5pm Club

The 5am Club. Runaway 2018 self-help lifehack manual by Robin Sharma.

I am not buying it.

It comes from a long line of quasi-science pop authors all preferring the morning lark route beats that of the night owl.

To achieve “productivity, prosperity, performance and impact” on the scale of “superstars, virtuosos and geniuses” he suggests, you must follow a formula dubbed “20/20/20”. From 5am till 5.20 you exercise. From 5.20 to 5.40 you meditate. Finally, from 5.40 till 6, it’s self-improvement and learning time.

If this works for you, then great. Keep going. If it doesn't though, then fear not. There is another path to victory. There's morsels up for grabs beyond that of the early birds' worms. For one, just apply a dose of critical thinking to where say, rockstars fit on that above claim.

For me, this so-called Lark Advantage peddled as the one true way to glory is rubbish. Unfounded. And in a way, guilty of survivor bias.

It may be simply that those with circadian rhythms predicated for the early bird outnumber those of us, me included, for whom the opposite heralds a peak.

So by default, you hear more of their purported winning formula.

I clearly come from the minority. Where deep work can see twilight hours sped through with great output way beyond what pre-dawn, daybreak slots yield.

Though I feel obliged to point out that I have seldom pulled all-nighters. Have hit the hay in the small hours, then set alarm for silly o'clock and cracked on. I tend to view forcing yourself through unsocial hours panicked as a sign of organisational failure. Very much to be avoided.

As is the drive to get up ever earlier. Regardless of personal life demands and outside of work routine situation.

I used to think this was in part due to Hollywood alpha framing. Beachside Gordon Gekko phoning Bud Fox to boast of his ocean view at sunrise in 1987's Wall Street.

Working across time zones, during intense bursts of project delivery, or to travel, there are times when I disrupt my ideal pattern to get ahead of the day. But I ensure it is the exception.

I would say that any dialogue with someone you are set to have ought be at a time which best serves the best outcome. And for that, timing should be as close as possible to optimal for both parties. If that is deliberately spurned, then where's the respect? Where's the future business? Where's the point?

I read a broadsheet journalist diary [sub'n req'd] of joining the 5am Club.

Here's a trio of quotes captured from the author in question worthy of note.

"Start the morning being productive instead of reactive"
"The habit-forming process takes 66 days"
“Your excuses are seducers"

That middle one is a bit contentious, hey. Although James Clear concurs. Kind of, noting the range being dependent on many factors and from a wildly broad 18 to 254 days.

Bookended by a pair of good steers, mind.

Given the design of the work day - and its present-day flexibility - then there will be those for whom the 20-20-20 prescription above can be done, undisturbed and with due consideration of colleagues or clients, at eight a.m., say.

Earlier doesn't necessarily mean better. In tune with your prospect on the other hand, is definitely so.

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