants us to do. It is important that we let him direct our steps and our time schedule, too, for we never know from day to day what all he may have planned for us that we would have never thought of. And, we need to remain flexible in case he has, at any time, a change he wants to make to our plans. And, I am still learning this, even in my old age. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sue, I certainly agree that a schedule, no matter how well organized, can’t function without being somewhat flexible as well! I am generally rigid in my schedule only in the early hours, and I try to get as many necessary tasks done then, so that I CAN be more flexible during the remaining hours of the day. (Life happens as it will, and things never, ever go completely as planned.) In this way, doing so much planning allows me more freedom in the long run.
      It’s interesting that your schedule is so completely directed by the Lord. I have never felt that leading, though part of my reason for rising early and trying to find ways to be more efficient and productive was so that I could have a more focused, regular time with the Lord.
      Thanks for your input!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Meredith, you are so welcome. God has something uniquely designed for each one of us, and we each have to be who God created us to be. God bless you in your walk with the Lord. Cheering you on!

        Liked by 1 person

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