Get out of bed and ride your bike in the morning (or do anything else, as long as it's not social media)
Here is why.
4.30 AM, and my alarm clock goes off. Ten more minutes, I say to myself. Five minutes later, I finally pull myself out of bed and get dressed. Another 5 min wouldn't have made a difference anyway. I grab my bag, bike and some water, and it's time to go.
This morning I have a photo shoot out in the woods for the new Valcariz collection, and it doesn't matter how little sleep I got last night. I'm happy to be here. The sun is creeping over the horizon, and no one except for us is to be seen. The birds are slowly waking up and starting to sing. The air is still a little humid but already getting warmer. Morning magic, I love it.
Golden hour is the time right after sunrise until about an hour and a half later, and in the evening, it's the same, about an hour and a half before sunset. It's that time of the day when the light shines through the atmosphere creating a beautiful golden glow. It's the best time to take photos and shoot videos. You can find amazing pockets of light and play beautifully with light and shadows. It's definitely worth the early wake-up call, and although it might not feel like it in the beginning, it's in the morning, right after a good night's sleep, that our brains have the greatest cognitive function.
But there are other benefits than getting work done to start the day this early.
Working out or going for a ride in the woods in the early morning gets you started on an endorphin high, will boost your mood, increase resistance to stress and even up your cognitive functions. All benefits that will improve the rest of your day. Even going for a simple walk, especially in nature, will help do that for you.
You might see some life forms in the woods this early, but it's generally not human. You might come across some animals, and you will most surely hear some birds sing.
The peace and quiet you get when you wake up before most people lowers your stress levels for the rest of the day. Not starting your day in a rush and, if you can, avoiding any form of social media just after waking up is a great way to better your day. It will give you the time to live in the present and concentrate.
On days I don't work out or ride in the morning, I generally start working from 5 AM until 7 AM. I begin by listing the most important stuff to do that day and get going. And it's generally in those 2 hours in the morning that I am most productive.
But whatever I do, sports or work, when the clock hits 7 AM, it's time to get into dad mode, wake up the little one, get him ready for school, and get myself presentable for the rest of an already fantastic day.