It’s simple: If you want to be more productive, get up early.
One of the most relatable moments in Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations is the argument Marcus Aurelius has with himself in the opening of book 5. It’s clearly an argument he’s had with himself many times, on many mornings—as have many of us: He knows he has to get out of bed, but so desperately wants to remain under the warm covers.
It’s relatable…but it’s also impressive. Marcus didn’t actually have to get out of bed. He didn’t really have to do anything. The Stoics believed in the power of ritual. For them, routines and rituals were not productivity hacks, but ways of living. In a world where so much was out of our control, committing to a practice we did control was a way of establishing and reminding ourselves of our own power.
It’s about preparation. It’s about creating peace.
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