I’ve been waking up with my wife for the last couple weeks. While I don’t need to get up till 7:45, she’s usually out the door by 6:30. It’s part of a general effort on my part to increase my quality of life, and while sleeping in is nice, getting up slightly before dawn is better.

Jocko (that Navy Seal with the podcast and the big ol’ ears) explained that he gets up at 4 AM because getting up early sets the tone for the whole day. You’ve already beaten the hardest test of your willpower when you get up early; it makes doing everything else you want to do a matter of simple momentum.

So why get to work at 7 when my job doesn’t start till 8:30?

Because your morning hours are quiet. There will be fewer people demanding your attention, and even social media feeds aren’t active at dawn. The mornings are an open field of creative free time.

Additionally, people have more creative energy in the mornings. Were there writers who hit their stride in the evenings? Sure. Did those folks have day jobs that demanded a great deal of their mental energy? I would wager they did not.

Finally, get up early because you’re guaranteed to have energy in the morning. When I get home at 6, it’s a coin flip whether I’ll have energy to write. If I do write, I’ll write well into the hours I need for sleep. And when chores and errands inevitably come up, where do they go in the schedule? Your evenings.

Our nights are basically catch basins for emergencies and unplanned interruptions. But our mornings? We usually leave those alone. So doesn’t it make sense for us to put the things that matter, the things we really want to do, as early in the day as possible?

If You're a Writer with a Day Job, You Need to Get Up Early