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Book Note

Thoughts On: The 5AM Club—by Robin Sharma

Summary: Wake up really early. Do the most important things first. Win at life.

The more I think about this book, the more I realize it's a piece of garbage. (Note to self: stop thinking about this book.) The story is horrible. The characters are idiotic stereotypes. Some of the concepts vary from hippy woo-woo junk to offensively privileged elitism bordering on racism.

The core concept of the book is so basic it could have been summed up in half a page. The rest borrows ideas from other self-help authors and renames them to pass them off as novel.

Concepts in the book

The core concept is the 20/20/20 rule

Wake up at 5:00 am every morning and break the first hour into 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of improving yourself, and 20 minutes of reflection/meditation.

The book contains many other tips for living a good life. Most of which I agree with. None of them are particularly original, but they have been given highly branded names to make it seem like he came up with them.

  • The Tight Bubble of Total Focus (TBTF)

    Remove all distractions and alerts from your most important work hours and to some tech detoxing

  • The 90/90/1 Rule

    Spend the first 90 minutes of your workday on your one most value-adding skill (for 90 days)

  • The 60/10 Method

    Work in 60 minute breaks with 10-minute intervals (aka Pomodoro)

  • The 2nd Wind Workout

    Do a second workout in the evening

  • The 2 Massage Protocol

    Get massages to relax

  • The Dream Team Technique

    Spend your time doing your most valuable skill, delegate the rest

  • The Weekly Design System (WDS)

    Every Sunday plan your daily lists for the next week

  • The 60 Minute Student

    Constant education. Spend 1hr a day learning something new.

  • Learned Minimalism

    Adds to the total focus, distraction-free mindset

  • Choose Your Peer Group

    Not necessarily by status or money, but by attitude view. Avoid blamers, negative people, victims...

  • Have Expensive Tastes

    Eat the finest foods, tip lavishly, own designer goods

Actionable takeaway

Start getting up earlier and be productive in the morning. Counter the book's recommendation, however, do it gradually because that's the smart way to change one's sleeping schedule. Do your most important activities in the morning, but remember it's important to be well rounded. Pro tip: Ignore the books ludicrous concept of getting everything done in one hour.


This book is absolute garbage. The only worthwhile concepts worth taking away are:

  • Get up really early and spend time improving your fitness, your knowledge, and mental wellness.
  • Build habits, "All change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end"
  • To have the results the top 5% of producers have, you must start doing what 95% of people are unwilling to do.