It's safe to say Terry Crews is a busy guy — from hosting America's Got Talent to filming movies and TV series to being a father to five kids, he manages do it all with a smile on his face.
However, he immediately clears the air about his routine, declaring that "multitasking is a myth."
"I was doing four or five things at once, but that was my problem — I was doing a lot of things very below average, and it was passable. People would be like, 'He's doing it, he gets it done,' but when I got my rest and focused and decided if I am doing AGT, nothing else gets in the way. I don't even bring my phone on set. Everyone knows my phone is in the trailer, and so my focus is 100 percent on AGT. When I was doing Brooklyn Nine-Nine, I was 100 percent focused on that. When I am with my family or wife, I look her in the eyes and put my phone down so I am not distracted. All of a sudden, the quality of life improves!" the 55-year-old, who teamed up with Natrol, America’s No. 1 sleep aid brand, to show the nation how revitalizing sleep helps him to be the best version of himself and accomplish his fitness goals, exclusively tells Morning Honey.
"Everything gets better. I get so much done by focusing on one thing at a time — and when it's over, you shift your focus to something else. When that is over, you put it down. Don't drag it on for three hours. I close the computer and focus on another thing," the author, who shares Naomi, Azriél, Tera, Wynfrey, and Isaiah with wife Rebecca King-Crews, adds.
The former football player admits the only time he can be alone with his thoughts is when he's working out. "That's my time. I will not answer your phone call!" he confesses. "It's funny because I told my son, 'Don't bother me unless the house is on fire. Then he came and bothered me, and he was like, 'The fire department is at the door.' I was so proud of him! He said, 'Dad, I know you said don't bother you, but the fire department is here.'"
The fitness guru seems like he's got a routine down now, but 12 years ago, that was not the case. "I was super busy doing movies, TV shows, ad campaigns plus being a dad to five kids. I had a lot going on, and I was going to do it all. I would stay up until 2 a.m. studying my scripts, then get up at 6 a.m. to go to work, work out, look at scripts, and then I stopped. When I say stopped, my head was pounding, my body was aching, I thought I couldn't breathe," he recalls.
Crews thought he had "picked up some crazy disease or something" because his body was unable to move. After going to the doctor, they gave him a simple diagnosis: he was exhausted.
"This is what happens when you burn the candle at both ends. I thought I was being a good businessman, but the problem was I was burned out. My doctor told me to go home and sleep for three days. I shut the blinds and I slept for three days straight. It was so scary because it's almost like you have to go too far to realize what it is you need. That was the wake-up call for me where I need to prioritize my sleep," he shares.
Now Crews — who goes to bed at 8:30 p.m. and wakes up at 4:30 a.m. — adds melatonin into his routine, in addition to turning down the thermostat and making sure his blackout curtains are closed so he can be well-rested everyday.
"My life has increased exponentially. Instead of doing 20 things below average, I can do three or four things above average, which created a better life for me. If you don't get your sleep, you can't do these things you want to do," he says.
In order to make sure the NFL star is in bed at a reasonable time, he "figures out what to say no to."
"I'm thankful for the age of streaming. I got my DVR which records everything. I used to watch sports games until the end, but then I realized I can just watch the highlights," he quips.
Since the White Chicks alum is so passionate about getting some zzz's, he's a "proud" ambassador for Natrol. "When they came to me, I was like, 'I already use this stuff!' No one talks about this, especially in the fitness and wellness space," he notes.
"I get up and I'm like a rocket!" he exclaims. "I've already been up for four hours before people show up for work, and I am ready to go! I want to be this ambassador for this and be one of those fitness guys that says, 'Hey man, sleep is the way to go.'"