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The benefits of working at 5am

Updated: Jun 6

Getting up at quarter to five and being ready to start working fifteen minutes later isn't for everyone. But there are some huge advantages to stretching over the squeaky floorboards and tiptoeing down the stairs in the dark (strap in, some of it sounds a bit silly)...

Someone tucked up in bed holding an alarm clock

What I've noticed about an early start

  • Improved focus and increased productivity

    • Early mornings are quiet. With no distractions or interruptions, your can focus solely on the task at hand. (Also, put your phone down).

    • After a good night's sleep, your brain has had a refresher. Problems will be easier to solve and decisions easier to make.

  • Better health and well-being

    • Building exercise into your early morning routine (even if it's just 20 star jumps) sets you up for the day. You attack it with energy!

    • If you work near a window or have opportunity to step outside, you'll benefit from the morning sunlight. It helps regulate circadian rhythms, can greatly improve your mood and gets you some of that lovely vitamin D! When I get up, I often stand on the back door step and just listen. Birds, breeze, distant factories and the odd car or two. It's one of my favourite sounds.

  • Time management

    • Starting work before most people are even out of bed gives you an amazing head start. At the very least, it gives you the feeling you've had a head start. If you've planned your tasks the previous evening, you can crack straight on with them. And one of the biggest benefits - getting things done early on makes the rest of the day feel like a breeze.

    • If you don't work from home, beat the traffic and get to the office early. Then go home early!

  • Mindfulness

    • Because the world is quieter (even more so in my booth!), practicing something like meditation, affirmations or just some quiet thinking time, can give your creativity a boost.

    • Such practices can reduce stress, so why not start the day off as calmly as you can? It will pay off immeasurably. I can tell when I haven't had my quiet time in the morning. My temper is shorter and things annoy me more!

A lady performing yoga under the sun

  • Improved quality of sleep

    • A consistent sleep pattern contributes to better overall health. It seems strange, but getting up early gives me MORE energy than an extra hour or two of sleep.

    • Getting adequate sleep enhances emotional stability, memory and cognitive function. Although I still forget what I'd walked into a room for... several times a day.

  • Professional advantages

    • How good will it make you look when you arrive at work early and PUMPED for the day? Yes, your work buddies will think you're lame, but it's their loss.

    • You'll have extra time to GET STUFF DONE, or maybe you could do a bit of professional development.

    • NB. I am not suggesting you become a teacher's pet, just being more efficient.

    • Bonus benefit - lots of business networking groups start VERY early. Look at this blog post to find out some benefits of business networking.

  • Personal time

    • You don't have to work straight away. You can do literally anything you want. I sometimes play guitar. I've even played Minecraft at 5am - really giving my creativity a workout. Read a book. Go for a walk. It's your time.

    • It's all about starting the day with purpose. Setting your stall out. Taking some time for yourself before the world (and in my case a very noisy family) wakes up.

Working at 5am benefits

We're all different. I love getting up early, others hate it and don't understand why anybody would do it! But it's simply a fact - you'll feel so much better destroying the day by bursting out of bed early than you will if you slowly make your way to life around 9 or 10, slothing down the stairs and feeling half asleep 'til lunch time.

A good business buddy of mine recommended a book to me a couple of years ago - The Miracle Morning. He said "everyone I've told about this book has said it changed their life."

(For more books that I enjoy, this blog about gifts suitable for voice over artists has a few).


I've never read a book so quickly. I wanted and needed what it was talking about. And part of that was an early start... it changed MY life too.

If you do start getting up early, remember to get enough sleep, eat properly, drink enough water, get exercise and all the other boring stuff that keeps us living well.

My morning routine

  • Get up at 4.45am.

  • Splash cold water in face.

  • Brush teeth.

  • Drink water.

  • Make decaf coffee.

  • Miracle morning

  • Work by 5.15am.

It takes me about 30 minutes to get in the zone before I'm ready to go. But at that moment I can do some voice over work, marketing, research, emails or whatever else is on my plate with no interruptions or distractions and with optimal focus.

On a professional level, I can get my voiceover jobs done before my clients even start work. When they turn up at 9am, bam, there's my file. The voiceover is often the last part of the production puzzle, so being ultra-efficient is a huge help.

Ok now that I've managed to turn full inspirational into a pitch about voiceover, I may as well get on with it...

...if you'd like me to speak for you at 5.15am, get in touch.


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Martin Whiskin voiceover artist talking into a Rode NT1-a microphone
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