How to wake up early

For years I've wished that I could wake up early and use the quiet pre-breakfast hours for distraction-free productivity. And for years I have spectacularly failed at this. I love the quiet, distraction-free hours at the end of the day too, as well as waking up slowly.1

Many famous leaders and politicians are known to start their days early, and I would like to be able to do this too. After years of trying and failing, I have had a break-through.

The secret of waking up early is this:

Become a parent.

After the first couple of months with a new-born:

  • You will be well-practiced at quickly waking up at previously unthinkable times
  • You will be used to operating on less sleep than you ever thought possible
  • Your beautiful child will become a reliable alarm clock, waking you up at the crack of dawn with cute smiles and increasingly insistent demands that you get up, play and make breakfast.


  1. If you have the freedom to begin sleeping and working when you want, I still believe this is a great option. I bashed out a PhD in 3.5 years during which I usually woke up late and began to work around lunch time! - Glorious autonomy!