Get up at 5 o'clock… Oh, really?

Some time ago, I started to see a few articles that recommended a new idea to test and that can be summarized as follows: "getting up at dawn to succeed in life". It is a bestseller published in 2012 in the USA, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life, written by Hal Elrod, who launched this idea, initially quite incongruous in my eyes – for 2 reasons. Get up at 5 a.m.

An eyebrow raised

The first is that… many people already get up at 5 a.m., or even much earlier. Workers to join the factory, housekeepers, bus drivers, garbage collectors, restaurateurs, florists… and so on. It is therefore clear that the book is rather aimed at those who… do not rise so early, and as soon as it is read, we understand that the target is executives and senior executives, the "elite", not the working classes… The description of the French version,which appeared on 10 March, immediately sets the tone.

What do Richard Branson, virgin boss, Anna Wintour, director of Vogue US, Tim Cook (Apple), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!) have in common? ? Success? Definitely. A minister's schedule? also. But above all a secret so far well kept, and bright once revealed. All these personalities have the habit of getting up before dawn, and starting their day with one to two hours just for them. Two hours to play sports, meditate, cultivate, start their day … Become better, in short!

The second is that we have already been talking for a while about the fact that the French are shortening their sleep time more and more… at the expense of their health. According to a study published in 2015, the overall sleep deficit of the French over one year reaches 15.6 billion hours.On average, each Frenchman lacks 6.1 hours of sleep per week to be fit at work… However, executives already go to bed very late, attracted by screens, or devoting their evenings to their leisure (which is still normal). If in addition we have to get up at 5 o'clock, it raises a stupid question: when do we sleep? At the same time, the idea of taking 2 hours "for yourself", quiet, without being disturbed by the phone, children, the noise of the city (if you live there, but this is often the case if you are an executive) is quite seductive. Being able to focus on yourself, having time to make a good breakfast, reading a book quietly, making a manicure… Yes, but no. One quickly realizes from reading this book that these famous 2 hours are supposed to be devoted not to one's "personal" self, to leisure, but to success and productivity. Sport, yes, to be in shape to work,reading, yes, but oriented towards the knowledge of his business and succeed at work,meditation to be able to manage the stress of his day at work,hairstyle, aesthetics and a thoughtful outfit to appear at the top and show his most beautiful image at the … work,coaching sessions or professional breakfasts with the aim of succeeding even better in his… I'll let you complete the rest. We are not totally in relaxation, rather in productivity. Again and again. Again and again, because before waking up at 5 o'clock, we instituted for about fifteen years, on the American model, the "afterwork" and professional dinners, to cultivate its indispensable "network". If you live in the big cities, you have to add the transport times… If we compile everything, the executive who wants to succeed gets up at 5 o'clock and returns at 10 o'clock (or even later) and devotes this whole range of his day to work. That's 17 hours, if I calculate correctly… because even at lunchtime we have lunch "business", or we swallow a sandwich on the go to continue working or check his posts on Twitter … never waste time! It's a life choice… but the remuneration still has an interest in being up to the task, right? The big American bosses cited by the author may be in positions high enough to get a gigantic compensation, but also have a less stressful day than the middle frame. If we dig even deeper, "under the guise of self-development, it is first and foremost the greater efficiency of the worker that is at stake. And it seems self-evident that this greater efficiency is now the sole responsibility of the individual, and no longer of the collective organisation of the production system, which in reality requires it." (The World). Is it really a question of personal development, or on the contrary an even greater subservientness to work, to the pressure of professional and financial success, and behind to materialism and overconsumption? Does finally reaching the pinnacle of our abilities require so many sacrifices and self-sacrifice? And what about the problem of burn-out, which is leading more and more executives to hospitalization or even suicide? Before deciding to blow up the stock market, the temple of this excessive capitalism, or to leave everything to raise kangaroos in Peru (at your choice), we can go and read the testimonies of those who decided to get up at dawn. Because it is true that the adage "the world belongs to those who get up early" is among the most firmly anchored in this famous "popular wisdom"…

The testimony

A journalist from ELLE, Laura Boudoux, tested the ultra-morning alarm clock for a week.Verdict: a new way to see your first moment of the day, but on Friday, it's yawning galore and sleeping at 10pm, while the others celebrate the beginning of the weekend at the restaurant. The calculation is fast: if like many French people your need for sleep is around 8 hours a night, during the week your bedtime must be around 9:30 pm to make a full night. When you're a manager and urban, it's still pretty damn early… you never see the end of the evening movie – unless you record it and watch it the next morning, which is an option I've already practiced at one time. And if you already come home late… In addition, if you have 2 children and 45 minutes of daily traffic jams, it's up at 6:15 anyway… and not necessarily the opportunity to meditate. One solution may be, to find one more hour before the jerk of the fight, would be to lie down at the same time as its little bits. But in the Western world of the twenty-first century, going to bed at 8:30 pm is already old! For some, it is already a habit: "I get up at 5am every morning for 20 years to go running; but I am a little sleeper and I am more dynamic and efficient in the morning than in the evening." All those who have adopted this rhythm are convinced. "Happier, more focused, more motivated, more serene". Some have finally started writing this book that they dream of publishing, others have learned to meditate. For the "cons", or the negative points, those who come back most often are the impression of putting one's social life in brackets, and of having the impression of being 80 years old when one goes to bed at 10pm. Fatigue too, especially at the beginning, when sleep is not stalled, and the big bar stroke after lunch. This is often where the problem lies: napping is really not part of our customs. However, many countries have adopted it, its effectiveness in terms of productivity has been proven, and 19% of French employees admit to "poking their nose" in secret in their workplace, according to a survey commissioned by the National Institute of Sleep and Alertness. That's almost one in five! We still prefer to eat coffee… A little nap followed by a small walk to take the light, especially when you get up and go to bed when it's dark in winter, it's ideal. And in this case, an ultra-early sunrise becomes possible for more people. Get up at 5 o'clock nap

Good ideas to remember

By asking those around me about their habits and techniques of optimizing their time and energy, I realized that there are two schools: those who get up as late as possible and run with a simple coffee on the go, and those who like to have time in the morning.We realize that beyond this method, it is the vision of his schedule and his life priorities that are to be asked and studied. For some, the week is just a long tunnel, which ends on Friday evening. A race from sunrise to bedtime, and not even necessarily a full night. The "early rise" makes you think about the "late bedtime": for some, who do not like their work, the evening is THE time of day to decompress and enjoy, and unconsciously or not, some postpone the time of the sandman because going to bed means having to get up… and go to work. Because the day was so painful that watching movies, movies, movies, allows you to distract yourself from your worries (I know, I practiced). For others, not going out at night means missing everything that is trendy, all you have to see or do is somehow miss your life. And for the others (of which I am one), it is two hours minimum in the morning before leaving (or to go to his office when working from home). It is both because I like to take my time for everything: stretch, prepare myself and eat a good big breakfast, have time to make myself beautiful (which at my age and given my sex takes much more than 6 minutes including shaving), to tidy up a little, to read a little, to leave quietly , to arrive cool, and even to have time to walk a few minutes before entering my work box. I became allergic to stress. It's almost political: I want my day to start with a moment for myself, and I put it before my work. I only reactivate my notifications on my smartphone and only read my emails once my "morning of mine" is over and my workday has started. As a freelancer, I spend a good part of my morning moving, because I am more focused in the afternoon. I do the cleaning, my shopping, sports, DIY, ironing … to then put myself in front of my screen, and often until late. According to sleep doctors, what is good for everyone is:

  • schedule your awakening for at least an hour and a half before leaving home. Not to start the day in stress and running.
  • to get up every day at the same time. And yes, even on weekends… even if it means taking a nap in the afternoon. If we go to bed at 6am after an unbridled night, obviously, the "morning miracle" will not even exist. But we must not force ourselves to live too strictly either…
  • to climb into his Mickey slippers as soon as his alarm clock rings. The "Snooze" function is to be banned. Ideally, if you've enjoyed your night well, you should even wake up before it rings.
  • to take a few minutes, at sunrise or before breakfast, to meditate, or simply focus on your goals of the day. Well seated, with your back straight, on a chair, and your eyes open!
  • Do sports in the morning, ideally on an empty day, still taking some dried fruits and a light tea, and a real breakfast after: cheese, ham … proteins are to be preferred, along with rehydration.
  • Lunch can thus be light and help to avoid drowsiness. If you can take a little nap of 20 minutes after your lunch break, it's ideal…

The practice of meditation requires practice and perseverance. It can be replaced by Mindfulness, for example in the shower, that's what I do. Focus on the sensation of hot water, tiles, sounds, body, enjoy this moment by being in the present, and more by thinking about all the chores to come while listening to the news on the radio (which I was doing). Prepare your coffee or tea in silence (I also do, like "Zen Master and his teapot"). Focus on smells and tastes during breakfast… Do not connect to the news on TV, or, at the end of the "routine", just before leaving for work: psychologically, it can allow you to put yourself in "work" mode. Above all, above all, do not connect to social networks… we are then the opposite of the spirit of the "morning routine" that makes us Zen, centered and soothed. Yoga Silhouette Woman Relaxation Sporty Meditation After that, it all depends on his nature and needs, on the nature of his professional and personal life (physical fatigue or need for mental recovery, decompression). If you are of a diaper-early nature, and if in addition you have the immense chance (as a friend of mine) to need only 5 hours of sleep, it is obvious … getting up at 5 o'clock is the guarantee of having time for yourself, in an Olympian calm. "If on the other hand you are a big sleeper and more effective when night falls, forget about this idea. You will not be happier but simply more tired and will play with your health", says Claire Leconte, professor of educational psychology at the University of Lille 3 and specialist in rhythms of life. It can also depend on the seasons: in summer, I can get up at 5am or 6am, because anyway it's too hot afterwards, and enjoy the sun as soon as it rises. Go to bed late, because summer evenings, but recover the missing hours with a big nap between 12pm and 3pm, Spanish style, after a light lunch at noon, like a salad – and no rosé! In winter, I will get up early enough to have time in the morning, but especially because in winter, I hibernate and go to bed earlier… As with others, the lack or presence of light is decisive in my personal rhythm. Doing some exercise, at least stretching and warming up, is a great idea to wake up well. A few minutes are enough to wake up your muscles and that, everyone can do it, if it is smooth and at his own pace. Sport in the morning can also be suitable for quite a few people, especially those who no longer have the time or the courage in the evening. Half an hour of jogging when waking up is enough to be in shape, only the forcenés of life will go running an hour by -30. But it can also be NOTHING, at all, because not everyone has fishing, or a sufficiently lit neighborhood before dawn, or health, to go rowing at 4 o'clock from the mat'. There is also the DVD option of zumba or yoga on the TV in his living room, a little rower … well warm and not in the rain (or between the exhaust pipes). In fact, I think it's up to everyone to find their right schedule (get up at 4am, 5am, 6am… or 8am, 9am, 10am…) and his own routine. Above all, not be rigid, and force ourselves to do what we do not want to do, even if it is supposed to be beneficial to us. Listen to yourself, and see what you prefer: write, read, think, meditate, or move, according to your life priorities… Test, over several weeks, by varying the order and activities. The ultimate goal of this very early rise remains to finally be able to have time to do what we always postpone to later, to be a good time … not to torture oneself or to spend bad days by being completely punctured under the pretext of being "trendy". I will soon prepare a summary of the proposals given in "Miracle Morning" with my little personal touch. And you, have you tested the routine of the Miracle Morning? What do you think, did you like, adopted this new rhythm? If not, why not? Get up at 5 o'clock… really? , an article by Sophie Girardot.The text of this article is the property of its author and may not be used without his consent and under certain conditions. Sources / Credits

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Sophie Barbarella

Writer and Public Speaker

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