The First Rule of the 4.a.m. Club is . . .

. . . Tell everyone you wake at 4.a.m. to work.

In fact, buy the t-shirt, and the hoody, and wear the base-ball cap, as a badges of honour and one-up-manship over the others in your field.

But let’s face it, 4.a.m. is the new 5.a.m.

I can see the trend. Can you?

Which is why I am being patient. In a few months 9.30.p.m. will be the new 5.a.m. and I will be in my element.

So where does this idea of early, and even earlier, rising to work come from?

I blame the Rock. Dwayne Johnson.

There’s plenty of YouTube clips and interviews where Johnson proudly tells everyone he is in the gym by 4.30.a.m. When you have early morning film schedules and a busy media-based lifestyle, then you have limited windows of opportunity. But, let’s face it, part of it is his statement or challenge to everyone else out there, that if you want to be as awesome as he is then you have to do what the others don’t.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire Johnson in terms of his commitment and his self-belief. But I don’t need to wake at the same time as him to match him for commitment.

If you are a creative, waking up at 4 or 4.30, or 5.a.m. doesn’t give you an edge over everyone else, but if this is the only time you can get the time to focus and be creative then I support you in every minute you work before the sun rises.

There is no magic time for being creative and productive. If you search the internet and look for all the habits and routines of 100 creatives, you will probably find 60 or 70 different routines out of the lot. For an artist, the light probably has the biggest impact upon your work. For a writer, there is a time for hammering out those words and another for the research and development of ideas. For a musician, it might be studio time, or when your neighbours won’t call the police, or investing in a great pair of headphones.

For most of us, the 4.a.m. magic, if there is such a thing, comes from a careful scheduling of our time and having amazing and wonderfully supportive families. The 4.a.m. magic comes from our commitment to our art.

The first rule of being creative is . . .

. . . Showing up at any time and getting on with it!


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