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.
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.
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[¹], 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.
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.
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
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…