Jan 10

The 5 O’Clock Club

2006 at 12:47 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O’Clock Club

The 5 O’Clock Club is a Mahaney-family club. Mom is the founder, chairman of the board, and the secretary. Without her, there is no club. This club has very few members (only six); no chapters to speak of. It is extremely unpopular from about 5-6 each morning and very popular every hour after that.

Actually, the 5 O’Clock Club is all about The First Habit of the Highly Effective Woman: She Rises Early. In fact, Mom would say that this practice BY FAR has been the most helpful in seeking to fulfill the other six practices on the list. I wholeheartedly agree.

The 5 O’Clock Club began a few years ago while Mom was writing Feminine Appeal. The only way to meet her deadline was to get up at the insanely early hour of 4:00 a.m. Then, when we were writing Girl Talk, I reluctantly joined the 4:00 club. That was painful. When the books were finished, Mom realized that all that extra early-morning time could be put to good use for her family. And so the 5 O’Clock Club was born.

Every morning, Mom wakes up at about 4:30 a.m. She makes her coffee and then she makes phone calls—to the Bradshaw, Chesemore, and Whitacre homes. We all answer in our groggy voices—“thanks, Mom” and then roll out of bed sometime between 5:00 and 5:30.

I have to say for the record, that after Mom, Janelle is the most consistent member of the 5 O’Clock Club. This should give women around the world hope for rising early, because until this past year, Janelle would have been the champion sleeper of our family. If Janelle can do it—anyone can.

So why should you join the 5 O’Clock Club? For starters, getting up early ensures you get a quiet time each day. If you have children, you know that “quiet time” after they are awake is something of a misnomer. If you work a job or go to school, being on time is usually non-negotiable. Waking up late means your quiet time is probably the first to go.

Referring to Bible reading and prayer, John Piper says: “I earnestly recommend that it be in the early morning, unless there are some extenuating circumstances. Entering the day without a serious meeting with God, over his Word and in prayer, is like entering the battle without tending to your weapons. The human heart does not replenish itself with sleep. The body does, but not the heart. We replenish our hearts not with sleep, but with the Word of God and prayer.”

A second reason for getting up early is that you are prepared to serve your family’s needs. Rather than be awakened by husband or children and expected to meet needs before you are fully conscious, you are ready to serve your family when they arise.

Now that you have two good reasons for rising early, I want to stress that this will look different for everyone! The point is not that really godly women get up at 5:00 a.m.! Nowhere in the Bible will you find such a principle. The point is that there are great benefits to rising early—both for your spiritual life and the good of your family. And there are Scriptures that encourage this practice (Psalm 5:3, Prov. 31:15, Mark 1:35). But “early” will look different for every woman reading this post!

Also, this practice may not be realistic for moms with young children who still get up at night. You are already a part of the midnight club and the 3:00a.m. club, aren’t you? No mother of an infant should be condemned by this post. This is a time management principle to consider in the future.

At this point you might be saying, this sounds like a great idea, but how do you do it? I’m just not a morning person and I’m not sure I can get up early! Here’s Mom’s strategy, and her sleep-loving children can testify that it works:

  • Set my alarm for the same time everyday.
  • Get up. Turn off alarm, which is strategically placed on the other side of the room. (I’ve learned this is my most critical moment in getting up early. It is crucial that I never, never, never, hit the snooze button or lie back down to catch a few more winks.)
  • Head straight to bathroom and then proceed directly to the coffee pot.
  • Be prepared to feel absolutely miserable for about 10 to 15 minutes. (But the feeling of misery turns into pure gladness as I soon experience the delight of having that alone time and as I reap the benefits all day long. It is totally worth feeling miserable for about 15 minutes.)
  • Your body responds to a regular wake up time. In other words, it gets easier.

So, do you want to join our crazy club? Try it for a week, and if it doesn’t work for you, well, at least there wasn’t a membership fee.