21 Morning People Share the Extremely Productive Things They Do While You’re Still Sleeping

1. Wendy P., 40

Wake-up time: 3 A.M. on the dot—usually I don’t even need my alarm.

Bed time: 8 P.M., if I can.

Job: Prosecutor, author, and university lecturer

Morning routine:

3:00: Get up and immediately have a cup of coffee. Then, spend a full hour working.

4:00: Eat breakfast. Then, spend some more time catching up on work—writing articles, creating presentations, and so on.

6:00: Hit the gym with some of my colleagues before heading to the office.

How she does it: “The trick to my 8 P.M. to 3 A.M. sleep schedule is monitoring my post-work activities to make sure I can actually get to bed by 8 P.M.”

2. Nadine P., 48

Wake-up time: 3 A.M.

Bed time: 8 P.M.

Job: Writer

Morning routine:

3:00: Wake up and make coffee before spending about three hours writing.

6:00: Go for a three-mile walk.

7:30: Knock out some chores and answer emails.

Why she does it: “I’m most creative during the early morning hours. It’s like there’s this slim window to let my mind wander while the rest of the world is sleeping, and it’s hard for me to imagine starting my day any other way.”

3. Margaux R., 35

Wake-up time: About 3:30 or 4 A.M.

Bed time: 9:30 P.M.

Job: Social media marketer and influencer coach

Morning routine:

3:30: Get up and make a big pot of tea before spending some time updating my planner.

4:00: Respond to emails.

4:45: Spend two hours walking, while taking periodic breaks to walk my dogs.

How she does it: “People often ask me how I’m able to get up so early, so easily. And as cheesy as it may sound, I’ve found that when I love what I’m doing for a living, I’m excited to start my day!”

4. Lindy L., 47

Wake-up time: 4 A.M. On a good day it might be closer to 3:45!

Bed time: Between 10 and 10:30 P.M.

Job: Educator

Morning routine:

4:00: Wake up, and then take a moment to reflect on my body, my thoughts, and my feelings.

4:05: Do some deep breathing exercises.

4:10: Drink about a liter of water.

4:15: Think about my goals for the day, say my morning prayers, and do a five-minute meditation.

4:20: Stretch and do some light exercise for 10 or 15 minutes.

4:45: Brush my teeth, do my hair, and get ready for the day.

5:15: Journal.

5:20: Make and drink a smoothie while getting some reading done.

5:45: Head out for my morning commute.

Why she does it: “Mornings are magical. They’re such a special time, and the great thing is, you get to decide how to spend them.”

5. Allison J., 44

Wake-up time: 4 A.M.

Bed time: 9:30 P.M. at the latest.

Job: Corporate Communications Director

Morning routine:

4:00: Get up and get ready.

4:15: Leave my home and head to the gym.

4:30: Work out.

5:45: Head home.

6:00: Do the dishes, have a cup of coffee, spend time with my husband, make breakfast, and pack lunch.

6:30: Eat breakfast, catch up on the news, and check my email.

7:15: Wake up my kids, shower, and get ready for work.

7:45: Take my son to school.

8:00: Pack my daughter’s lunch, while continuing to clean the house and check my email.

8:30: Take my daughter to school and head to work.

Why she does it: “Waking up early is an essential part of my daily routine—even on the weekend. It just feels like it adds so many more hours to my day.”

6. Joanna Faith W., 21

Wake-up time: 4 A.M.

Bed time: Between 10 and 11:30 P.M.

Job: Style influencer and full-time college student

Morning routine:

4:00: Wake up, stretch, and check the notifications on my phone, before setting my intentions for the day and skimming the news.

4:10: Get dressed, enjoy a cup of tea, and make breakfast.

5:00: Commute to the office, reading the news on my way.

5:30: Get to the office and dive into my emails.

6:00: Keep chipping away at my work for the day.

7:30: Grab some coffee and head to class. (I juggle school and a style blog!)

Why she does it: “I used to complain that there just weren’t enough hours in the day. But by waking up early, I’ve found a way to create the time I’d been missing. One more thing: My morning routine starts at night. There’s no way I’d be able to function in the morning without an early bedtime—typically around 10 P.M.”

7. Tameika D., 45

Wake-up time: 4 A.M.

Bed time: Between 9:30 and 10:15 P.M.

Job: Attorney, elected official, and consultant

Morning routine:

4:00: Get up and throw a load of laundry in the machine.

4:15: Meditate and do some light yoga.

4:30: Work out.

5:00: Shower and get dressed.

5:30: Clean my house, do the dishes, and respond to emails.

6:00: Wake up my kids and get them ready for school.

7:00: Make sure my kids get to school.

7:15: Catch up on the news.

8:00: Eat breakfast and leave for work.

Why she does it: “Getting these things done early brings me a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it’s easier to just knock these things out first thing in the morning when it’s quiet.”

Morning in the bedroom

8. Melissa S., 50

Wake-up time: 4 A.M.

Bed time: Around 10 P.M.

Job: Activewear designer

Morning routine:

4:00: Wake up.

4:15: Get on my bike and do a 20-25-mile bike ride.

5:00: Walk and feed my dog, make coffee, and pack my daughter’s lunch.

6:30: Hop in the shower.

7:00: Take a moment to write down all the ideas floating around in my head.

7:30: Wake my daughter and get her ready for school.

8:00: Take my daughter to school and get my day underway.

Why she does it: “I’ve created a routine that I love. Having this time in the morning—when nothing’s rushed—is incredibly calming.”

9. Kate C., 36

Wake-up time: Between 4:15 and 5:30 A.M.

Bed time: Between 9 and 10 P.M.

Job: Registered dietitian

Morning routine:

4:30: Wake up, start a pot of coffee, and drink a glass of lemon-cayenne water.

4:45: Snuggle up on my couch to enjoy a cup of coffee and journal.

5:00: Meditate.

5:30: Change clothes, do a 45-minute workout, and take a hot shower.

6:45: Blend a green smoothie and get ready for work.

7:15: Head to work.

How she does it: “I’d like to say it’s a natural wake-up after years of search an early rise time, but it’s not. I still have to ensure I get to bed on time, and I set an alarm each time.”

10. Briana M., 25

Wake-up time: Between 4:30 and 5 A.M.

Bed time: Between 8:30 and 9:30 P.M.

Job: Blogger and freelance writer

Morning routine:

4:30: Wake up, lie in bed thinking about the day ahead, and do some stretching.

5:00: Work on my gratitude list—a full page of things I’m grateful for.

5:15: Hop on the treadmill for a quick workout.

5:45: Do yoga and meditate.

6:45: Shower.

7:00: Get my kids up and ready for school.

7:30: Eat breakfast with my family.

Why she does it: “I do these things so I can set the tone for a positive and successful day. They always leave me feeling relaxed and ready to conquer whatever comes my way.”

11. Cari S., 52

Wake-up time: Between 4:30 and 5:15: A.M.

Bed time: Between 8:30 and 10 P.M.

Job: Social media consultant and freelance writer

Morning routine:

4:30: Get up, make coffee, and let the dogs out.

4:45: Sit down to get started on work and enjoy that cup of coffee I just made.

5:50: Finish up some work and head to the pool.

6:00: Spend about an hour swimming.

7:00: Do work for several more hours before cooking brunch.

Why she does it: “Once the sun comes up, the neighborhood starts waking up and my dogs get restless, and my productivity declines exponentially as the morning progresses.”

12. Alex Y., 29

Wake-up time: 4:45 A.M.

Bed time: 11 P.M.

Job: Realtor

Morning routine:

4:45: Wake up, have a glass of water, and get ready.

5:05: Head to the gym.

5:15: Work out for a little more than an hour.

6:30: Head home to shower.

7:00: Make breakfast and catch up on the news.

7:30: Spend quality time with my family and watch a motivational video before work.

8:00: Head to work.

Why he does it: “For me, getting a morning workout in it critical to get my mind and body in the right place for the rest of the day. I try to keep both in tip-top shape before I head out the door each day!”

13. Veronica P., 46

Wake-up time: Between 4:45 and 5 A.M.

Bed time: Between 10 and 11 P.M.

Job: Yoga teacher and meditation coach

Morning routine:

4:45: Wake up.

5:00: Practice sadhana, meditate, and do yoga.

6:00: Wake up my son and make him breakfast before he goes to school.

6:30: Check my email, do laundry, and cook lunch for my other two children.

7:15: Wake up my daughter, make her breakfast, and send her to school.

8:00: Spend some time with my youngest son, eat breakfast with him, and make sure he’s finished his homework.

Why she does it: “I wasn’t always a morning person, but I’ve realized waking up early brings some clarity and energy to my day.”

14. Lisa L., 50

Wake-up time: 5 A.M.

Bed time: Between 9 and 9:30 P.M.

Job: Full-time food blogger

Morning routine:

5:00: Wake up, get dressed, and head to the gym.

5:15: Spend 45 minutes weight training and 20-30 minutes doing cardio with my husband.

6:45: Get home from the gym, make the bed, change clothes, and have a cup of coffee.

7:00: Sit down to check emails, work on a blog post, or edit photos while my husband reads the paper.

7:30: Make breakfast and do the dishes before hopping in the shower.

8:30: Get dressed, and sit back down at the computer to knock out more work.

Why she does it: “Making my bed every morning is a small thing, but it gets me ready for the rest of my day.”

Lights and shadows

15. Kelli R., 49

Wake-up time: 5 A.M.

Bed time: Between 10 and 11 P.M.

Job: Leadership coach

Morning routine:

5:00: Light candles and incense, and spend 30-90 minutes meditating.

6:00: Sit outside and drink a cup of tea (lemon, ginger, and honey is my favorite).

7:30: Eat breakfast.

8:00: Shower.

8:30: Start working.

Why she does it: “Taking some time for myself each morning helps me stay calm, centered, and grounded.”

16. Adeodata C., 72

Wake-up time: 5 A.M.

Bed time: Depends on the day.

Job: Tour guide

Morning routine:

5:00: Get up and head to the ladies’ room before checking my emails for the day.

6:00: Make sure my daily goals are laid out, eat breakfast, take a shower, and get ready.

7:00: Sit at my desk and handle any outstanding work.

9:00: Head out to do whatever I need to, or keep powering through my word.

Why she does it: “I am so not an evening person.”

17. Jill D., 57

Wake-up time: 5 A.M.

Bed time: 10 P.M.

Job: Entrepreneur

Morning routine:

5:00: Take my time waking up.

5:30: Sip coffee while doing some reading.

6:30: Practice yoga and spend some time with my dog.

7:00: Eat breakfast and catch up on the news.

7:15: Shower, get dressed, and get ready for work while listening to a meditation.

8:15: Pack a lunch and head to work with my dog.

Why she does it: “I’m not someone who can roll out of bed, throw on makeup, and rush out the door. I definitely need a slow, thoughtful start to my day.”

18. Alexis M., 35

Wake-up time: 5 A.M.

Bed time: Between 10 and 11 P.M.

Job: Co-founder and CEO of a company

Morning routine:

5:00: Get up.

5:15: Head to the beach.

5:30: Spend some time running on the beach with my dog.

6:15: Get home and do a 30-minute workout.

6:50: Make breakfast and brew some coffee.

7:15: Shower and get ready.

8:00: Start working.

Why she does it: “Evenings are unproductive for me. I’m always tired from the day, and there are so many fun directions—like dinner, drinks with friends, concerts, and so on. These things are great, but they don’t give me the meditative time to myself I get from my mornings.”

19. Dachia A., 50

Wake-up time: Between 5 and 5:30 A.M. I try to wake up with the sun, which means a later start time during the winter.

Bed time: Between 9 and 10 P.M.

Job: Marketing and business consultant

Morning routine:

5:30: Let the dogs out, then hop back into bed to read for 30-60 minutes.

6:30: Get online and get media for 30 minutes. (I’m always sure it’ll only be a few minutes, and then, of course, it never is.)

7:00: Let the dogs out again and put breakfast out for them. Shortly after that, I’ll hop on the elliptical for a workout.

7:30: Make and eat breakfast. Then, get started on my work for the day.

Why she does it: “I love reading in the morning—I feel like I’ve really accomplished something.”

20. Michelle S., 55

Wake-up time: Usually between 5 and 5:30 A.M.

Bed time: Around 10:30 P.M.

Job: Owner of a marketing agency

Morning routine:

5:30: Scan my phone for emails or other pressing concerns. Then, make tea, move to the sofa, grab my laptop, and read through social media, along with any newsletters I’ve received.

6:15: Meditate.

6:45: Hop in the shower and get ready for the day.

7:45: Enjoy another cup of tea, do another quick email scan, then head to work.

Why she does it: “My mind is going a mile a minute from the time I open my eyes, so it’s all about capitalizing on that and making sure I use that time in ways that get me closer to reaching my goals.”

21. Tonisha P., 41

Wake-up time: Between 5 and 5:30 A.M.

Bed time: 12 A.M.

Job: Consultant, speaker, author, and professor

Morning routine:

5:00: Meditate, pray, and reflect on my emotions.

5:30: Spend some time resting in bed while checking my emails.

6:30: Start a load of laundry while doing some work and responding to more emails. Then, make sure the dog is fed and that my youngest son is getting ready for school.

Why she does it: “I hate when people say the key to success is waking up early; the key to success is knowing when you’re at your most productive and creative. Early rising isn’t for everyone. I know I’m less productive during the late afternoon, so I schedule meetings, deadlines, projects, and other activities accordingly.”

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