Beyond the Build


The (Before) Breakfast Club

There’s a running joke around the office about who has received an email from me early in the mornings, maybe too early at times. I’ve been known to write at 3 or 4 in the morning. I wouldn’t bill myself as an insomniac or a workaholic. I just find my best productivity in the solitude of those early hours, when there is peace and quiet, and I do not need to triage where my mind may wish to roam. Also, there is nothing like watching a good sunrise.

My early alarm clock habit started when my children were small. I would wake before them to squeeze in a nice quiet block of time before the morning hustle began. The routine stuck long after my children were able to get themselves ready and out the door. These days, I’ve often answered a stack of emails, exercised and enjoyed a cup of coffee before the sun is fully up. I find my stress level runs lower throughout the day because of getting this head start.

With that said, my early rising habit comes with a few concessions. I head to bed earlier than most. When emailing folks outside the company, I’ll often schedule my emails to send later in the day. Our folks know an early morning email doesn’t necessarily require a response before dawn, but for others, that may not be inferred.

While getting up early may require a bit more discipline, perhaps Mr. Franklin’s thoughts might be good for all of us to remember.


Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.