Getting stuff done by adding a few hours to my day
When I was a kid, I used to wake up about 5-6am and through my bedroom window would wave goodbye to my dad as he drove to work. Then, I got older and started sleeping in later. Over the last six months or so I’ve been hitting the snooze button as often as possible, and I’ve been getting out of bed about 8:05am, in the car for 8:25 and at work for 9. At the weekend I’ve been sleeping in until about 10, and on a few occasions recently, have managed to sleep solid until 11 or 12. The trouble is, I feel worse, and more tired, the longer I sleep in, despite the fact I’m tired enough to be asleep. On week days I get up so late I don’t have time for breakfast, and after lunch I get practically catatonic. 2:30pm I struggle with concentration, and I really want to take a power nap. At weekends, by the time 6pm comes around I still have a fuzzy ‘not quite connected to reality’ head, and I’m thinking to myself that I’ve completely wasted an entire day.
So, yesterday I decided to commit myself to a new regime, and so far (day one) I’m doing pretty well. I went to bed at about 10:15pm, just as it turned dark outside. I slept with the curtains open, and got up feeling more alert than usual at 6am. It was raining outside, but there was that morning blue sky peeking around the clouds. By 8:05 (my usual weekday getting up time, and a full 2hrs before I’m normally awake at the weekend) I had had breakfast (mini shredded wheat with hot milk, mug of tea, glass of orange), read through the news stories on cefax, dried last nights dishes, done all the ironing, put yesterdays washing to dry, and charged my camera battery. It’s now 8:30am and I’ve caught up on my RSS feeds, read two forums, and practically finished a blog entry (er, this entry).
Assuming I keep this up (and I plan to), that would effectively add 18hrs of free time to my week (5x2hrs on weekdays, and 2x4hrs for weekends). Eighteen hours of spare time a week. 72hrs per month. That’s thirty six days per year. By getting up at 6am, I’m buying myself one month of free time per year. OK, I’m going to bed earlier than normal, but I’ve been so tired in the evenings that my ‘free time’ is utterly un-productive, so I’m not counting it as a loss of free time at all, as I was too tired to enjoy it.
Anyway, spell checking and proofing took another 15min, so it’s 8:45am, and I’m off to wash the breakfast dishes, and finish tidying the front room…