Just in time for New Year’s, here’s number one on my resolution list!
In an effort to be one of those people who is so successful people actually ask me what the key to my success is (and so that upon answering I can give the now clichéd answer “waking up early” with a smug look on my face…), I’d like to attempt to change my sleeping habits just to see if there’s anything to this recent trend of “look at everything I do before 5am” type of articles…(like this one for example).
My reasons for wanting to start waking up earlier are actually two-fold. 1) I want to be more productive, get more done, be a go-getter, start my day with a workout and maybe some meditation/reflecting, blah, blah, blah and 2) I want to see if it improves my relationship with someone who is on the complete opposite schedule of me. My boyfriend is a teacher and wakes up at 5:30 am every morning (sometimes even earlier, and on his own without so much as an alarm clock or anything…astounding, I know!) Even if he didn’t have to get up that early for work (which he still does even on the weekends where he considers 7am “sleeping in”) he would still be someone who lives and dies by the whole, early to bed, early to rise thing whereas me…yeah not so much.
I’ve always been a night person. The 11 o’clock news, Jay (Leno) and Jimmy (Fallon) have always been my nighttime buddies and the Friends theme song has sung me to sleep since college, thanks to their all-night reruns and my unhealthy obsession with the show.
Now that I mostly work from home, I am able to have a slightly flexible work schedule and although I still typically start my workday by 9 am, I’d love to adjust that and take advantage of the solitude of those morning hours for some major productivity. Whenever I have been able to rouse myself in the pre-dawn hours I will admit it’s been pretty…nice, there I admitted it. However, I still think there’s something to be said for those same solitary late-night hours that have provided me with much creative inspiration and productivity bursts in the past. I think morning people and night people are actually pretty similar, and just find inspiration in the quiet and dimly lit hours when the rest of the world isn’t buzzing about yet. I’ve always preferred to pump out work late at night and then go to sleep knowing I already have a head-start on the next day, but maybe switching things up and getting a proper night’s rest before a morning grind sesh would be better for my overall health…I’ll be sure and report back to confirm or deny this.
It should be noted that NYC certainly favored my night-owl lifestyle because I was surrounded by people who didn’t mind working late, playing late and then sleeping in just a bit, knowing that they’d have to do it all over again the next day. Here in RI however, the pace is admittedly a bit slower and it would stand to reason that an early bedtime (and apparently an earlier dinner time, because the whole 9 pm dinner thing doesn’t go over too well here) would make sense. I suppose!
Although I’ve been thinking about making the transformation from night owl to morning person, it wasn’t until I read a recent interview with one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert, that I was convinced. She isn’t the first writer to spill her secrets of early morning writing binges, but reading about some of her rituals and how she keeps “farmers hours” when writing a novel, made me want to commit to at least giving it a chance. (On a total side note, how great is this sentiment when asked where you can find her writing? She answered “…on bed stands, beach chairs, and train seats all over the world, I dearly hope.” I think she perfectly captured why a writer writes, and that all they really want out of it is for their words to be read, enjoyed, shared and remembered. YES.)
So what do I hope to accomplish in the early morning hours? More personal writing time, better organizing of my daily tasks and life in general, getting mundane and tedious emails out of the way and catching up on news and blogs in a more leisurely pre-workday fashion, for starters. My getting up early “experiment” will be New Year’s Resolution numero uno and will begin on January 6th for those keeping track, so stay tuned for updates and other resolutions (or rather “life goals” since I kinda hate the word “resolution”). Anyone care to join me for a 6 am virtual coffee-date in the new year? (Okay, maybe 6:30 to ease into things…) Tweet me @alliezog and we can be sunrise buddies!