Waking up early is the key to taking charge of your life
- Sadaani loves quiet morning time as it helps him gather his thoughts, work on things that need non-distracted thinking
- Sadaani believes that in a hyperconnected world, a lot of things demand a person’s time
Mohit Sadaani, the 36-year-old co-founder of The Moms Co., a startup which makes toxin-free products for moms and babies, feels a lot more relaxed and in control of his life since he started waking up at 5.30am from 2016. He loves the quiet morning time as it really helps him gather his thoughts, work on things that need some deeper, non-distracted thinking and even catch up on his reading. He usually adds in exercise, meditation and getting the kids ready for school before he heads off to work for the day.
Incidentally, being a co-founder at a startup shaped this habit of waking up early. In 2016, he founded The Moms Co. with Malika Sadani, his wife and the duo decided that being responsive to queries sent by mothers who buy their products would be the core USP of their brand. “We decided that we would always do our best to answer any question or concerns that our clients had. I became our single-person-care-team. This involved spending my mornings responding to overnight queries left by moms about breastfeeding, baby care, stretch marks and other topics that they were concerned about. Slowly waking up early to answer the queries became a habit," he says. Though on weekdays, Sadaani wakes up at 5.30am, on weekends he likes to lie in and sleeps till 7.30 am.
These two-three hours every morning before daily routine starts gives Sadaani a great sense of grounding. “It’s added a sense of calm to the crazy startup life with enough time to prioritize, reflect on the bigger picture and choose where to focus my energies. I’m also a lot healthier than before and find myself more active physically," he says.
The different sleep routine in this case works really to their benefit as a couple too. Malika, his wife, completes a lot of her work in the night. Then it’s almost like a relay and things that she needs Sadaani to look at, he finishes up in the morning. “The down side of course, is trying to find downtime as a couple. We make up for it by heading to work late sometimes." he says. There is a another flip side to the early morning routine. “I sleep off at parties. It’s terrible, but my friends are now used to it," he says.
Sadaani makes his first cup of coffee and heads straight to his home office after waking up. After some work, he meditates for 15-20 minutes and then wakes up the children and gets them ready for school. “Most days, we typically run to the bus," he says. After that he plays 45 minutes of squash or goes to the gym.
Sadaani has set up auto-updates that he gets over email overnight. It’s an eclectic combination of topics related to local news, politics, what’s trending on social media and happenings in the baby care, pregnancy and consumer goods spaces. Besides this, he usually has three-four books that he is reading at any point of time but most of his reading happens over the weekend. For books where he needs to really concentrate such as non-fiction, he reads them in the mornings. “The mornings are a great time for heavy reading, where I have the time to pause, take notes, and think about what this could mean for me," he says.
The waking hours
Sadaani believes that in a hyperconnected world, a lot of things demand a person’s time. From a phone that pings throughout the day to a life that at times feels too “calendared", it is quite easy for people to fall into a routine where they keep going from one thing to the next and don’t realize where the time went.
“A friend described it wonderfully to me once as ‘Living our life in the passenger seat’. While an early morning routine won’t be the answer for everyone, I believe it’s crucial to find the time to step back, think, recharge and figure out where you are heading. Are you really in the driver’s seat? For me, it’s the mornings that helps me do that," says Sadaani.
The Morning Diary is a series where leaders tell us how waking up early has made a positive impact.