The 4AM Challenge — Making Time to Get Ahead

It’s Saturday morning as I write this, while stopped at a Chick-Fil-A for breakfast before my painting class. I was mentally bemoaning my supposed lack of productive time as I sat down to write a post when I realized that my lack of productive time was the post.

Sure, I have time to work at my job, relax with my family, paint once a week, and help others. I also have time for stuff like running errands, paying bills, emptying the dishwasher, making supper, and procrastinating on our taxes.

But where is the time to do more than just tread water in my small business? By the time I get done with all that other stuff and sit down to work, I’m exhausted.

So in keeping with the idea of doing important things first, I’m going to be dragging my rear out of bed each day this week at 4am.

I’m going to do a least one previously-unused hour’s worth of time’s bit of work on my business during that hour.

If something is important, we’ll make sacrifices, and this is mine.

Note that I am not a morning person either. My ideal and natural schedule is to stay up til midnight or 1am and get up about 9am. Since I start work at 6am, that hasn’t happened in years. What’s one more hour of a change to my natural schedule?

I challenge you to give yourself at least an extra 6 hours in the week by getting up an hour earlier than whenever you normally do.

Don’t stay up later: get up earlier.

Sure, it’ll be hard. So what. It’ll be worth it.


  • Wow. 4am? That is awesome. It reminds me of a quote I read yesterday:

    “No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year fails to make his family rich.” – Chinese proverb

    • Jaime, cool proverb :) 4am is insanely early, but strangely I do feel better today after having done so. I know that at the very least I did already get something done for the day.

  • Unfortunately I already get up hours before I should!

  • Like you, I am not a morning person and can’t think of anything important enough to me to wake up that early for, but YOU GO GIRL!!!

    My husband and I have found that waking up at 8am or 9am on the weekends feels way better than waking up at 11am…plus it wastes less of the good days.

    How’s it working out for you on Day 2?

    • Budgeting, it’s not so much about waking up at 4am in particular, it’s about waking up an hour earlier than normal. That just happens to be the time for me. Day 2…hm, I am pretty tired already and it’s not even 4pm, but then again I’m always pretty tired when I get home from work.

      I’ve noticed a couple things about it so far. One is what I already mentioned — that I felt good about doing it. The other is that it’s not so much the 4am that’s hard, it’s that it’s super hard for me to get up right when the alarm goes off without hitting snooze. However I refuse to set my alarm any earlier than 4am just so that I can push a button.

  • Yeah, my husband was addicted to his snooze button when I met him. Since I can’t go back to sleep once an alarm goes off, he stopped eventually…okay, I nagged him to death for 2 years…

    I think this is an awesome idea if you have something to work for in that extra hour. If I run out of time, I will definitely start doing this. Thanks for the idea.