DO NOT wake up at 5am.

If you don’t have a plan and you didn’t get to bed early.

Nic Haralambous
4 min readJan 10, 2020


Photo by Pim Chu on Unsplash

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Waking up at 5am is not a magic method of becoming productive.

Waking up at 5am is absolutely a way for busybodies to make you feel shit about the time you woke.

Waking up at 5am can promote a burnout culture that pushes people over the edge due to an unhealthy routine and aimless wondering in the dark early in the morning.

Waking up at 5am is not for everyone.

But shit damn do I love waking up at 5am.

Nowadays I actually wake up before my alarm goes off. This is not a humble brag (although it does sound like one), this is a truth. I am so excited to start my day that I ping myself awake and get right to it. But I wake up with a plan every day. I wake up with a goal and various things that I want to achieve that day.

Waking up at 5am without a victory condition is like playing Monopoly but removing the money

To be able to wake up that early every day has taken me a long time to get right. I’ve had to change my diet, change my nighttime habits, change my sleeping habits and basically reorganize my life accordingly. This is not for everyone. Most people do not want to be in bed and sleeping by 21:00 every night and that’s absolutely fine.

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The main reason that I wake up early every day is that I have taken the time to figure out what works best for me to achieve my victory condition. Let’s break this out into two parts:

What is a victory condition?

An incredibly smart person and one of my closest friends, Rich Mulhollhand, first introduced me to the concept of a victory condition.

Every game has various mechanics that make gameplay possible. These mechanics control how the players win the game. In life, I like to think of victory conditions as the mechanics that you…



Nic Haralambous

Entrepreneur Coach → 20+ yrs as an entrepreneur → 3x Startup Exits