I wake up at 5 every weekday morning. I wish I could say that it was because I wanted to make the most of the day, coding and reading before work. I do those things, but that’s really a side effect. It’s funny because the waking up was a side-effect of new medication I was taking. I decided to screw it and plan on waking up then anyway. There was no grand plan.

I’m not going to go into how great it is to be up before the sun, and how productive I feel when no one else is awake. No one should be up when I am up. The fact that a ton of CEO’s and other successful people wake up early doesn’t make me like them at all. I’m not making the same mistake the college dropout makes, thinking they are Steve Jobs because they have a shallow similarity to him.

Waking up sucks. It’s hard. Doing hard things makes other hard things easier. I learned it in a structured environment when I was at Dev Bootcamp. It was hard, so doing hard things was just another item on the list. It was rote. When I left DBC, I lost that. The hard things became impossible things. I lost the structure so I lost the lesson.

I’m relearning. Leaning in hard, hustling, and doing tough things is easier to do when you are already doing something that’s hard. So waking up is my One Hard Thing.

Here’s the structure:

  • Wake up

  • Hate myself for being awake but I set too many alarms to back out now

  • Code

The trade off is that nothing is open at 5am, and running errands after work becomes a race against the sun. I have to be asleep by 9 in order to get a full 8. I’m lucky if I get 7+. But I’m up. Every day. It seems to work.

If there’s a lesson, it’s that you’re allowed to dislike the things you have to do. You don’t have to love it, or greet every day with a smile. I try to do at least One Hard Thing. Even if that’s waking up.