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- Tim Cook has been the CEO of Apple since 2011 and has a net worth of $1.8 billion.
- He wakes up daily at 3:45 a.m. to start work.
- James White did this for three days but trying to hustle like the Apple CEO felt extremely unnatural.
“If you embrace that the things that you can do are limitless, you can put your ding in the universe. You can change the world,” Apple CEO Tim Cook previously told Fast Company.
I love learning new things about successful entrepreneurs, and Cook is a perfect example. He has a net worth of over $1 billion.
That’s why I decided to follow Tim Cook’s daily routine for several days.
There’s a famous cliché that waking up early is the secret to success. But Tim Cook takes that concept to the extreme, waking up at around 3.45 a.m.
Tim receives up to 800 emails each day. “I like to go through user comments and things like that,” he said in an interview with Axios. “I focus on the external people that are important to us.”
Apple HQ has a fully functional gym, but Cook visits a private gym nearby to avoid reporters and anyone else who might interrupt his workout session.
This was my experience following Tim Cook’s daily routine
Out of all the days I followed Tim Cook’s schedule, this one sucked the most. I felt tired and struggled to get out of bed. After debating whether to call it a day and abandon the challenge, I walked to the kitchen for an extra-strong coffee.
The rest of the day went okay. I checked emails, exercised, and completed everything on my to-do list. But I felt extremely sluggish, and it was often difficult to stay motivated.
I got out of bed around 3:45 a.m. and questioned everything. “This challenge is a terrible idea,” I said while trying to stay awake. But despite the urge to go back to sleep, I summoned enough energy to walk over to the kitchen and make another strong coffee.
After checking a grand total of three unread emails, I went for a walk around Perth, Australia in complete darkness. The streets were quiet. The only people I encountered were visibly drunk and appeared to be going home from a nearby bar. However, it was very peaceful as my walk wasn’t accompanied by the soundtrack of beeping cars and angry taxi drivers.
I woke up stupidly early again, and went for a long walk around my city. I also got my entire workload completed by 10 a.m. So it was nice to relax for the rest of the day.
This is what I learned
Self-help gurus that say waking up really early is the secret to success are wrong. It also won’t increase your income, motivation levels, or anything else. If anything, it makes it harder to work efficiently as you’ll probably feel tired throughout the day.
Call me old-fashioned, but work-life balance is extremely important. I live in Europe, so it’s in my DNA to enjoy life at a steady pace. Trying to hustle 24/7 like Tim Cook felt extremely unnatural.
Would I recommend this routine? Absolutely not. It was a nightmare, and I don’t want to wake up at 3:45 a.m. again. However, I recognize that Tim Cook and I are different people. He has billions of dollars and I don’t. So maybe there’s something to be said about our different work ethics and willingness to hustle every waking hour of the day.
To be successful, you don’t need to have a massive bank account and a billion-dollar company at your fingertips. Go for a long walk. Spend time with loved ones. And make time for things that make you smile everyday. Focus on things that matter to you.