Why Don't I Sleep? (5 Reasons)
Quite often, I get asked how many hours I sleep every night, what my morning routine is, and things like that. What are the habits of success? I don't usually answer such these sorts of questions because I actually believe that what I say today, you should not do. But the reason I'm going to say it is because I want to give a different perspective in the entrepreneurial community.
What is a “Traditional” Entrepreneur Routine?
I hate when something becomes a certain “tradition” that is required to be a good business person - that you HAVE to wake up at 4 a.m. and you've GOT to go to bed early and you've GOT to do a certain type of motivational speech every single morning with yourself in the mirror... these things are crazy to me. You need to figure out what works for YOU and stop beating yourself up because you're not like someone else.
Because guess what - there's only one version of you. And what makes you tick and work really efficiently is not going to be the same compared to any other individual. Just because I don't sleep a lot or I stay up all night does not mean that you should. In fact, 99.9% of people should not. They should figure out what works for them to be the most productive in their business.
What is Unique About MY Schedule?
When I do look at my day, my schedule, and my habits, one of the most glaringly obvious and predictable things that I don't do is sleep a whole lot. Or you could say that my sleep patterns are extremely all over the place. Sometimes I sleep one or 2 hours a night. Other times I will sleep 8, 9, 10 hours.
So the idea that you have to have the certain schedule you need go to bed like that might work for some people, but not necessarily work for everybody. So why in the world do I spend most my night up working and doing the things that I love to do?
1. First and foremost, distractions throughout my entire waking day. There is a lot of communication coming to my cell phone. We have over 80 locations and every single one of the owners has my personal cell phone number. I have quite a few employees, and there are problems that are always arising now. They have middle management that usually take care of things on a day-to-day level, however there's still a lot of stuff that comes to me. Which is fine, it's my job! I enjoy it. I love being an operator.
However, it prevents me from actually getting creative. It prevents me from working on strategy. It prevents me from working on some of the key things I need to get done in the day that require some really diligent thinking. I find that from 10 p.m. till 2 a.m., that four hour window is when literally no one, either locally on the Pacific Coast or on the East Coast, is awake and therefore I have no distractions whatsoever. I enjoy staying up at night because I can make videos, I can have prayer, I can work on strategy, and I can focus on planning. I can think out solutions for other entrepreneurs, business owners, etc.
2. The second reason why I really enjoy staying up at night and working is because I really hate leaving things undone on my To-Do Tasks. Paraphrasing the Bible, it says to not leave anything undone that can be done today. In other words, don't put it off to tomorrow. Don't wait. And I truly believe that. Like, if it's on my To Do list and I can get it done that day, I really do try my very best to get it done THAT day.
3.The third reason why I stay up late and most of the night and work is because I feel best when I'm most productive. When I feel like I'm less productive, I actually get more sluggish, require more sleep, and I'm generally more dissatisfied, grumpy, and moody. So, when I'm up at night being ultra productive during the evening and night time and get things done, that's when I feel the best. That's when I have the most energy. And it's actually completely the opposite. When I have too much time on my hands, and I feel unproductive, very tired, very lethargic.
4. The fourth reason ties into the fact that for most people, they should not stay up late at night because those are their most unproductive hours. And they spend that time watching movies, TV, scrolling through TikTok or whatever it is. And I don't do ANY of those things. I don't consume a lot of media. I don't watch any movies. I'm way like out of left view when it comes to pop culture, I have no idea. And the latest hits of music or TV shows, I'm completely out of the loop. So therefore the time at night is spent very productively, and I'm very intentional with the hours between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m.
5. The fifth reason why I stay up late at night is because I do feel like it's when I am the most creative. Because when things are off my plate, things are done. And I've worked from till ten, 11:00, 12:00, getting things done off my to do list. I do feel most creative between 12 midnight and 3 a.m. because I've gotten everything off of my to do list and now I can focus on actually creating content.
Now a lot of people will say, “Well, that just means that you're built in a certain way where you don't need more sleep.” And I actually kind of disagree with that because I AM tired. I am frequently really tired and a lot of people comment on my videos that I look tired. I am tired. The thing is, when I wake up in the morning, I want to get out of bed, which means if I wake up at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m., after just an hour or two asleep, I will wake up and I'll get started working because I really enjoy what I do.
And 99.9% of the time. I WANT to get started on my day. But it also means that just because I look tired does not mean that if I fell asleep, I would sleep a long time. I might sleep 2 or 3 hours, wake up and be like, “All right, time to go. Let's get stuff done.” I really enjoy that.
So, folks will tend to say, “You've got to take it easier and enjoy yourself.” If I went on a vacation, I would just find a way to work more. I really do enjoy it. And it's not about the money. I'm not spending it. I'm not trying to change my lifestyle in any way, shape, or form. I just enjoy progress and I love building things.
It's somewhat of a virtuous cycle. As I get more done and I'm staying up at night, it gives me more energy because I love improvement. I very rarely go to sleep because I'm tired because as I work more and I get more done, it actually gives me even more energy and I feel more alive. I liken it to driving a car down a hill like with all the momentum, all the speed behind you... it's hard to slow down the car and there's nothing worse than going to bed and laying in bed awake for an hour or 2 hours. I can't fathom that I would. If I don't fall asleep in 5 or 10 minutes, I'm back out of bed and I'm going to keep working because there's nothing worse than just lying there looking up at the ceiling.
All of that to say, you absolutely should not follow any of this logic and you should not adapt my sleep schedule.
Or any persons schedule for that matter. You need to figure out what works for you and then don't allow people to poke holes, telling you that you should do doing something different. Figure out what works for you, figure out what makes you tick, and then try to be as efficient as possible within the 24 hours you're given every single day.
Pretty amazing Mike, all good stuff and very inspiring!