Here is a great guest post by Andy Traub. Andy hates getting up early but loves being up early. He’s the author of Early To Rise: Learn to rise early in 30 Days. Win a copy at the end of this post.
You can learn more about his book at EarlyToRiseBook.com. He is a full-time podcaster and founder of Take Permission Media Network.
Leaders are different because they go first.
Leaders have three jobs.
- Look into the future
- Map out a path to get there
- Go first
If these things sound difficult then welcome to leadership, it’s work. There’s a silver bullet habit that will help you achieve all three aspects of your role as a leader. Before we talk about the habit let’s define the three jobs of a great leader.
Look into the future:
Someone has to lay the asphalt and someone needs to map out the road. Your job is to map out the road. You have to look ahead so people have work a year from now. You must have a vision and that happens by looking into the distance. You need quiet to do this. That’s tough because distractions are everywhere. This habit will almost completely reduce your distractions.
Map out a path to get there:
Strategic thinking requires balancing the many different aspects of your business. To think strategically you must mentally traverse a path that doesn’t yet exist. You’re guessing, planning, and dreaming. That requires total focus. You can’t get that type of focus between meetings or at 4pm at your desk. Mapping out a path takes total focus. This habit allows you room to think.
Intentions aren’t worth jack squat if you never take action on them. Leaders go first. They are the head of the spear. They don’t just yell “Charge!”, they are in front leading that charge. This habit gives you the time you need to take action.
Jon Acuff told me once that opportunities are drawn to people in motion. He’s right. People who take action get more opportunities than those who don’t. I’m going to invite you to build a habit that will bring you opportunities. If you take those opportunities is up to you but you’ll get them if you build this habit.
Rise early. Rise early with intention. Rise early and listen. Rise early and read. Rise early and dream. Rise early and create. Get your butt out of bed.
If you get out of bed before the rest of the world and do it with intention your life will change very quickly. Don’t get up early to just do the same crap you do day in and day out. That won’t change anything. If you want a different life then you need to take different actions. Most people sleep in as late as they can. You’re not like most people. You’re a leader.
If you are a leader then you must begin to wake up early and do it with a purpose. Here are three steps to building a habit of rising early as a leader.
- Go to bed earlier. You’re up late watching television, working, or putting around on the internet. Go to bed earlier because your night hours are not as productive as your morning hours will be. 5-6 am is three times more productive a time to dream, plan and take action than 11pm-Midnight is.
- Have a plan for your morning. Don’t do more of the same. Buy a nice notebook and make it your dream notebook. Write out dreams for your business, your team, and yourself. Dreaming is free so you have no excuse not to do it. You can’t become it if you don’t dream and believe it first. Schedule your coffee maker to turn on at 5 am. Have everything ready for a productive morning before you go to bed.
- Be accountable to someone. Text a buddy every morning 10 minutes after you wake up. If you don’t text him then you owe him lunch. He can do it too. Competition is healthy. Leaders are too often lone rangers. Don’t be afraid to invite members of your team or a friend to take this challenge on with you.
My business and personal life have radically improved because of my habit of rising early. I’m a better father, husband, friend, Christian, and business owner because I get my butt out of bed early.
If you want to change your life then change something tomorrow morning. Rise early.