Does waking up early really make you more productive?

Written by Trisha Bhullar


There are so many productivity gurus out there who encourage you to wake up early. Some people even wake up at 4 am to become more productive. But does waking up early really improve your productivity? Let’s tear down one of the biggest productivity myths in the book.

Why might waking up early make you more productive?

Waking up early could definitely make you more productive in certain contexts. For example, if you have noisy housemates who distract you from work, then shifting your sleep schedule and working quietly in the wee hours of the morning could be great for you.

The second way this could make you more productive is through the placebo effect. When you wake up early and tell yourself it’s the best time to be productive, you will naturally fulfill this by working harder. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, you decide that since you’ve put in so much effort to wake up early, you might as well get that task done.

The third way waking up early helps with productivity is by being a source of encouragement. Hopping out of bed at 4 am is no easy feat, so getting this done could be an early-morning encourager that powers you through the rest of your tasks. In essence: “if I can wake up at 4 am, I can do anything today!”

Waking up early could make you unproductive

However, this 4am early morning productivity routine is slightly over glorified. It works depending on your personal situation and personality. For some people, waking up early could in fact make you more unproductive than ever. That’s because your groggy mind might slip up and make careless mistakes (which take time to fix!) In fact, over 350 genetic factors could determine whether waking up early is right for you.

At the end of the day, your body will work very differently from others’. That’s exactly why some people are early birds and other people are night owls. It doesn’t mean that one type of person is better, or more productive, than another.

banerek timeqube min

So… what does this mean for you?

Does waking up early really make you more productive? That depends on you.

At the end of the day, it’s about what works for you. I know, it sounds easy in theory but figuring out whether early morning productivity is right for you can be a challenge. Here’s what you can try: give it a go.

If you’re really curious as to whether this myth works, try working at different hours of the day (or morning) and time yourself to note when you’re most productive. You can use a handy productivity tool, like a Timeqube, to do this. A Timeqube is a mindful timer that indicates the passing of time through a gentle change in color. Use your Timeqube to time your number of productive hours. The best time for you to work is the time frame where you have the longest productive work streak — whether it’s the morning, evening, or night. Give it a go today and let us know if the early morning myth holds up for you!