I’ve been a little more active on Twitter recently and I noticed something quite interesting. Starting at around 10pm PST, the chatter goes silent. I tend to stay up until midnight to 1am and it’s interesting to observe how activity ebbs and flows online.
I usually wake up sometime between 5:30am-6am and spend time checking e-mail, responding to comments, stretching and seeing what’s going on online. Again, absolute silence until about 7am PST when things start coming alive. Where is everybody during the silent times? Sleeping?
There was a time where I’d sleep 7 or more hours a day, but no more. For the past 10 years, my body automatically gets up after 6 hours of sleep and never later than 6:30am on the weekdays, and 7:30am on the weekends no matter when I go to bed! Poker until 3am? Good morning sunshine at 7:30am!
Actually, I wish I could sleep in until 9am sometimes, but I just can’t. Part of the reason for my automatic clock is that I eat regularly, and therefore have the desire to use the restroom regularly. Time to go, my body says and I get up. Unconsciously, there must also be a strong feeling of guilt that I’m wasting my life away sleeping.
7 HOURS A WEEK LEADS TO 30+ HOURS MORE A MONTH
Imagine if you had 30 hours more a month to do what you wish. What could you accomplish? I bet you could accomplish a whole lot of amazing things. If you read 60 pages an hour, you could read six, 300 page books a month! If it takes you one hour to burn off 500 calories, you could shed 15,000 calories or 6-8 pounds a month! Whether it’s mastering a musical instrument or building a business, an extra 30 hours a week is an incredible competitive advantage. This is where drive comes in.
It’s a ridiculous fact that we spend 1/3rd of our lives sleeping. If you live until 90 years old, doesn’t it make you sick that 30 of those years were spent sleeping? It makes me sick, because I’m so conscience about the brevity of life.
To put it another way, let’s say you want to “increase” the length of your life by extending the conscience portion. By sleeping one hour less every day, you increase your conscience life by 15% (60 years to 69 years), assuming you sleep 7 hours a day! Suddenly, it’s as if the 90 year old is living until 104 years old (104 X 66% = 69 years old)! Perfect.
WORK WHEN OTHERS ARE AT PLAY
Small changes (wake up one hour earlier) leads to great changes over time (a 9 year longer conscience life span). It may be tough to wake up earlier and sleep only 5-6 hours a day at first, but trust me when I tell you that your body will get used to it and start wanting to wake up. Maybe you’ll have to cut down your late night drinking and partying, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
My mother used to tell me growing up, “Use your summer vacation wisely and work when others are playing.” At the time, all I really wanted to do was hang out with my buddies and go skateboarding. She was right of course, because as soon as I started buckling down and focusing, I was able to exceed expectations.
Yes, you might find me corresponding at 6am PST on certain days, don’t worry. It’s me, and not an automated robotic sending something out. In fact, I can’t wait to wake up every single morning and check my messages and see what’s going on in the world. There’s so much activity, sometimes I wish I didn’t have to sleep at all!
If You Want To Quit Your Job
If you want to leave a job you no longer enjoy, I recommend negotiating a severance instead of quitting. If you negotiate a severance like I did back in 2012, you not only get a severance check, but potentially subsidized healthcare, deferred compensation, and worker training. Since you got laid off, you’re also eligible for up to 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. Having a financial runway is huge during your transition period.
Conversely, if you quit your job you get nothing. Check out, How To Engineer Your Layoff: Make A Small Fortune By Saying Goodbye, on how to negotiate a severance. I first published the book in 2012 and have since expanded it to 180 pages from 100 pages in the 3rd edition thanks to tremendous reader feedback and successful case studies.