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5 Successful People Who Thinks Waking Up Early Is Important



They say the early bird catches the worm, and research suggests there might be some truth to the old adage.

Waking up with (or before) the sun allows executives like AOL’s Tim Armstrong and Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi to get a head start on the day, knocking out tasks before the rest of the world has rolled out of bed.

Those “extra” hours also give them a chance to do some creative thinking, fit in a workout, and spend time with family.

Ahead, 24 early risers who may convince you never to hit snooze again.


Xerox CEO Ursula Burns

AP Images

Xerox CEO Ursula Burns

Burns uses early morning hours to get caught up on emails, getting up at 5:15 a.m. and sometimes working until midnight, according to Yahoo Finance.

She also uses the time to fit in a workout, according to Laura Vanderkam’s “What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.” Burns schedules an hour of personal training at 6 a.m. twice a week.


PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

Getty Images/Joe Raedle

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

Nooyi wakes up as early as 4 a.m., telling Fortune that “they say sleep is a gift that God gives you … that’s one gift I was never given.”

In a speakers series at Pepsi, she revealed that she was at work every day by no later than 7.



General Motors CEO Mary Barra

Daniel Roland/Stringer/Getty Images

General Motors CEO Mary Barra

Like her predecessor, Daniel Akerson, GM’s current chief executive is an early riser. According to a New York Times profile, she was regularly at the office by 6 a.m., and that was before she even became CEO.


AOL CEO Tim Armstrong

Jessica Rinaldi/Getty Images

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong

The former Google executive told The Guardian that he was “not a big sleeper” and wakes up at 5 a.m. or 5:15 a.m. every day to workout, read, tinker with AOL’s products, and answer emails. Armstrong has a driver who takes him to work every day, allowing him to get things done throughout his hour-long commute.


Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group

Reuters/Olivia Harris

Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group

In an interview with Business Insider’s Aly Weisman, Branson revealed that he wakes up at about 5:45 in the morning, even when staying at his private island, leaving the curtains drawn so the sun gets him up.

He does his best to use those early hours to exercise before an early breakfast and getting to work.


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