Starting a New Job

A Guide on How To Start Work at 5 a.m.

June 3, 2021

Many roles require you to start early, such as healthcare, transportation and public safety jobs. Starting work early may seem like a challenge at first, but once you get used to it, you may learn to love this new work schedule. With the right strategies, you can be productive while adapting to early work hours. In this article, we look at the benefits of starting work early and explain how to start work at 5 a.m.

Related: Interview Question: "What Are Your Available Days and Hours?"

What does it mean to start work at 5 a.m.?

There are many reasons you might start work at 5 a.m. For instance, your job may require you to work early shifts. This is especially true for essential roles, such as healthcare, public safety and criminal justice. These roles meet the needs of the community, which occur 24 hours a day.

Another reason you may start work at 5 a.m. is that it fits into your schedule better. Some employers give their team members the flexibility to start work whenever, as long as they work a full day. You may decide that working earlier in the day is a better fit for your workflow.

Related: How To Wake Up Early To Reach Your Goals

Benefits of starting work at 5 a.m.

Here are several benefits you can enjoy when you start work at 5 a.m.:

  • Shorter commute times: When you need to get to work by 5 a.m., this means you're commuting at earlier times when there is less traffic. This can lead to shorter commutes, saving you more of your personal time.
  • End work earlier: If you work an eight-hour day that starts at 5 a.m., you can be done with work by 1 p.m. This gives you the rest of the day to enjoy, though you may need to go to bed earlier.
  • Get more work done: When you start the workday early, you're more likely to work in solitude since everyone else is still asleep. This gives you the opportunity to work in a distraction-free work environment for several hours.

Related: 25 Steps To Become a Morning Person

How to start work at 5 a.m.

Follow these steps to help you transition to starting work at 5 a.m.:

1. Go to bed earlier

If you want to feel well-rested for a workday that starts at 5 a.m., you need to make sure you're getting enough sleep. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night to give your body enough time to recharge. It might take a little while to get used to going to bed early, but there are strategies to make it easier. One is to make your room dark so that your body understands it's time to go to bed. Consider turning down the lights as you get ready for bed and closing the curtains.

2. Limit your phone time

Scrolling through social media on your phone can take up a lot of time before bed. By making an effort to put down your phone when it's time for bed, you may be able to fall asleep sooner. Consider reading a book before bed or doing some meditation to help your mind relax. Likewise, when you wake up, make an effort to start your morning routine without spending time on your phone first. You may realize how much time you can save by limiting phone time.

3. Turn off notifications

Phone and computer notifications may interrupt your sleep. By turning off these notifications when it's time to go to bed, you can ensure you're getting a full night of sleep. If having notifications on is important to you, communicate your work schedule to those who contact you often. Let your friends and family members know when it's an appropriate time to text or call you. Letting them know you go to bed early can help them remember to contact you earlier in the day.

4. Place your alarm clock far away

Leaving your alarm clock next to your bed makes it easy to hit the snooze button. Help yourself get up on time by placing your alarm clock on the other side of your bedroom. This way, you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Physically getting up can help you feel more awake and ready to start your day. If you really want to get your body up and moving, consider putting your alarm clock in another room, as long as you can hear it.

5. Establish a morning routine

Create a morning routine that you look forward to each day. Whether it's giving yourself time to cook a healthy breakfast or go on a run, you need a morning routine that helps you feel energized and ready to take on the workday. When creating your morning routine, make sure you give yourself enough time for everything you want to do. This may require you to set your alarm a little earlier, especially on days you need to get more done. Rather than trying to squeeze in everything, keep your morning routine to a leisurely pace.

Here are several positive things you might include in your morning routine:

  • Set a goal or intention for the day.
  • Drink a full glass of water to stay hydrated.
  • Do some light stretches or yoga.
  • Get in an hour of exercise.
  • Say positive affirmations to yourself.
  • Do some light cleaning so you come home to a tidy house.
  • Cook a nutritious breakfast.
  • Take a cold shower to feel more awake.

Related: 16 Tips for Creating a Successful Morning Routine

6. Reflect on the benefits

When it feels challenging to start work at 5 a.m., take a moment to remind yourself of all the benefits of this work schedule. Try to feel grateful for your opportunity to beat the morning traffic and be productive earlier. Think about how nice it is to be done with work while there's still plenty of daylight. By adopting a more positive mindset, you can help yourself feel more motivated to continue to work early.

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