Sleeping is equally my most favorite and least favorite thing to do. It’s something that I know I need to get a decent amount of in order to function properly but at the same time it’s something that I know I could easily go overboard with and end up wasting valuable time I could use to work on my side projects.
My need for sleep (or lack thereof) is the single most important contributing factor to me being able to do all the things that I’ve done and accomplished so far in life. I’m still nowhere near where I want to be but I can attribute my mentality, work-ethic and outlook on life to my sleeping habits.
One major thing I’ve realized is that the key to sleeping is finding a balance of when to go to bed and when to wake up. This has always been a bit of struggle for me.
I typically only need to get anywhere from 5-6 hours of sleep to feel fully rested
(I know, I’m weird like that) but the time frame in which I sleep is always the issue. I love early mornings and hate late nights so I typically sleep from 11pm-5am everyday including weekends. The problem is that on weekdays I work from 10am-6pm. This is where it gets really tricky to find the right amount of time to get sleep.
So like I said, I like waking up at 5am. Its become so much of a habit at this point that even if I go to bed earlier, my body adjusts itself and automatically gets up after about 4-6 hours. Regardless if I went to bed at 10pm or 12am. This can be a great thing and a bad thing because I’m really bad at sticking to a bed-time schedule. When I go to bed at the exact optimal time, which is 11pm, then I can usually get up effortlessly at 5am. This gives me a ton of time to relax, plan my day out and get personal work done before I head off to work.
But if I go to bed earlier, I sometimes end up waking up at around 3 or 4am. Its not entirely bad but then I’m stuck with the choice of either getting up anyway or sleeping a little more until my 5am alarm goes off. But by doing that I run the risk of getting back into R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) sleep and then abruptly being woken up mid-sleep cycle and making me more tired than if I just got up when I felt rested.
Also the other side is if I go to bed later than 11pm, which to be completely honest is most nights, I still set my first alarm at 5am. But on these kinds of days I actually hit the snooze button more than I’d like to admit.
Which brings me to the whole point of this post:
SLEEPING IS DUMB
Well to be honest, there really is no point in me writing this article other than to just document that for the amount of things I do and am able to learn, sleeping is one of the things that I still haven’t been able to get right. It’s definitely important and I know I don’t get as much sleep as I need, but I’m lucky that I’m one of the few people that can fully function with only 4-6 hours of sleep. Even without the need for coffee.
I will say that the question I get asked the most by people when I tell them I get up at 5am everyday is why do I get up so early everyday? My answer is always the same; I get up early to work on things that are important to me. I’ve never truly elaborated on it because then I’d be stuck in a super long conversation so I’ll give some more detail here.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always had entrepreneurial tendencies. The urge to create side projects and do more with my life and time than others around me. Everyday I see and hear super talented people complaining and wishing they had more time to do some of the things I have already done like start a clothing brand or design fonts and open up a type foundry but then they spend all their free time watching TV, playing video-games or going out.
Not that there’s anything wrong with doing all of those things. If those things bring you joy and happiness then keep doing it. The only thing is that you can’t say you don’t have time to do work on passion projects when you’re clearly using your extra time doing things that don’t add any value to your life other than momentary happiness.
I believe in delayed-gratification.
A thing where you sacrifice in-the-moment joy and rewards to do things that are more beneficial to you in the long run and postpone gratification for a later time. If something is important to you, you WILL find the time to work on it. You have to be willing to sacrifice good things to be able to achieve great things.
So going back to the initial point of this post; I’m sacrificing good things (sleep, watching TV, playing video games, hanging out with people) to achieve great things (scaling my projects and businesses).
I know to the regular person this whole concept might seem like a stretch and to be honest it kind of is. But its what separates the dreamers from the doers (no pun intended). I personally can’t function and can’t be happy if I’m not actively working on building projects that benefit me and my future. And by sacrificing things that I know most people would never consider sacrificing is what sets me a part from everyone else. I’m more than willing to do what it takes to get what I want. By putting in the work and making sure my actions map to the things I want to achieve.
I really wish most people could think the way I do. Its a really simple process but you have to want it. You can’t have it both ways and expect to see results if you’re not putting in any effort. And this applies to many different aspects of life like relationships, health, business, etc…
If you always find yourself complaining about not having enough time to do things, audit your life and try to squeeze the most time out of your day. Mornings work the best for me because I’m naturally a morning person and I enjoy the calm and peacefulness you can only get when everyone else is still asleep. Then you get that awesome feeling knowing that you get more work done before most people even get up to go to work.
If you’re more of a night person, then I suggest you really take a look at your habits in the 3-5 hours before you go to bed. Are you up bing-watching Netflix shows or browsing the internet for hours on end? Then you need to make a decision on whether you feel you can maybe cut your binge-watching to one hour instead of 4 and then spend the rest of that time researching things or doing the things you want to do. If you go to bed extra late, instead you should put that time to good use.
The biggest take away you should get from this entire post is that you have to sacrifice good things in order to achieve great things. I know I’ve said this plenty of times already in the past few sentences alone but I truly believe that having this mentality can really change the way you’re actually spending your time.