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5 Reasons to Get to Work Early

Most mornings, hitting the snooze button a time or 10 feels a lot more enticing than catching the worm and getting to work early. However, the benefits of doing so far outweigh the drawbacks. Even if you aren't a morning person, it might be worth considering an earlier start.

Most mornings, hitting the snooze button a time or 10 feels a lot more enticing than catching the worm and getting to work early. However, the benefits of doing so far outweigh the drawbacks. Even if you aren’t a morning person, it might be worth considering an earlier start.

early bird

(Photo Credit: docoverachiever/Flickr)

Here are a few reasons to consider getting to work early.

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1. You get so much done.

Where there are co-workers and clients, there are distractions. You have a full page to-do list for the day, but the digressions abound, (especially in the form of others derailing you), and suddenly it’s lunch time and you haven’t settled a single item. Before the official workday starts though, the office is quiet and calm, and you are free to attend to some of your most pressing agenda items — in peace.

2. You’re ready when the official day starts.

By the time the workday proper begins, you’ll be more than ready to roll. You’ll feel awake, grounded, settled-in, caffeinated. While most are still dragging, you’ll be firing on all cylinders. You’ll get more done, (and feel happier doing it), during those morning hours than usual. Otherwise, those first few appointments or meetings can feel like a bit too much, too fast.

3. It gives you a feeling of control.

There’s something about feeling like you’re ahead of the day that can really improve your sense of autonomy and control. Instead of trying to keep up, you’re setting the pace. Getting to work early helps you feel more in control of your day — and this boost can go a long way.

4. It gives you a chance to map out your day.

Because the morning is a relatively quiet time, and because at this point of the day you have so many hours ahead of you, mornings are the best time of day to make plans. Taking this opportunity to map out your day, and your priorities, can help you accomplish more in a more intentional way.

5. People will notice.

If you regularly get to work a little early, it’s almost certain that someone will notice. Most likely, it’s someone else who likes to arrive ahead of the standard work day — maybe a manager or even your supervisor. Seeing that you make a point to beat the rush will make an impression for sure. And, there’s no harm in that.

Tell Us What You Think

How has getting to work early helped your career? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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46 Comments on "5 Reasons to Get to Work Early"

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Lesley
Guest
Like Diana, I also completely agree with everything in this article and about the digs when leaving such as “part-timer”. Those comments are usually made by the people that arrive 5 minutes late, take their full lunch hour, then leave bang on the dot. They are also the type of people that think that showing the organisation that pays your salary any loyalty or respect is a weakness. My desire to advance within the organisation and my early arrival at work each morning have been recognised and I have had three promotions (and accompanying salary increases that go with them)… Read more »
Eff That
Guest
Human beings aren’t built for the modern “work day”. It’s literally killing us. Cubicles are one of the most evil inventions ever created, or bastardized by cheap corporations. http://www.businessinsider.com/cubicle-inventor-propst-hated-creation-2014-10 Even the concept of the “corporation” is fairly new and evil in nature. We grew up with these things, so we just accept them, but we should not accept them. We should insist on a life that isn’t bland, uninspired, demented, deluded, diluted, just so we can consume, consume, consume. We should earn what we need, and nothing more, then we’ll have plenty of time for ourselves. The Jones’s will die… Read more »
Frustrated psychologist
Guest
Frustrated psychologist
While many people raise the typical concerns of rearing families or having a life outside of work, no one has raised the technological mayhem of dealing with work in the 21st century. Work is work and the general tasks of work have not changed much. However, the erection of firewalls, all in the name of security, frequently prevent users from accessing their own e-mail. Additionally the barrage of e-mail traffic–often between people who sit adjacent to each other or in nearby offices and could be dealt with during a brief phone call or in-person chat–often clog servers. Is there “real”… Read more »
Lesley
Guest
Although I get in early, it is a two way street. My company have been very flexible with me and if there are occasions when I want to leave early then they have agreed. It is give and take. I also have a family which is why I manage to leave on time every day. Due to a recent restructure, a lot of staff were made redundant and not replaced, but that work still needs to be done. I am not spending my time twiddling my thumbs, I am working on things outside of my original job role which wouldn’t… Read more »
Jon Vander Horn
Guest

Thank you. This helped me with an assignment I am doing for school.

Niwde
Guest

But see what happened to the early worm. ?

DI JION
Guest

I try to go to work early but I cant get in.

Maria
Guest

I like beginning my life earlier… Take the bus very early and arrive earliest to my work! Can I lose my job because this?

camilo
Guest

Some jobs allow people to work early, some don’t. And, unless there’s anything personal to gain in working early, to be just on time and in time would be just as good if not better.

val
Guest

payed hourly then your boss won’t like it. you go early and you find you super at work. that’s not good either because super likes the office calm too and not people firing on all cylinders at 6 am in the morning. then your co-workers find you too ambitious and there you go you have all the reasons to go there ON TIME, caffeinated awake and grounded.

Alex
Guest
I get tired of trying to complain, I just do the job since I am the only one doing any work and be happy that I have a job. More work, less money and much less recognition. I save people money everyday. Some as much as $50 to $100 per month and all I get is a thank you. And can you continue to save me more money “just because”. Not. I am getting tired of helping others and getting nothing (more money) in return. Even if you can give me .05 percent increase????? Cheap is cheap, but cheapskates are… Read more »
alex
Guest
I love it when people call me and tell me that they live on a “fixed-income”. I wish I had that. with an increase of less than 1% every year would be great, but the only thing I get each year is more work. When I point out a mistake that someone else has made (service center) then it is up to me only to correct that problem, so I am making more work for me. My income goes down each year since 2008, due to changes in tax laws, changing my w-4 to only myself and not 4 since… Read more »
James
Guest

I have to be brutal, the flip-side is just the same: you notice is people leaving early and not collaborating. There is also the assumption that people are not working when they arrive early and leave early.

Aint It Funny
Guest
It is articles like these that are screwing up the economy. Just because you get to work early doesn’t mean a thing. If you really focus on your work, 6 hrs a day is plenty to get your job done + some more. And different people have different styles of work. It is all the hype on email, social media, etc. that make life more difficult. I see several big shots stuck to their phone – really is that necessary. Those that don’t have anything else to do spend most of their time on their smart phones. I am starting… Read more »
geoff
Guest

I just recognise that I get to work early cos I am great.
It gives me time to call my friends and girlfriend. I dont notice anyone else getting in early and because I get in early, and take a long lunch and leave early, i dont notice anyone else getting in early or working through lunch or staying late. Bottom line in most managers like me dont give a stuff about any underdogs, as we are too busy holding onto our power. If we recognised anyone below us it would be seen a threat,

Mark L.
Guest

I tell my people that their arrival time belongs to them, but because their departure time belongs to me.

Trish
Guest

Damn the torpedoes … full speed ahead! Do what works for you. Some folks are not morning people and function better late in the day. Some people are being taken advantage of by their employers instead of enjoying the give and take of flexibility. I say again, take every bit of advice with a grain of sale and do what works for you! Only you know your particular and individual situation!

Just me
Guest

I have to agree with: 16 Ken 19 Feb
Corporate greed killed my “devotion” to the company. All they want is to take, take, take with very little to no give.

Just me
Guest

I have to agree with: 16 Ken 19 Feb
Corporate greed killed my “devotion” to the company. All they want is to take, take, take with very little to no give.

Michelle
Guest

I agree with this article all except for people will notice. I worked for a company that actually complained when I got to work early.

Camilo M Villanueva, Jr
Guest
Camilo M Villanueva, Jr
This is what I often do, even as a teacher at the university. I would often arrive early for class – the earlier the better – otherwise I’d be too strung and burned out easily. I use the time to turn the fans or airconditioning system on, write the day’s agenda as well as lecture notes on the board, arrange my desk, and take a power nap with lights off until the first student arrives. Then, when I start class at 0730 hrs I’d be fully rested, full of energy, and in full battle gear for a marathon of classes… Read more »
priscilla
Guest

I go in early each day & stay late most, all because I want to see the staff in all three shifts. My boss thinks I stay late to keep from coming home-not true; there’s enough work for 2 usually but no extra help.

Nomfundo
Guest

My comment is that I want a better job like government job thank you

Ian
Guest

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse always gets the cheese.

Frustrated psychologist
Guest
Frustrated psychologist
While many people raise the typical concerns of rearing families or having a life outside of work, no one has raised the technological mayhem of dealing with work in the 21st century. Work is work and the general tasks of work have not changed much. However, the erection of firewalls, all in the name of security, frequently prevent users from accessing their own e-mail. Additionally the barrage of e-mail traffic–often between people who sit adjacent to each other or in nearby offices and could be dealt with during a brief phone call or in-person chat–often clog servers. Is there “real”… Read more »
BrickellPrincess
Guest

Getting to work early is a age old tactic that old people use to keep young workers in a constant cycle of reprimands. Notice that old folks naturally wake up early enough to wake the roosters. Old folks barely sleep and as they sludge into old age, getting into the office early is the only advantage that they have left. So they use it against you, against younger workers who naturally need more sleep.

andy
Guest

I don’t like morning people. Or mornings. Or people.

Jeffo
Guest
I USED to start work at 8:30AM, and finish around 5PM (I only get paid for 7 hours a day). Then a relocation across town meant huge traffic every morning. So I decided to get up 1/2 hour earlier, and have breakfast at work. (Yes, I know..) But this meant I was 1/2 an hour plus earlier and I discovered that instead of wasting an hour in the car travelling to and from work, I am now only spending 30 mins each way. That, combined with being able to finish earlier, means I now have an hour or two extra… Read more »
Robert
Guest

I agree with the points well presented in this article, and sometimes I do beat the snooze button in times where I need more control over my schedule or to accomplish more during that day.

however it’s just another tool to get by the day. Making a habit out of it depends on each person’s priorities indeed and that’s personal for sure

Thanks for sharing

mona
Guest
I agree. Everyone has to balance things out and that’s a serious mistake in the U.S. People’s personal lives do not seem to be important for many companies. We are not as evolved as a society yet and productivity is just perceived as more and more.. so watch out people. Make sure that you have your own priorities clear and do whatever .. but only based on what makes sense to you and is fair to you, to your beloved ones, and to the rest of the people. Service others is st the root of any job and at the… Read more »
Ken
Guest
Getting to work early just plays into the hands of the corporation – they get more rich, you get more work. If you have to get in early (or stay late, it’s the same conversation) to get the work done, or even to get organized to get the work done; the problem isn’t when you come or go – the problem is with the work. Either the workload, work skills/training, work methodology or similar is the real problem. Yes, sure you get noticed, but all that means is ‘they are someone I can give more work to’, then you end… Read more »
Lauren
Guest
Coming into work early yes, you are able to “catch up” and prioritize. For me, that’s catching up and responding to emails left by my boss the night before (usually late nights as she comes in early, and leaves late in the night). It’s a double edge sword for me, she sees me in early and starts dolling out work no matter what time I walk in 6am, or 9am there are emails with exclamation points waiting for me. Therefore leaving me little time to “catch up” from what she handed to me at night. I think this only works… Read more »
Vipul Bansal
Guest

I absolutely agree. It has been 12 years that I consistently leave home at 5:15 AM to reach office at 6:00 AM. It has been one of the most significant reason for my professional growth over the past decade.

Marcos
Guest
Sorry, but I have to disagree. That’s too personal; it’s a matter of opinion. I’m not a morning person and there is a very simple reason for that: I just don’t function very well early in the morning. It has nothing to do with being lazy or any other nonsense that I’ve heard over the years. The article would be more helpful if it focused on how to plan a productive day, or how to choose the best hours of the day for doing this or that. As a project manager I usually map out my day the day before,… Read more »
Brian Gould
Guest

I’ve worked with this regimen for years and it works! Best way to stay motivated, focused and for the most part, productive and in control.

Gabriela
Guest

The article did not talk about working extra hours, it was about starting early, and it does work for me to start at 8 while every one else comes around 9. However, I get my work done in 8 hours and go home – no one has anything to object, and as long as your job allows the flexibility of schedule, it is possible to catch up on individual tasks during this time and plan your day, then interact with your team once they are in the office; it is simply an approach to manage your time.

Frank
Guest

That’s horrible advice. Get your work done.

Yadhira
Guest

Excellent article. I love to get early to work. For me is great. But I understand this article may not apply to certain jobs. My personal opinion, in my particular case: sleeping early the day before going to work, and getting early the next day to go work is a great way to achieve goals more fast and it really to support an environment of more inner peace, control and confidence.

Have a great day.

Mark
Guest

I wish more people would ask the question: Why can’t you get your work done in 8 hours? It just seems like that when we praise people for working overtime, we’re praising inefficiency. Is work about actual work or is it a theatrical performance? Want to feel in control? Try showing up on time and getting the amount of work done by an average person in 6 hours. THAT will get you noticed. Then help others get more work done in their day. THAT will make you indispensable.

Matt
Guest
Funny, my company doesn’t do anything for free for its customers. Yet the expectation here is that I provide services above and beyond the agreed upon terms for free? The general populace here may disagree with me, in that this is the behavior that is rewarded with promotions. I understand this perspective, but disagree with it. I think its just bad business to give away services (my time). I dont know about you guys, but I’ve never been to a funeral where they talk fondly about how dedicated to work the deceased was, and Ive never heard a person on… Read more »
Paul
Guest

offices are team environments… unless your team is working early “together” your efforts will never be recognized and therefore would be a waste of effort.

The world view is “Overtime” is afterwork, not before. If you work when no one sees it, you did not work at all.

Danny
Guest

Yes Diana, When you have a family of active children it is far better to do your overtime hours in the early morning instead of after work. I am completely baffled that people don’t seem to understand that!? I work roughly 50 hours a week, but it is in the morning and no one accepts that is time I give to the organization.

Anonymous
Guest

Like most other articles on the site, it’s content based on opinion without facts or references, promoted as being more in-depth than it is, just to draw in clicks and therefore ad revenue.

Diana
Guest

I absolutely agree totally with this article…every bit of it. The problem comes at the end of an 8 or 9 hour day and want to leave. Fellow employees then start alot of stuff over you walking out…but yet dont beef when you are in early. That part of it is a no win situation and makes tons of hard feelings on all sides. If the early schedule works for your job and its requirements, the end of the day should be no ones business.

alextkh
Guest

My trainee is getting to work 30-40 minutes earlier then she should during her first week, and I hate that, because this is my time to get prepared for the day. I had to talk to her today. Hopefully she will stop and will start coming just on time

The oilman
Guest

For many jobs getting extra load will mean even more work to do, and nothing will change, only people “who know people” will proceed in the career using your extra work and laughing at it!

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