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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Becoming More Productive By Getting Up Earlier

I'm not naturally an early riser. Until I had children, I was more likely to see 5 a.m. from the back side than from the front. Most of my grad school studying and writing was done after 10:00 at night.

But, I've been trying to be more productive and to get more research and writing done. Unfortunately, these activities always seem to be scheduled "in a little while". As a result, it seemed like this summer has been a lot less productive than I'd hoped.

In a rare fit of self-discipline, I finally decided bite the bullet and start getting up early (before 6:00). So, for the last two weeks, I've been getting up around 5:30 and working for a couple of hours first thing in the morning. It's been great for my productivity - on most days, by noon I've already put in four or five hours. That way, no matter what comes later, I've avoided the dreaded "zero" days where I spend no time on research whatsoever.

For those who would like to try getting up earlier, there's some great advice from Steve Pavlina here and here that I found very helpful. The best nugget I got from his piece is that I should get up the same time seven days a week and to give myself some "down time" before bedtime..

In addition to more making me a lot more productive at my research, getting up earlier has also had a couple of unexpected aditional benefits. First, the Unknown Son is usually awake at 6:00. So, before I go down to my office to work, I make a large pot of coffee and we share breakfast (I don't share the coffe with him because I'm stingy about my coffee and because the thought of a 6-year old on caffeine boggles the mind). You can learn a lot about what's going on with a kid when there's just the two of you and a couple of bowls of Cheerios.

Finally, I watch a lot less television. Finally, I figured out that I tend to snack at night while watching television. Less t.v. means less time to snack. So, I'm finally starting to shed the weight I put on the last two months due to my "bone-chips-in-the-elbow induced sloth.

But I still don't like mornings...

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