Why You Should Work While Others Are Sleeping

“If only I had more time in the day…”

Everyone wants more time in their life.

Well, you have time.

You just aren’t choosing to use it.

The Magic Hours

When people say that they don’t have time to pursue their dreams, they often say it is because there are not enough hours in the day.

I ask them, “What are you doing from 4 to 7 AM?”

I usually get incredulous looks, followed by threats if I affect their sleep time.

Then I ask, “How late were you up last night? …And what were you doing?”

This is usually followed by confessions of hours of TV or web surfing.

When I suggest they get up early to pursue their goals, most people say that they are not a morning person.

Yet, for most people, the early morning is one of the best times to do important things.

To workout… to write that book… to pursue that dream… whatever it may be.

The hours from 4AM to 7AM are magical hours.

Most people are sleeping.

This is when dreams get done…

Goals become real…

And the impossible happens. 

What could you accomplish during these magic hours?

How Badly Do You Want It?

Every goal has a cost. Every dream requires dedication and sacrifice.

Are you willing to do what is necessary to reach yours?

Or will it always remain… just a dream.

Here are 5 Ways to Use the Magic Hours to Reach Your Dreams:

  1. You DO Have Time – You have the time, you just aren’t using it wisely. Stop staying up til midnight watching mind-numbing TV or endlessly surfing the Internet… or worse. Get some sleep. Then get up early and get to it!
  2. Do What Others Will Not Do – Doing the extraordinary is not easy. If you want something badly enough, you have to be willing to do that which others will not. Successful people do things that most people view as impossible.
  3. It IS a Choice – “I couldn’t do that.” “I am not a morning person.” Wrong. You could do that… you just aren’t willing. You could be a morning person, but you choose not to be. Instead, work while others sleep.
  4. Pay the Price -You want your dream, but are you willing to pay the price for it? You have to be truthful with yourself. For example, you want to get in shape, yet you are not willing to get up and go running each morning at 5AM. Every dream has a price, they are never free.
  5. Early Gets it Done – Getting your important work done early is a powerful motivator. You will have accomplished more before others get up, than they will accomplish all day. While others are dragging themselves into work, you will have a spring in your step knowing that you have already done great things.

Find Your Magic Time


This is magic time.

It is when uninterrupted work gets done…

It is when dreams get built…

It is when dedicated individuals pursue things that others choose not to do…

Stop having dreams and start making them happen.

Find your magic.

Question: Do you use the magic hours of the early morning?

44 thoughts on “Why You Should Work While Others Are Sleeping

  1. @TMNinja started having a sched tho illness has thrown me a curve. Planning up sacrifice my morning for exercise & productive work! Yay!

  2. Craig, do you wake up at 4? I used too, but I’m thinking of scaling that back to 5. (Pretty strange that 5 AM is “scaling it back.”) With family and evening activities, I ended up not getting to bed until too late, and 4 AM just wasn’t sustainable.
    But I may go back to 4. It’ll be an experiment.

  3. Craig, do you wake up at 4? I used to also, but I’m thinking of scaling that back to 5. (Pretty strange that 5 AM is “scaling it back.”) With family and evening activities, I ended up not getting to bed until too late, and 4 AM just wasn’t sustainable.
    But I may go back to 4. It’ll be an experiment.

    1.  @Loren Pinilis Ah… I have been asked that question a lot recently.
      I do not get up at 4AM everyday. Some days, yes, if I get to bed early enough. But I am usually up by 5, or whenever I need to be to get my work done.
      For me, the morning hours are some of the most productive of the day. If I have an important project I am working on, I will go to bed early and get in the full magic hours of 4-7. 🙂

  4. I’ve been working on my business @bloggereffect for the last year or so.  Everyone pretty much thinks I’m crazy when I tell them I work until 3 or 4 in the morning.  But the truth is, its when I get the most accomplished.  For some reason being completely alone with your thoughts, goals and priorities something amazing happens (at least for me).  It’s almost like a renewed sense of “I can do this!” and the excitement keeps me going.

    1.  @cboettner  @bloggereffect That’s what is takes sometimes. 🙂
      I too get the most done when I can truly isolate and just get work done. 

  5. @TMNinja Does reading emails at 2am after waking up to go to bathroom count???

    1. @balloonlisa No… don’t do that! 🙂 You won’t be able to go back to sleep. At least I wouldn’t be able. 😉

  6. Craig–Love this post.  This shift happened for me 3 years ago when I really needed 3 more hours of time in my life and like you point out in the article, what is it you are doing at night from 8-11?  Usually mindless nothingness.  I’ve been getting up at 4am now ever since.  Great post.  

    1.  @Craig Morton Thx, Craig! Great to hear about your shift! 
      So many people “think” they don’t have enough time, but if you look for it… it is usually there. 🙂

  7. Hi Craig,Awesome post, and one that I can truly relate to. I don’t get up at 4, but I start working at 5.30 every day (also during the weekends). I work from 0530 until my wife and kids wake up, and this is my most productive time of the day.  

    1.  @Jens Right on.
      I don’t always get up at 4AM. (Lots of people have asked me that…) But, I do get up and take advantage of the magic hours. 
      For me, it is the most productive time of the day. And it gives me a huge positive attitude heading into my day with much already accomplished. 

  8. This is awesome. I shared it with everybody I know. Thank you. Half the time I read anything about time management it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
    It’s like somebody dipped bull crap in chocolate and tried to pass it off as a truffle.
    But this article. It’s gold.

  9. @russmartin good stuff. Thanks for sharing that article. I need to get to bed earlier 🙂

  10. What great timing that I found this blog (Thanks, Cordielia Calls it Quits) today. Last night I set my alarm 30 minutes early AND got out of bed when it went off. 30 minutes may not seem like much, but it made a huge difference in my morning. That 30 minutes was spent reviewing the year’s goals, set in January, which reminded me I had much to do to accomplish them. The time left was spent journaling. I might aim for an hour earlier after I’ve nailed the 30 minute thing to the wall! 

    1.  @Michelle in Htown Michelle, glad you found me via Cordelia! 🙂
      Good luck with the early morning thing!

  11. Thanks Craig for a really compelling and dramatic answer to the productivity conundrum. I AM a morning person, but 4am would be a shock to the system still. If taking this approach in baby steps: start to go to bed earlier and waking up earlier and see how it goes – alternatively, just try once not working till midnight to meet that deadline and get up at 6am and work till 8am and see which works better for you. For me, mornings will win every time. But 4am? To get to there I need to learn how to get by on less sleep!

  12. Craig,
    Yes, I do use the magic hours 🙂
    Although I had to adjust my wake-ups a bit because of my son, I still try to get up around 6 AM. 
    It is one of the best times to get work done (or exercise).
    What time do you go sleep if you wake up early?

    1.  @ProductiveSd I hear you. We have one on the way. 🙂
      I will go to bed early some nights, just to get up early. Sometimes as early as 9. But, usually 9:30-10:30. 

    1. No, no, no, there was no talk about sleeping less! It’s all about not staying up so late doing nothing (like watching the useless late night shows), so you get the rest and have the energy to get up and perform earlier.

  13. Yes! Well, not quite 4-7 – more like 5:30-7  :-p
    Another HUGE advantage is that very few other people are up at that hour, so I don’t get peppered with new e-mails while I’m working to zero my inbox!

    1.  @Espresso English Agreed! The email advantage is nice too. 
      Also, you emails are at the top of people’s inboxes when they get to work. 🙂

    1.  @Lori Peters Lori, go for what works for you! If night is better than morning, then go for it! 🙂

  14. Hmm, I get up at 5:30am; so it seems like I’m waking up right in the middle of these “magical hours”. I wonder if I can start getting up at 5:00. However, the area where I want to practice is in my music. If I wake up early and practice, it would wake others up. I suppose I could work to clean up my schedule with these magical hours.

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