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Why Being an Early Bird Will Always Trump Being a Night Owl

Age old debate here, gentlemen.

Can you really change your habits and sleeping patterns?

Some (most) people prefer to stay up as late as possible. Whether or not they are using those hours in the late nights productively is a whole different discussion.

Most people will say whatever they want to say to rationalize their own choices.

But that’s not what we do here at This Is Trouble. Here, we deal with reality.

This is a post is simply arguing that for most people in the world, you will get further ahead in life by getting up early – not working late.

If you think I’m calling you lazy because you “work” all night, you probably are. If it offends you, you definitely are lazy. Take off the brave face and really look inside yourself.

Be honest.

Be real.

You owe it to yourself.


I used to be the guy who proclaimed he was a “productive night owl”. I used to stay awake until 2-3am working on various things. I’d go to sleep exhausted but rationalize it away as being “productive”.

The reality was more that I was bullshitting around, getting nothing done, but truly was tricking myself into thinking that I was doing a lot.

At the late times of night, my brain was foggy, my creativity handicapped, and my knack for slacking off was higher.

Sorry, but watching a YouTube video about how to be a better writer is not the same as actually writing.

And that’s what most people are doing at nights. Watching or reading stuff that they didn’t create, but calling it “learning”.

If you want to learn, read a book.

I recently read Launch to help prepare myself for The Harem Handbook.

What do you really think was a better use of my time; to read that book and absorb all of it’s knowledge in an offline setting, or to read a dozen different blogs and watch twenty videos about launching a product?

Which one do you think I would take in more from?


I’m as guilty of this as anyone.

I used to sit around watching videos that I thought would help myself get better in life, instead of doing.

Often times, these were late at nights.

I just needed an escape to unplug from the harsh realities of the world I was living in.

It’s not just YouTube.

In general, there is too much “absorbing” and not enough action in people.

And I truly think the late nights are a big part of it.


When I left my corporate job, I shifted my entire routine forward. I wasn’t allowed to go to bed any later than midnight, and wasn’t allowed to wake up any later than 6:30am.

I’ve (mostly) kept to this schedule since I moved to Poland, with the exception of a few crazy 3:00-4:00am nights out (they do love their vodka here).

My thoughts are always more clear in the morning.

My writing is the best it gets.

I make the upcoming Harem Handbook course sharper than it already is in the morning.

In the evenings, I end up just clicking around it and not really doing much.

Waking up with the sun gives you energy for life.

Going to sleep with it saps you.

Everyone is going to vary a bit. Some people need a full eight hours of sleep, every night, to function. I have done extensive testing with myself and found that 6.5-7.5 hours is the sweet spot for my body.

If I get a full eight I actually tend to feel a bit more groggy and sluggish than if I get a little less.

But, sometimes I also supplement it with a quick powernap in the afternoon.


Some people might call me lazy and say that I should get more sleep at night if I “need” to nap during the day.

Ahh, but that’s the beauty of being the boss.

Your body needs a recharge if you’re working hard and using those brain muscles.

I realize most of you can’t just go and nap in the middle of the day while you’re at work.

So do something different.

Go for a fifteen minute walk in the fresh air.

Go up to the roof and take in a little sun.

Recharge yourself a bit.

Oh, and go to bed earlier.

Wake up with the sun.

You’ll see the results.

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  • Chef

    100% agree with this. I’ve been been up at 6:30-7 for the past month and getting a lot more done prior to my official work day beginning around 9am. What do you do to avoid computer fatigue? Or the afternoon slump? I’ve been experimenting with long lunches, 1.5 hrs with a eating, reading and walking.

    • What do you mean by computer fatigue? Eyes, wrists, back – I have different ways to counter all of them.

      Afternoon slump I down an espresso, ha!

      • Chef

        Say I work from 9am-12pm, if I forget to take a break my eyes get strained just staring at the computer. Definitely taking a quick walk around the block helps, or interacting with another human to breakup the solitude.

        I’ve been experimenting with naps, I read somewhere if you just rest for 20 minutes, even without sleeping you get most of the recharge benefits

        Any good back exercises?

      • GET FLUX:

        Seriously, I run it 24/7 and my eyes got significantly less fatigued as soon as I started using it. Complete 180.

        Yes, I nap in the afternoon sometimes too – I set an alarm for 30-40 minutes after I lay down to give myself time to fall asleep, figuring it will take a few to fall asleep. 20 minute nap is the perfect amount of time before you hit a dreaded cycle in REM where it becomes more groggy to wake up.

        As for backs…I do a lot of lower back on gym machines, which helps. Otherwise I don’t know.

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