100 Words On: Why Most Early Risers Usually Wake Up Smiling

Twenty top CEOs were surveyed by Yahoo! Finance and 80% of them said they wake up every morning at 5:30 or earlier. As for the the other 20% — they rise and shine no later than 6:00. According to Forbes, studies show that early risers are more optimistic, conscientious and stable. It turns out that morning people are more proactive too — which leads to greater career success and more pay. Obviously, Ben Franklin wasn’t kidding when he advocated the benefits bestowed upon early risers.

The bottom line: You never know … the quest for additional income could be as easy as readjusting your alarm clock setting.

Photo Credit: Jim Bahn


  1. 1


    Len, I’m a big fan of sleep; that said, I wake up earlier than the sun most days. It’s easier to focus on writing, catching up on email and planning my day if I do it before the rest of the world wakes up.

    • 2

      Len Penzo says

      Totally agree, Jay. I’m up and at ’em at 5:00 a.m. on the weekdays. On the weekends I “sleep in” until 7:00.

  2. 3


    I get up at 5:30 and I know that I’m definitely most productive in the morning. In fact, I track my to-do list and I typically average 5-6 things done in the early part of the day, and it drops down to 2-3 in the last couple of hours.

  3. 7

    Edward says

    Sadly, most of the CEOs I’ve had the (un)pleasure of meeting have been jerks. So twenty of the *top* CEO’s are probably total douchebags. … Could this be because they’re tired by noon?

    If being a success with more pay means waking up early and being a complete knob all day, I think I’ll stay in bed ’til 10.

    • 11

      Len Penzo says

      I’m with you, Vangile. My most productive time at work often tends to be the first two hours when most everyone else is still driving in to the office.

  4. 16


    If I get up early and crack into the working day by 8.30am (without being distracted by the markets, which open here in the UK at 8am) then I can be done for the day by 2pm.

    The same isn’t true if I work from say 3pm to 9pm. Which is a shame, because I love the early morning sun and I’d rather be out in it! :)

  5. 17


    I’m on the late schedule. I go to bed around midnight, up at 7. Since I live close to work, I’m still in by 8 which beats most of my peers. I just can’t get into the morning thing. My wife hits a 5:30 gym class a few days a week and I don’t know how she does it; I’d so much rather sleep in. But biologically, there is probably something to be said for health/mental outlook when your waking hours are timed more closely with the light hours outside.

  6. 18


    It sounds kind of obvious to me that early risers would be people who were more proactive. Just as night owls are probably procrastinators. It’s as simple as both trying to get the same things done. One is planning and starting early, and the other is staying up to finish.

    See, I solved it. Except I almost took a hundred words to comment. :)

  7. 20

    Patrick says

    I wake up on or before 6 am in the morning especially in weekdays, but for weekend, it depends, sometimes it would be 7 or 8 am. Somehow I am more inspired by this post.

  8. 23


    I get up at 5:30, too. But honestly, it’s not about getting things done, it’s about having a cup of coffee and reading the news IN PEACE AND QUIET before anyone else gets up (best part of the day! :o)

  9. 26

    Brad says

    I’m up at 3:45 AM every day during the week which according to many, is crazy. And that’s fine. However it works for me. I work out religiously for a few hours every morning and then off to work. Puts me in the right frame of mind to handle whatever may be thrown at me over the course of the day. Some of my best work and even non-work related ideas have come while cranking out reps or miles on the bike. Moments when you aren’t focused on your work (or anything in particular).

    Success belongs to the proactive, frustration is attracted to the reactive.


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