“Successful people are working when others don’t!” – Not (fully) true.
Richard Branson wakes up at 5am.
Tim Cook (Apple CEO) wakes up at 4am.
Warren Buffett wakes up at 6:45am (and this is considered sleeping ‘late’)
Oprah wakes up at 6am.
Gurus claim vapid things like “they’re awake while others are sleeping, and that’s how they get ahead!” …But then they go to bed at 8pm, and sleep while everyone else is awake.
There’s not more hours in the day because of what time someone gets up. They all need 6-8 hours of sleep to function. So why does waking early clearly give an edge for many?
Because when you’re up at 4am, and everyone else is sleeping, you can get some work done without other people hounding you to do stuff or constantly interrupting you. By 6pm, people have already worked, and they’re ready to play until they’re sleepy. If you’re unavailable because you’re in bed at 8pm, you’re just “no fun” and have no fun social life. If you’re unavailable at 8am, however, you’re “worthless” and you should be working like the rest of us!
The point is you have to work at all the same times other normal people are working (which are creating problems that need your ‘urgent attention!’). Since people only play in the evenings, it’s best to be asleep then. Best to just be considered “no fun” and be asleep when people are enjoying their lives in the evening.
Working late at night doesn’t work. If “successful people work when others sleep” was fully true, then staying up and working til 4am would be great. The reality is that staying up til 4am makes you sleep until 12pm, which means you were “worthless” to everyone from 8-12pm. Not good. You’re also missing a productive window to get other people to do stuff in those 4 hours. If everyone woke up at 4am, waking up early wouldn’t work.
It may be debatable on the happiness of someone that’s ultra “successful,” but has no social life or anyone to share that success with – that sounds more like failure to me.
Realize that these morning people get an edge when they work when others sleep, AND they work when others work. It’s like doubling your productivity. Regardless, in the future when someone yammers about how successful people working when others don’t, you can watch their mind go into a train wreck when you ask why successful people don’t stay up all night and sleep all day then. So quote a more accurate statement,
Successful people sleep only when others are playing.