Retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink suggested in a Business Insider interview that everyone should wake up at 4:30 a.m. So that’s exactly what I did for one work week. Following is a transcript of the video.Emma Fierberg: I wanted to test out for myself how waking up at 4:30 affected my productivity. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. for one week, like a Navy SEAL. I’ve read a lot about how Navy SEALs like Jocko Willink wake up at 4:30 in the morning. Jocko famously says that discipline equals freedom.
It is Friday, two days before I start this experiment. Normally my alarm goes off five minutes before 8:00 a.m. Setting my alarm a full three and a half hours earlier is gonna be really scary. Will I survive?
So, we’re gonna try to wake up at 4:30, do some sort of exercise, some sort of activity like a puzzle, or nails, or do some cooking maybe, make some breakfast, get dressed, and I’m gonna try to get to work by 7:00, and then I will try to be in bed by 8:00 p.m.
I know I’m gonna break this bed by 8:00 p.m. rule, because I already have plans next week that start at 7:30. The gym in my building doesn’t open until 6:00, so I’m gonna try and kill an hour and a half outdoors. I don’t drink coffee, so this is probably gonna be pretty hard for me. The bag cam, what are the eye bags looking like? Pre-4:30 a.m. eyes.
It is Sunday night, it is 9:42 p.m. I am going to attempt to go to sleep. That’s just not enough hours.Monday
Never have I ever cooked at 5:20 in the morning. Here we are, 7:30 a.m. I have made my lunch for the entire week, minus Friday, I have straightened my hair, and that is it. Let’s see who’s here. Oh, surprise! Nobody. I was a little loopy, I was a little giddy, and then around lunchtime, I got a little hangry and I ate my lunch that I made this morning, and that got my energy back up a little bit, and then, like, 1:15, 2:00, I was just.
Jacqui Frank: What are you doing tonight after getting up at 4:30?
Fierberg: We’re going to the movies! I don’t even know what to say. I’m so tired. I was pretty productive. I did finish a video. I can see already why this is a good idea for certain people. I don’t know if that certain people is this people. If I had to rate my energy level from zero to 10, I would say I’m about a four and a half.
It’s Tuesday! So, today I woke up at 4:30 and I went for a run. I hate this so much. Not a runner. Ooh, I see a rat. Oh, a duck! Look at all the wildlife! I ran for about six minutes. High five. That’s what I thought. And just like that, folks, I’m a human being before 7:00 a.m. I would never describe a run as peaceful before today, but it was. The lighting was lovely. I think exercising in the morning helped me stay a little more chipper. I felt more confident today. I would say, on a scale from zero to 10, I feel about a seven. Oh, oh, and the bag cam. How are the bags doing today? My grandma calls them suitcases.
WednesdayI turned off the alarm, and then I sat in bed on my phone for about a half an hour. And then, at 5:00, I was like, alright girl, it’s time, you’re gonna do a thing. And guess what I did? I painted my nails! I also painted my toenails. I did a really bad job. And then I had my phone call with my friend Dana, who lives in Israel, who’s seven hours ahead of me. So that was a plus. I had an interview today with someone I’ve been trying to get in contact with for a while, and it went really well, so I was really hype for, like, 45 minutes, and then just crashed. I had such a hard time this morning. I got into work and I couldn’t function. I’m gonna play my kickball game, and I’m gonna try to go to bed by 8:00. I know that’s not gonna happen, but I need to actually try. The bedtime is what’s messing me up. Just got back from kickball. It’s 9:12, I’m going to bed, bye!ThursdayHi, it’s Thursday, and I am much more alert! I had all this footage from a trip that I went on with my family in November, and I had never pieced it together into any sort of cohesive thing, so that’s what I did this morning. I finished it, finally. And then I changed and went to the gym, then I showered and I came to work. As you can see, my energy levels are pretty high today. I cracked the formula. If you go to bed at a reasonable hour, and then you do exercise when you wake up, bag cam, bag cam. I’m looking ok today, I think.
It’s Friday. Made it. I did wake up and I went for a walk at the Brooklyn Bridge, which was lovely. The weather was a perfect 72 degrees, the light was beautiful, there weren’t too many clouds. Oh, it was a dream. Everyone should wake up and see the sunrise at the Brooklyn Bridge once in their life, just once. I got to call my British mum today, because they’re five hours ahead, so I called her at about 5:30 this morning, and that was really nice to catch up with her. I was actually incredibly productive today for two reasons. One, I figured out the sleep schedule. Two, it’s the end of Q2 and everyone was hustling. I feel ok. How do my eyes look? Check out the bag cam.Conclusions
I have major respect for Navy SEALs who wake up at 4:30 in the morning, anyone who works night shifts, has wild hours, kudos, I get it now maybe a little bit, maybe not to the fullest extent, but, like, wow. All in all, at the end of this experiment, I understand now why people wake up at 4:30. You feel really good about yourself when you’re productive before everyone else you know has even risen from the pillow. I don’t know if this 4:30 time is gonna stick. I did like being awake at sunrise, but sunrise is like 5:30, so maybe I’ll push to a 6:00 a.m., 6:30 wake up. Having a regimented wake up time was really useful for me. I could feel a little more rested, but other than that, I’ve achieved a lot of things I’ve needed to do for a long time this week. I think waking up at 4:30 really opened my eyes. Now that this week is over, I’m gonna go take a nap. I’ll see you guys later.This video was originally published July 26, 2018
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