Last week, when I was talking about making instant habitual change, I gave the example of turning of the computer at 11pm to avoid staying up late and sleeping in. This has been a pretty awesome change for me, so I want to go into a bit more detail.
The rule is simple. Computer is off at 11pm, even if I'm mid sentence in a conversation. No exceptions, no excuses. I've stuck to this 100% since starting 3 weeks ago or so. I'm definitely receiving the intended benefit of going to bed early, but along with it have come a bunch of other benefits that I hadn't counted on.
I used to believe in the idea that there are morning people and night people. I think it's much more nurture than nature, now. I wake up consistently before 9am, wide awake. I go to sleep tired around midnight. I was the epitome of a night owl, and now I'm definitely not. There are some downsides, like not being able to stay up all night to finish something, but they haven't had much of an impact on me. If you're a night owl and want to try being an early bird for a while, figure out what's keeping you awake and force yourself to stop it at a certain time every night.
It is very interesting and effective post. After reading your post now I shut down my computer at 11pm and now I felt that I have more energy.
The title says it all for me. I started - 2 weeks ago - going to bed before 12 and not on the computer after 11.
The improvement in my waken time was immense. I shaved it by about 4 hours.
Though I slipped up at the weekend 2 nights and seen my waken time rise nearly back to the same time.
Last night was 2am and I rose at 10am but I know that's just luck and this post is a stark remimder of what will happen if I go back to old ways.
:-) (post isnt working for me)?
If I put my picture to the left of yours it would look like I was laughing at something you just said.
These are the powers of my observation.
Great site man!
Haha, yep... I can still sleep through just about anything. Probably even more so now that I live in an RV.
It's interesting that you say that you often stop in the middle, and thus upon waking are ready to jump right back in. This was Hemingway's method for avoiding writer's block:
What a timely post! I've started a similar routine since March 14. I've turned off the computer before 11.59pm each day and mostly I've woken up before 9.30am. I intend to adjust the times when I've become accustomed to these times.
I used to program software till well into the night. For a few hours, this works well while you're in "the zone" but then I'd hit a point where all my tinkering with the code would just produce weird results. So actually, I was past the point where I should have gone to bed and all my actions after that weren't productive anymore.
In addition, we all have the most energy just after we wake up, so it makes sense to make those hours your most productive hours! I'm currently changing my lifestyle to make that possible.
Reading the comments made me laugh a little. This seems like such a revalation for some people. I am almost always in bed by 10, due to the 6 am wake up call. Excluding, of course, the rare night where a research paper is due or a test is the next day.
On another note, you should be flattered, Tynan. Everyone who talks about thier limited computer time takes the time to read and comment on your blog. Now if you would only update more!
This is one of the most valuable articles you've ever written, I think, and I hope a good number of people take it to heart.
I have coincidentally started a similar routine in the last two months, although not as dedicated as you, and there are lapses at times because of that - so thanks for the strict cut-off time ideas.
Not only do I physically feel better going to bed earlier and waking up earlier, but I also feel like I have more productive time in my day.
The biggest benefit, though, is exactly what you touched on: more time for reading. I used to read hundreds of small articles on the web, but I've since cut that out of my browsing almost completely. Dedicating that time instead to books allows me to explore some of the greatest minds in the world and to learn from them. A 15-year-old's blog entry on cute cats or a 22-year-old's article on "10 tips to breathe better" just doesn't provide quite the same punch. I never saw the value of books until I started reading for an hour before bed, and now I've stretched that time out and will never break that habit.
When I first started this schedule, the whole day was a hard period. I was a zombie.
As I moved on, the days started getting ok and the nights were hard.
Soon I felt tired from 11pm-5am, but was ok after that.
After Day Two was off the rails entirely, I wanted to rest and recuperate a little, so I set my benchmarks low. Okay, I'd rather gear down and be Conan the Barbarian with a big ol' sword, but it didn't work out like that.
Here was my plan, emphasis added --
Wake 5:30PM (7 hours sleep… hmm). GGW call scheduled for 6PM.
GGW call concludes… 7PM?