Waking up early, first attempt

In this post, I won't detail why I choose to wake up early. It's all about improving my productivity and achieving my goals.

Rather, I'd like to give you some feedback about those 3 weeks I've tried wake up earlier.

The plan

I usually wake at 7h15, except during the weekend, when I switch off my smartphone clock and wake up by myself at around 9h.

I choose to set my alarm at 6h30 and to use the time gained to follow a simple routine :

  • 8 min Meditation
  • 8 min Nei Dan (let's pretend it's a kind of Qi Gong)
  • 10 min Reading
  • 5 min Planing my day, writing the most important tasks to do

If you wonder why it doesn't add to 45min, It's because I used to hurry in the morning and I wanted to regain some time to slow down the pace in the morning.

The results

I'm quite self disciplined for some things (I can inflict myself a cold shower every morning and other things you can't even imagine) so jumping out of the bed earlier was not so hard to me. And even if I managed to not recharge/misconfigure my alarm several times, I can check the ““wake up early”” box.

Speaking about my routine, I was not as successful: First my routine was not consistent enough (Nei dan and reading were dropped from time to time) because I wasted a considerable amount of time checking my emails/SMS. It's interesting to note that I was not used to do it so early, it's clearly a new distraction.

But clearly my main failure was the Planing part. The few days I managed to do it, I feel empowered and was more productive. But 3 days with a todo list that I left uncrossed[ยน], gave me a feeling of failure that I never managed to overcome. It was as if I knew I wouldn't do what I planed. So I just gave up that part.

Analysis

This weeks made me realize few things:

  • Parkinson's law is ruthless:

    If I leave room for distraction, I will be distracted.

  • Planning is not spending 5 min writing a todo list in the morning

    Planning need to be realistic (in term of priority and execution time) to be followed. I suck clearly in this area

  • Routines are a great way to anchor habits

More precisely, chaining activities is an easy way to introduce/enforce new ones.

Next steps

Let's go on for another round. This time:

  • I'll focus on my Planning.

    Write it in advance, with 25mins tasks that match my priorities

  • I'll make my routine more strict to regain time

    No more email checking (in fact no computer, nor smartphone) before the end of the routine

Future

As I said, I take a cold shower every day, there's probably a way to improve this moment by linking some activities (breathing ? visualization ? other ?)

Go to bed earlier to wake up even earlier is also probably my next best move. I only have to find a way to convince my beloved one…


Stay tune if you want to know about the results. In the meantime, I'd love to hear about your tries, morning routines, advices, comments…