The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma wants to tell us – Own your Morning, Elevate your life. Now, most of us know that we end up doing a lot more if we get up early morning. Having said that it is something most of us miss every morning. That early morning sleep is not so easy to let go off, just like the late-night parties or work calls.
The idea of ‘Getting up Early’ or being a part of 5 AM Club as the author likes to call it, is something I strongly believe in. In the most productive phases of my life, I used to get up at 4:30 AM or so. By the time everyone else got up, had finished the critical and most important work of the day. It kept the rest of the day lighter for me. There was no constant nagging that something needs to be done, in between all possible distractions. I definitely believe in the idea that getting up early makes you healthier, more productive, calmer and hence wealthier.
Indian way of life has always insisted that we get up before the daybreak and a series of morning rituals. Essentially Robin Sharma translates them into actions for the modern day working professional.
Buy The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma at Amazon
I also believe that people need simple techniques to pick up the habit of getting up early. So, that is what I was looking for in this book. Does the book help? Well, Yes and No. The book does give you small techniques that can help you build habits, help manage your time in a way that it is more productively used. However, the presentation is so boring and dragged that it takes a lot of effort to read it.
The book is written as fiction with 4 characters. A Billionaire who has used all the techniques to become rich is the key character. An entrepreneur and an artist who became his students and through them all teachings are conveyed to the readers. There is a very uninspiring romance track between the two that includes even a filmy style street fight. The fourth character is the Guru of the Billionaire called The Spellbinder – who makes an occasional appearance in the society. Most other characters, wherever they appear are like furniture – nameless and faceless.
Read More – 10 Best Self Help Books to Read
The story goes from Mauritius to India to Italy to South Africa to Brazil – the 3 characters are hopping from one place to another all the time. I just could not figure out the reason or need for it. The place had no role to play in the story except show off the wealth of the central character. The obscene display of money by this character, while he seems to do nothing but spend all his time teaching these two students who randomly joined him at a seminar. The narrative is as unbelievable as it gets.
Simple Easy to Follow Techniques
It is about 10-15% of the book that is relevant and meaningful. This is where the author tells you simple and easy to follow techniques of creating a habit of getting up at 5 AM.
Some of them are:
66 Day Rule – Do something for 66 days and it becomes a habit when it becomes a part of you. So force yourself to get up at 5 AM for 66 days and there you have a habit.
20/20/20 – How to divide your first waking hour of the day. Exercise for 20 mins, reflect or meditate for 20 mins and read some last 20 minutes. Fair enough.
90/90/1 Rule – Do 90 minutes of one core work by switching off all distractions for 90 days. This is my biggest take away from the book. I have tried in last one week and a project that was struck for a while has slowly started moving.
60/10 Cycle – Work intensely for 60 minutes and rejuvenate for 10 minutes.
Apart from this, there are suggestions to go for a walk, taking regular massages and investing in people. There is an excel sheet that breaks up your day for you. Great, but if you follow everything that the book tells you, you would need more than 24 hours in a day and no free will. I think the author underestimated the power of unstructured time that you need for creativity and innovation.
Read More – The Speed of Trust by Stephen M R Covey
The 5 AM Club book is supplemented with a couple of mobile apps that help the readers install the habit – basically a 66 days challenge to help you install the habit. I think it is a great idea to help people install the habit. Maybe 5 AM Club apps may be more helpful than the book.
The book is full of quotations from around the world. Sometimes they fit in the narrative, sometimes they do not. They re-enforced the saying – Too much of everything is bad.
Read More – Best Children’s Books by Indian Authors
I hated the fact that India is still stereotyped to Taj Mahal. Mr. Sharma, allow me to show you the beauty and soul of this country.
Overall, an important but very badly written book. Fiction probably is not the strong point of Robin Sharma. He is definitely good at breaking up the habit of making things in small chunks that you can follow and work with. If you can push yourself to get up even an hour earlier after following this book, it is worth it.
Take your Call.