Get Ahead by Getting up Early

By | June 14, 2022

[June 14, 2022]  Today in America, it’s Flag Day.  So, what did I do differently?  I made a conscious decision that by getting up early, I could write this article in honor of this special day – and do so without distractions.  My wife and dog are still asleep.  My neighbors are probably asleep as well.  No car noises and no lawnmowers disturb my concentration.

Good habits are what successful people do that help push (or pull) them in the right direction every single day.  Good habits can make you highly efficient in your life.  In addition, this efficiency makes you more effective at what you do, which is a good thing for you and perhaps your family.  It’s good for your family because when they need you to be with them, your responsibilities are complete; nothing lingering in the back of your mind distracts you from your family.

I decided a long time ago that I would try to live a life of responsibility, which meant understanding what I had to do to support my family and add value to my community.  My community benefited from this because I was not dependent upon others and did not create problems by letting the weeds grow in my lawn, allowing my house to deteriorate, or inviting criminals into the neighborhood.  That is not trivial.  It’s essential, even the tiny things.

I did my best to be someone who could be depended upon.  If you were a friend or a neighbor and had a problem, they called, and I was there for them.  I could do this because I completed my work as early as possible.  I did not procrastinate.  And those around me would always say, ‘Wow, Doug, you never let undone jobs lie in wait.’  If something needed doing, I got on it right away.

Now, you may say, ‘Hey, you’re just one of those guys who gets work done, and that’s your personality.’  Wrong.  My brain wants me to be lazy.  It wants me to delay work, to put everything off until tomorrow (and then the next day), and my brain wants me to lay in the sun and relax.  I found this does not work for me.  After a day of being lazy, I’m a pitiful person.  I know that, and I run from that lazy me.

My best advice for folks who have difficulty getting things done in their life they wish they could do is to start with getting up early.  Write down what you must do.  Use a checklist.  Start on it right away and check off those things you accomplished.  Even if you do these things poorly, continue this habit every day.  It will take some time, but you will find that waking up early is a good habit that pays off quickly.

Get ahead by getting up early.  And honor Flag Day in America!


Please read my new book, “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

25 thoughts on “Get Ahead by Getting up Early

  1. Eagle Eye

    Good habits pay off and here is one we all should have. But we won’t do it and that is why folks that get up early will always win out.

    1. DocJeff

      Yep, got that right. I get up early and have half my daily work done before others in my family get their lazy butts out of bed. ha ha ha. And they wonder how I do it.

  2. Nick Lighthouse

    This is just getting the jump on your competition but a useful idea. It is, however, a great habit to have. And, I will add, “don’t sleep in on weekends” either.

  3. Gil Johnson

    Another excellent article and this one that seems so simple, yet is so important that it’s ability to transform our lives is completely overlooked. Don’t believe me? Try getting up at 6 am each day or even earlier. Make it every day, not one day. Try it for a couple of months and see how better your life has become.

    1. mainer

      Sometimes the simple things make us better. The world starts to fall into place. Opportunities come our way. Get up early, it makes a huge difference in how well you live your life.

      1. American Girl

        And yet too many will completely ignore this. Most will not even have the guts to read this blog, buy Gen. Satterfield’s book (Our Longest Year in Iraq) or take the time to find out what good habits work best.

  4. Veronica Stillman

    On June 14th, 1777, the Second Continental Congress decided to create a new flag, declaring: “Resolved, That the flag of the ||thirteen|| The United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

    1. Colleen Ramirez

      While July 4th celebrates our declaration of independence from tyranny and Memorial Day honors those who have given their lives to preserve our freedom, Flag Day reminds us that, though diverse and different as we may be, we are one nation. That was, after all, the purpose of the flag — to unify the disparate colonies and inspire them to fight together.

  5. Harry Man

    Flag Day is one of those national holidays that tend to surprise us when they pop in our calendars once a year. Perhaps it is because we don’t associate it with the fireworks of July 4th or the memories of grilling with family and friends on Memorial Day or — if we are honest with ourselves — the doorbuster sales events that have replaced the deep meaning of these special days. Yet I believe this underrated holiday ranks among the most important in our country’s history.

  6. Emma Archambeau

    Gen. Satterfield, another powerful article giving some darn good advice. Getting up early does work. I hope many young folks read this, they need to know that getting up early really does work to their benefit.

    1. Audrey

      Right Emma. It’s a habit that takes a little time getting used to. ✔

  7. Dead Pool Guy

    Don’t be dependent upon your neighbors. Don’t take handouts. Don’t take government welfare money. If you want to have confidence and be looked upon with respect, then be a person for others. Take care of yourself …. and like Gen. S. says, get up early.

  8. Joe Omerrod

    “My brain wants me to be lazy. It wants me to delay work, to put everything off until tomorrow (and then the next day), and my brain wants me to lay in the sun and relax.” I think most humans are built this way but focusing on fixing it, we can become much more productive.

    1. Fred Weber

      We just need the motivation and Gen. Satterfield touched on that a bit.

      1. Liz at Home

        Motivation matters. We need to be pushed and pulled, kicking and screaming into the real world.

  9. Nick Lighthouse

    Good article, Gen. Satterfield. I forwarded it to my lazy cousin. I don’t think it will make any difference anyway. She probably won’t even open the email, she is so lazy.

  10. Georgie B.

    Folks who sleep in every day are shown to not succeed in life. They fall behind in school, at work, and don’t clean their homes. It’s a sad world for those who cannot get up early. If you want to be successful, get up early. Enough said on that topic,

    1. Army Captain

      True enough Georgie but there is a lot more to say. I think that young people especially need to build “good habits” like Gen. Satterfield is telling us so they can more easily get their work done in a timely manner. I do it. I get up at 5 o’clock every day. I get more done before 8 than most people do all day.

      1. Commie Red

        It’s because you’re an Army guy! They are trained to work work work.

        1. Army Captain

          Not true. It’s not because I’m an “Army guy.” That’s an oversimplification. And, we are not trained to work work work. We are taught how to see what needs doing and we do it. We don’t procrastinate (like Gen. S says) and we push ourselves to achieve. Everyone gains from it. There is no victimhood or no laziness. Get ‘er done!

        2. Wendy Holmes

          Commie Red, a little too simple an explanation. The US military attracts people who want to be part of something bigger than themselves and they go after it.

  11. catorenasci

    It is a good thing I’m up early reading this article.


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