I got a present today and it's not even my birthday or Christmas. That present came from myself, and it came in the form of a half written blog post and the title for another one (this post here, in fact).
Since implementing the no computer after 11 rule (which, I'll admit, I'm not totally strict about since adopting the thousand word a day mandate), I've noticed that I leave myself these sorts of presents a lot more often than I used to.
The gift I'm talking about is a productivity softball. Normally when I sit down for my daily thousand, the first fifteen minutes is spent battling the impulse to go see what's new on hackernews, and, once that impulse is controlled, staring off into space trying to decide what to write about today.
But this evening things are different. I started writing immediately because I'd actually left off in the middle of a paragraph yesterday. That's easy to pick up. By the time I finished that post I was all warmed up, and I saw the title for this post written. And now I'm rocking and rolling, cranking out sentence after sentence, instead of browsing hackernews.
The funny part about all this is that it's so counterintuitive. How many times have we said and heard, "Let me find a good stopping point?". The truth is that the best stopping point is what we'd normally consider to be the worst stopping point - right in the middle of something exciting.
Back when I was programming, I'd program to the point of exhaustion, which usually hit some time around six in the morning, when the sun was just starting to peek out again. When my eyes could no longer focus I'd close the laptop, put it next to my pillow, and fall asleep.
Every morning I wake up a few times. The first is after only six hours of sleep or so, when I get to indulge in the snow-day-effect and go back to sleep, fully grateful that I can sleep in whenever I want. Then I wake up again after eight hours and get cracking. But back when I was programming I'd wake up for the first time and nearly jump out of bed with excitement, because I knew that I'd left off in the middle of something exciting.
So next time you're stopping work on a project that you aren't going to complete in one sitting, try stopping when you least want to. You might appreciate that soft ball the next day.
The last post generated tons of comments. I intended on replying to them, or at least addressing the big recurring themes. But I was on an intense drive from San Francisco to Texas, and didn't have time to reply. Now there are so many that I don't think it's worth tackling. If someone brings up the same things in the forums, though, I'll reply.
A couple people have asked my opinion of the Four Hour Body. I've only read parts of it (again... driving all the time), but I like it so far and promise to test some of it with full discipline and effort and report back in full.
I have TONS of photos from Japan that I haven't uploaded yet. I've been extremely busy since then, but I'll get to it soon! Photo at the top is my half-finished homemade haircut. I didn't leave any of it for the next morning.
I'm actually about to start the 4 hour body workout as well. It should be interesting to compare results. The eating like a horse is gonna get expensive but if Tim's claims are true it should be well worth it. I thought it was cool that Neil did it and had sufficient results. And I'm still waiting for the review of the Smartwool Vibrams!
Now that you mention the four hour body. I got my copy of the book a few days ago, its very exciting and I cant wait to do much more experiments with my body.
From the book, I have previously tried polyphasic sleep (works) and the nocarb diet from the four hour workweek blog (works, lost 7,2 kg in 15 days - before/after pics here: http://www.genvejen.dk/effektiv-slankekur-saadan-tabte-jeg-72-kg-paa-15-dage/ )
So simple yet so effective...AND since you're leaving something exciting you're all pumped up to go on something else!
Ernest Hemingway says the same thing in his autobiography. Never write until you're out of things to write about. Always leave something for you to start with tomorrow. I've been following his advice and it definitely helps.
Ya, sometimes when I focus on writing articles and when it comes to exciting part, I can't stop myself and keep on writing.
It's like I'm my own reader that reading the sentences following by next sentence. :D
I start myself by reading and writing out point form idea. :)
Usually if I'm excited enough by something to jump out of bed in the morning I'll be excited enough by it to delay sleeping until it's finished, so I'm not sure this will work for me!
I've realized that we all overestimate the ability of our future selves regarding doing responsible things. Like I when we say we'll get around to it later. I've been trying to stop dumping everything in the infinite space of "later" and create some tricks to help my future self to do the right thing. This is one of my tricks I've been practicing, and it's fantastic.
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.
Nursing at night is a common point of contention. I've read and heard so many comments about baby sleep patterns that are completely opposite of my experience, I wondered if the commenters even had kids. What were they doing that made their experience so much different than mine? Did I figure out the magic that allows me to sleep and feel rested without night weaning?
At first I didn't trust my experience because I only had one child. That's only one data point. Kids are so different. Sleep patterns can vary wildly from one child to another. Then I had my second kiddo. And that's when I started to feel like I was some weird phenomenon. I nursed two kids, at night, on demand, and still woke up most mornings feeling rested. What was I doing so differently?
This is about nursing at night, not just sleeping right? Yes. I've realized that my attitude around their sleep habits have allowed me to nurse at night, on demand, and get the sleep I need too. Because we cosleep and I don't freak out when they wake me up at night, I can nurse and fall asleep nursing like I was never awake. I rarely wake fully. My mind and body have come to expect the night nursing sessions and have adapted such that I can be available to them in a zombie like quasi sleep state. My mind is lucid enough to get a nipple to the right place, then I'm off to sleep again the next instant.