You are the most productive, focused, and creative during the first hour after you wake up.
Waking up before others at 5:00 a.m. provides the isolation and focus that lead to an outsized effect on your energy and performance.
Many ultra-successful people (e.g., Tim Cook, John Grisham, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ernest Hemingway, Mozart) all started their day earlier than most people.
Throughout the day your mental bandwidth gets occupied by work, news, people, devices, etc., leaving little capacity for focused attention. Waking at 5am provides an opportunity for distraction-free focus on high-value activities.
At 5am, your prefrontal cortex function is limited and shields you from stress and overthinking.
At 5am, production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are increased, and you're primed to enter a state of flow -- the optimal state of energized concentration.
Getting up at 5 am will increase your focus and productivity for the rest of the day.
“Take excellent care of the front end of your day, and the rest of your day will pretty much take care of itself. Own your morning. Elevate your life.”
Being in the top 1% means doing what the other 99% won't do.
Discipline and perseverance always beats natural talent. Capitalize on the abilities that you have, don't stress about what you don't possess.
It is crucial to eliminate distractions like social media, unproductive meetings, etc.
Focus on one important project rather than working on several projects at once.
Things you do everyday are way more important than things you do once in a while. 10 minutes saved a day leads to more than 60 hours saved a year.
“The smallest of implementations is always worth more than the grandest of intentions.”
Mastery emerges after ten years of 2.75+ hours of daily practice. Consistency is key.
“Remember, every professional was once an amateur, and every master started as a beginner. Ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary feats, once they've routinized the right habits.”
To develop discipline and the right habits, you need willpower. The 5-3-1 creed of willpower describes how.
The 5 scientific truths about habits:
Will power is developed, not innate.
Discipline is a muscle, the more you activate it the stronger it becomes.
Like a muscle, recovery is needed to recharge your discipline.
Developing a habit needs a process, not just a desire.
Discipline affects all areas of life.
The 3 values of habits:
Success requires consistency and persistence.
Gain respect by finishing what you start.
Your discipline in private will also show in public.
The 1 theory of self-discipline mastery:
Regularly do what is hard and important, not what is easy or convenient.
Rewiring your brain to ingrain new habits follows three 22-day stages over 66 days:
Stage 1 - Deconstruction : Your brain will try to fight to keep you from doing what's new and uncomfortable. You'll need discipline to overcome this stage. “World-class begins where your comfort zone ends is a rule the successful, the influential and the happiest always remember.”
Stage 2 - Installation: Neurons work hard constructing the new pathway, leaving you anxious, confused, wanting to quit. Stay strong and realize you're on the path to transformation.
Stage 3 - Integration: Continued practice paves and cements the new neural pathway. At the end, the behavior is automatic, no longer requiring effort.
“All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.”
Devote your first morning hour to work on you, including your mindset, health, and spirituality.
Success and happiness require developing four "interior empires":
Mindset: your attitude towards life (thinking positively and optimistically; what you believe you can achieve affects what you actually achieve)
Heartset: your emotional wellbeing (unexpressed emotions emerge later in uglier ways)
Healthset: your physical wellbeing (exercising provides energy, elevates mood, and reduces stress)
Soulset: your spiritual wellbeing (your connectedness with yourself and the world; can be improved through meditation)
Apply the 20/20/20 rule when you wake up at 5AM.
20 minutes to move: Exercise intensely to reduce cortisol (hormone of stress and fear) and create BDNF proteins (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or abrineurin, which helps the brain to develop new connections, repair and protect brain cells, and think more effectively).
20 minutes to reflect: Reflect on your vision and what's important to you. Write down your gratitudes, ambitions, and frustrations. Meditate to lower cortisol.
20 minutes to grow: Learn and expand yourself -- study biographies, psychology, business, technology, etc.
Sleep quality is linked to longevity, making your nighttime routine just as vital as morning.
Electronic devices emit blue light that reduces melatonin, a chemical that makes us sleepy. Avoid devices after 8pm. Go to sleep before 10pm.
The 10 tactics of lifelong genius:
TBTF - The tight bubble of total focus: Ignore all distractions -- news, ads, meaningless chat, etc. -- they're draining you cognitively, spiritually, and financially.
The 90/90/1 rule: For the next 90 days, invest the first 90 minutes of the workday on the one activity that, when completed, will cause you to dominate your field.
60/10 method: Total concentration for 60 minutes, rest for 10 minutes.
The daily 5 concept: List 5 tasks to complete for the day.
The 2nd wind workout (2WW): Exercise at the end of the day to avoid mental exhaustion.
The 2 massage protocol (2MP): Schedule two massages each week. The cognitive and health benefits are priceless.
Traffic university: Always be learning while you commute.
The dream team technique: Delegate tasks, especially tasks that you don't enjoy doing.
The weekly design system (WDS): Spend 30 minutes each Sunday to highlight achievements from this week and plan out the next week.
The 60 mins student: Study for an hour on a subject of your interest every day.
The best performers balance work and leisure, they oscillate between focused work and rejuvenating relaxation. Like crops flourishing after the fallow season replenishes nutrients, we blossom after rest restores us.
The Twin Cycles of Elite Performance involves a routine of working at peak performance in the morning and then recharging and reflecting in the evening.
The five primary assets of success are mental focus, physical energy, personal willpower, talent, and daily routine. These assets are the strongest in the early morning.