Based on a recommendation, once again from Entrepreneurs on Fire, I picked up the book The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast* by Jeffrey Sanders. I have to say that I’m very pleased with the book. Basically, this one book pulls together everything that I’ve been trying to implement at my job all in one place. Almost all of the concepts are highlighted in this book.
The 5 A.M. Miracle is really about increasing productivity. And no, you do not have to get up at 5 a.m. That is what I initially thought, but Sanders was pretty clear up front that you don’t necessarily have to get up at 5 a.m. However, he did advocate that you should get up earlier than you presently do to take advantage of the time when you would have the most energy.
This 179-page book has 12 chapters spread across these three parts: the 5 a.m. miracle, the 5 a.m. blueprint, and the 5 a.m. action plan. Each chapter has a quick review and action plan section.
The 5 a.m. Miracle
The first three chapters focused on the 5 a.m. miracle. In this section, the Sanders talked about why he moved to this program. He explained what he has discovered by getting up at 5 a.m. The primary reason is that at this time of day he has a lot more energy to complete tasks necessary to achieve his goals. Whereas, later in the day, his energy diminishes. With this energy, he can basically chip away at his goals.
Sanders also discussed the idea of having processes, routines, and systems to get you started on the right foot. Starting your day at 5 a.m. is the beginning of a routine. By getting up at 5 a.m., you have an opportunity to plan your day; an opportunity to take advantage of the quiet time when no one else is disturbing you. You can then focus on the things that you want to do; therefore, you can be more productive because you are chipping away at your goals. He also provided an action plan on how you can change from someone who gets up later in the day to somebody who can get up at 5 a.m. This is basically a shift in your clock, but he also gave some tips that make it easier.
The 5 a.m. Blueprint
This was an interesting part of the book because Sanders really focused on systems and processes that I have been implementing during the first year of my new job. This includes having large goals that we’re working on broken into OKRs (I took this from Google) or as he outlined them, a quarter system. It is basically taking those the large goals and breaking them into bite-sized chunks and working on those with a deadline. He also talked about setting up routines. This is something I’ve also done at work. I have my in-processing routine where I check my email, check my newsletters, and check my task and goal lists before I get the day started. This is my opportunity to learn and an important part of my routine. Because of this book, I now get up earlier and I try to knock out a walk—a new part of my routine. By completing it first thing in the morning, I’ve already taken care of one of my important tasks and that’s trying to improve my fitness. Sanders also stressed the importance of tracking your progress. I’m very happy with what he has written in this book.
For each of these sections, he goes into quite a bit of detail as he lays out his system.
In this book, Sanders also provided some templates such as designing your ideal week. I thought this was quite important. It provides an opportunity to identify the best time to do things such as checking email, holding meetings, etc. Having a consistent schedule helps with productivity.
One of the other parts of the book that I found to be very interesting was his productivity strategies. He pulled together different ideas such as zero inbox and the ONE thing. These are some of the strategies that I’ve been trying to implement at work.
Sanders also recommended conducting daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews to determine how your plans are progressing. He provided some ideas on how to get the best results.
The 5 a.m. Action Plan
In the last two chapters of the book, Sanders included two important elements: a 30-day program to get you started with the 5 a.m. miracle program and a toolbox of recommended readings and other programs. The 30-day action plan is kind of a summary of all the action items that he included in each chapter. It is a great little guide to get you started on the 5 a.m. miracle system.
As indicated above, this book basically summarizes everything that I have been trying to do at work for the past year. All these different concepts that I’ve been pulling together and introducing to my team over the past year have been put together into one book by Sanders. It was like he was reading my mind.
I think this is a very good book for anyone and everyone who is trying to become more productive. I can eagerly recommend this book. In fact, I bought copies for my teammates; that is how much I liked it.
One final note, I also recommend the Entrepreneurs on Fire podcast on the subject.
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