I had to go party.
You see, I was headed to the Zespri x Morning Gloryville party, Southeast Asia’s first ever pre-work dance party at Club Kyo.
The basic idea: You party, eat healthy food, and jump around to great music before heading to work. A friend had introduced me to the concept, it sounded pretty cool, so I went.
I got there at 6.30am, and there was already a long line forming outside the club, filled with young people decked out in exercise clothes.
Inside, a DJ was spinning thumping music. The bar was serving up alcohol-free kiwi juice. Rows and rows of healthy breakfast foods were laid out, including granola cups, devilled eggs, mini-rolls and chai seeds. All kiwi-infused, because the party was sponsored by Zespri, the kiwi marketer. (Brilliant piece of marketing, in my opinion).
Despite the early hour, the vibe was awesome. People were getting massages and doing yoga. Most were dressed in bright workout wear, while some creative folks turned up in crazy costumes:
It didn’t take long for the dance floor to fill up. People were there to party before their workday, so they didn’t wanna waste time. By 7.15am, the floor was packed with a hyped-out crowd:
The Kiwi got in on the fun too:
The DJ kept yelling, “YOOOOOO IT’S 7.40 AM!!!!!!!” to cheers from the crowd jumping up and down.
So it was a workday morning, and there I was, in sweatpants and an ugly T-shirt, jumping along to Paul Johnson’s “Get Get Down“ and trying not to spill the contents of my kiwi granola cup. It was awesome.
The Rise Of Early Morning Raves
They advocate “conscious clubbing”: the idea that you don’t need to get wasted on alcohol to party. Instead, these events usually feature healthy food, catchy beats, yoga, and some good clean fun.
The Zespri party was fun, but I especially loved the effect it had on the rest of my day. I wrote about the importance of energy management in a previous blogpost, so I wanted to see whether letting loose in the morning would have an impact on my energy for the rest of the day.
At 7.55 am, I grabbed my bag and work clothes and headed for the office. It was pretty surreal to step out of a club and be greeted with the early morning sun:
Along the way to Raffles Place MRT, I passed by hundreds of sleepy-eyed executives headed to work. Everyone had a glazed look on their face – it felt like walking into the set of 28 Days Later.
At first, I was a little worried that I’d be exhausted for the workday because of my 5am wake-up call. But I was pleasantly surprised when the day turned out to be one of my most productive days in recent weeks – probably thanks to the energy and positivity spillover.
Kick Ass Before Most People Wake Up
And I suspect that these parties are gaining popularity because people – especially ambitious, energetic young executives – are coming to a collective realisation:
There’s a whole class of people kicking ass before most of us wake up.
Think about it – Mornings are the BEST times to do the things you wouldn’t otherwise have had the time to do. In the mornings, there are no distractions. You get minimal email. Your friends aren’t posting dumb updates on Facebook.
Best of all, you’re refreshed from a good night’s sleep, which means that you don’t need a massive party to get your energy going. Instead, with your battery fully-charged, you could:
- Pray / Meditate
- Strategise your life
- Pick up new career skills from an MOOC
The possibilities are endless. Heck, I’m writing this blogpost early in the morning.
Even before other people have rubbed the sleep from their eyes, you can leave the house and start your day with a win. It’s an amazing feeling.
I dug a little deeper. It turns out that over 20 the world’s highest profile CEOs are early risers, according to Business Insider:
- Richard Branson gets up at 5.45am to exercise before an early breakfast
- Apple CEO Tim Cook sends out company emails by 4.30am and gets to the gym by 5
- Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief wakes up at 5.45am to play an hour of tennis before a daily blowout to maintain her famous hairstyle.
“But I’m Not A Morning Person!”
I used to go to sleep at 2am, and then continually snooze the alarm the next morning until the very last minute. I convinced myself that there was no other way, simply because I was “just not a morning person”.
But a couple of years ago, I experimented with waking up early and never looked back.
Today, I use my mornings to meditate, blog, or do some deep strategic thinking.
I don’t think I could ever go back to my old night owl lifestyle. (Partly because I find myself getting sleepy by 10pm – a slight downside of being an early riser, but a totally worthwhile tradeoff IMO)
Here are a couple of tips that I’ve found useful to help me wake up early:
- The night before, set aside 30 minutes of non-screen time before you sleep. Studies show that screen time ruins your sleep. Personally, I usually cozy up with a book and read till I fall asleep.
- Keep your alarm far away from your bed, so that when it rings, you have to physically get up, cross the room, and switch it off.
- Once you’re up, turn on all the lights and head straight for the shower. Resist the temptation to jump back into bed.
- Gradually ease into your new routine – don’t try to go straight from waking at 8am to 5.30am. Instead, set your alarm earlier in 5-minute increments every day. It’ll take you a couple of weeks to get to your ideal time, but it’s more sustainable that way.
Give it a shot. You might just get more energy, better health, and kick some ass before the world wakes up.
And if you don’t believe me, check out the next early-morning party and see for yourself.