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Friday's Digest - The Newsletter for Doctors & Scientists

How Getting Up at 5:00 am Can Be Exactly What You Need

Published about 1 month ago • 4 min read

How Getting Up at 5:00 am Can Be Exactly What You Need

Do you have a dream project you have never found time for? This is how I solved it— the 5-5-5 system. Friday’s Digest #90

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Table of contents

  1. Preface
  2. Main Article
  3. Readers’ Favorite
  4. Stuff


Preface

Do you have a dream project you’ve never found time for?

It could be a personal goal, like going for a jog or attending a yoga class, or a professional one, such as submitting a grant proposal or writing a manuscript.

But despite your best intentions, you don't do it.

It’s not that you don’t want to.

But everything else takes precedence.

Your family, work, or simply staring at the screen.

Your dream project stays off your schedule.

So it remains just that— a dream.

Have you ever wondered why this lack of motivation doesn't affect your other daily tasks?

You don’t need motivation to go to the supermarket or to work. Why is that?

The answer is simple— these tasks are part of your routine. You do them without thinking.

Today, I'll show you how to incorporate your dream project into your busy schedule.

Number 90!

Let’s go.


Main Article

Story Time!

It’s December 2022, and I’m a medical intern.

My day begins at 7:30 am and ends at 4:00 pm.

Sometimes, I‘m on call for 26 hours. Occasionally, I work as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the evenings. But in general, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm was my usual routine.

And then, I had to study for Step 3 of the USMLE.

It’s the final test you must take to attain a medical doctor license in the US.

When I took Steps 1 and 2, it was crazy. Absolute madness.

My life revolved around these tests, and I even failed Step 1 on my first try.

But Step 3 was different. I had six months to prepare, which was more than enough.

So I decided that this time, studying for it wouldn’t come at the expense of my family life.

So what did I do?

I woke up at 5:00 am every single day.

I arrived at my office by 5:45 am, made coffee, and sat down to study.

I had a solid hour and a half until 7:15 am, when my regular workday began.

And I kept this routine for six months.

My family rarely saw me studying. Mission accomplished.

This schedule looks extreme (because it is), but there are lessons to be learned here.

🔵 Start with 5 Minutes

First of all, let's discuss motivation.

"Motivation" is a fancy word that means nothing in real life.

What truly matters is taking the first step.

All you need to do is sit down (or get up, depending on your project) and start for just 5 minutes.

Just plan to work on your project for 5 minute

Once the 5 minutes are over, you can stop.

But here's the cool part: after doing it for 5 minutes, you'll want to continue.

You'll realize that the difficult part (sitting down and starting) is over. And the rest isn't that bad.

🔵 Wake Up at 5 am

Yes, it's drastic.

But waking up early has so many benefits.

No one will interrupt you: no emails, no text messages, no phone calls.

Just you and your project.

Yes, it will feel exhausting at first. But you'll get used to it after a few days.

And when you'll see how much progress you’ve made, you'll want to continue.

🔵 Commit for 5 Days in a Row

I was okay with waking up at 5:00 am because of the consistency. I did it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

It became my new routine.

In the first few days, you'll need to push yourself. It will be extremely hard.

But after the first week (or 5 workdays), you'll start to appreciate the results. After the first week, it will gradually turn into a routine.


Readers’ Favorite

My workflow for reading and writing manuscripts - read it here.

It covers everything from finding literature, automating PubMed searches, and writing manuscripts.

Enjoy!


Stuff

💡Gear I use - Fisher Space Pen.

I own several of them, but my favorite is the Telescoping Space Pen version. I've been using the same pen for the last 5 years. It's incredibly robust, and its telescoping design guarantees it won't open in your pocket.

Regarding its price - I bought it for 23$, and its current price (41$) looks too high. But if you can find it for under 30$, it's totally worth it.


Epilogue

If you received this newsletter from a friend and would like to join Friday's Digest, visit: https://newsletter.shaysharon.com

That’s it for this issue.

Hope for better times.

Shay



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Friday's Digest - The Newsletter for Doctors & Scientists

by Shay Sharon DMD, MD, PhD

For two decades, I've been developing tools that have improved my practice in medicine, dentistry, and scientific research. Join me every Friday to discover a new tool you can integrate into your workflow as a doctor, a scientist, or both. I believe in sharing knowledge, embracing automation, boosting productivity, and finding joy in the process.

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