As the 13th anniversary of this blog approaches, I meet people all the time who ask me when do I have the time to write posts every weekday. And the truth is, I don’t have the time; I make the time.
I couldn’t have been so committed to this little project unless I enjoyed it. When Tim Davis came to me back in 2005, and suggested I launch a blog, I had a hard time getting my head around the idea of writing something that it seemed at the time to be “undiscoverable.”
I concluded that if the blog was to have any chance at success, I’d have to write posts with regularity. That’s what I learned as a radio programmer – the benefits of consistency and reliability is what keeps stations successful over the long haul.
And it’s the same with this blog, a podcast, or anything else you do that is designed to reach people with shared interests.
So, JacoBLOG goes “live” every weekday morning at 6:10am ET. And that means, I had to discipline myself a long time ago that unless I chose to burn the midnight oil, I was going to have to wake up pretty damn early to write it or edit it – especially if I’m on the road in an earlier time zone.
Most mornings, whether I’m in a hotel room or at home, my iPhone wakes me in the 4 a.m. hour. And as I’ve learned over the years, there are many upsides to getting out of bed before dark.
An article in Entrepreneur by Ilya Pozin lists several upsides to early rising that can make your life better. I took his list, and added a few items of my own that will hopefully resonate with media people.
Here are 10 advantages to getting up when most morning teams do:
1. There’s time to work out
This isn’t me, but a lot of people enjoy fitness routines early in the morning. When you wake up early, there’s all kinds of time to get in a workout, while also mentally planning out your day.
2. There’s no traffic
Wherever you’re headed at these ridiculously early hours, chances are good (unless perhaps you’re in L.A. or D.C.), it’ll be a quiet, peaceful drive. Getting to work without commuter anxiety is always a great idea. And yes, it gives you plenty of time to think.
3. There are few distractions
You can clear your email inbox and rest assured you won’t be pinged by any meaningful email in the 5am hour. And with no one else in the office (or the station), it’s amazing how much you can get accomplished in the hours before the rest of the world shows up for work.
4. You’re in good company
Some pretty successful people are early risers. Apple’s Tim Cook gets moving at 3:45am, but that doesn’t beat Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne who sets the alarm 15 minutes earlier. The CEOs of Starbucks, General Motors, and Virgin – Howard Schultz, Mary Barra, and Richard Branson – are at their desks during the 6am hour. A common trait among over-achievers is being an early riser. I’ll bet you that’s the case with most of radio’s “40 Most Powerful,” too.
5. You’ll hear the first hour of morning shows
I’m always amazed by the way great morning teams and hosts get going. Do they hit the ground running during their first hour, or are they caffeinating and scrambling? I get treated to a lot of great morning radio, whether I’m at home or on the road – when I should be listening to morning radio anyway.
6. You can be the “mayor” of your local Starbucks
You’ve probably noticed it – there’s that same person who somehow shows up at your neighborhood Starbucks right when they open. You could be that person. Actually, walking into a coffee joint when it opens is a nice moment to converse with the baristas and take in some of the great aromas. It’s the best time of day to spend a few minutes in these places before the morning drive deluge begins.
7. You get more done every day
Because you’ve kicked out all that work before the “official” start of your company’s workday, it gives you the opportunity to tackle more meaningful work as the day rolls on. Most morning people will tell you they’re simply more productive because they’re working at a higher more efficient rate – and with a clear mind. Without others hanging around to distract you, it’s amazing what you can get accomplish.
8. You can eat breakfast
They say it’s the most important meal of the day, but who has time to eat it? You do, if you’re an early riser. And you just might rediscover some of those wonderful foods you may have stopped eating years ago – breakfast cereals, toasted bagels, and my new favorite, oatmeal.
9. You’ll set an example for your staff (or the boss)
Whether you’re a manager or you’re being managed, people around you will take note of your early morning routine. And when they ask you “How do you do it?” just give them a smile and a shrug – and get back to work.
10. You’ll be happier and healthier
That’s what the research says, courtesy of a University of Toronto research study conducted a few years ago. They found that most so-called “morning people” don’t get caught up into staying up (or out) too late, causing what they describe as “social jet lag.” And the older you are, the more likely your early rising habits make you feel good.
Of course, some people simply aren’t made to wake up before the sun shines. And if that’s you, I’m sure you stopped reading this post long ago, rolled over, and went back to sleep. But for those of you who are early-waker-uppers or are thinking about readjusting your schedule, I’ll see you at Starbucks.
And know that you’re well on the way to catching those worms.
Jacobs Media has consistently walked the walk in the digital space, providing insights and guidance through its well-read national Techsurveys.
In 2008, jacapps was launched - a mobile apps company that has designed and built more than 1,000 apps for both the Apple and Android platforms. In 2013, the DASH Conference was created - a mashup of radio and automotive, designed to foster better understanding of the "connected car" and its impact.
Along with providing the creative and intellectual direction for the company, Fred consults many of Jacobs Media's commercial and public radio clients, in addition to media brands looking to thrive in the rapidly changing tech environment.