There’s one piece of self-help advice I hate… even though I follow it.

People act like it’s the ultimate cheat code to success…

But it’s straight-up bad advice for most of us.

What is it?

Getting up at 5am.

In case you haven’t seen the many articles, the story goes like this:

  • The author tried waking up at 5am for X days
  • It was hard at first
  • Then he loved it 
  • He now accomplishes more each day before 9am than you have all year

Here’s the deal: I’m an early bird. I love my mornings, and when I’m in my rhythm, I can pretty easily wake up at 5-5:30am.

But that’s me. 

Daniel Pink’s book When discusses many facets of time, so I’ll stick to the relevant part: only about 14% of us are larks

Pink also introduces something called a “third bird,” which is a whole other animal (HAHA) so you should check it out.

Getting back to that 5am advice, more likely than not, your natural rhythm isn’t suited for a super early wake-up call. 

Even for an early bird like me, it’s hard to balance a social life and daily 5am alarm. Turns out, unless you’re eating with your grandma, a 5pm dinner reservation is hard to make. 

So when some guy tells you to wake up early, he’s not talking to you. He’s not taking into account your work schedule or kids or anything else. 

And I say ‘some guy’ because 80% of Google’s 15 highest-ranked articles on waking up at 5am are written by men. No grander point there, just interesting.

I love waking up at 5am and feeling like the world is still asleep while I’m sipping my tea. Maybe you do too. 

But if that doesn’t fit you or your life, that’s fine! 

Why do you need to be so productive that you squeeze every last ounce of life out of your day anyway? 

Being better is about you–knowing who you are and getting where you want to go. 

All the tips and tricks can’t change some parts of us. 

Leave the worms for somebody else. 

To being better without waking at the crack of dawn,