Saturday, February 23, 2008

Getting Up Early: Week 4 - One Month Reflections

First of all, let me comment (make excuses) for this week's performance:

1. I went to a rockin' NBA game in the middle of the week which kept me up late that night so that threw off the next day by a lot.

2. I didn't have as many days to average out that day because I lost Monday to the President's Day holiday.

So this week should be an anamoly, an outlier, if you will.

That said, let me note that before I even started this experiment, I used to average getting to my desk at around 9:30am. If that. I don't have an exact number because what crazy bastard keeps track of when he gets to work every day? But that's a well educated guess. So all in all, I've made some modest progress.

Also keep in mind that over the past month there have been many days when I've gotten to work right around 8:00am. But, like I said last week, an equal number of days getting into work past 9am serve to quickly push the average up. Finally, I should mention that on average I workout before getting to work 2 weekdays per week. It's hard for me to get to work by 8am on those days because I have to wake up ridiculously early, but I'm getting there.

So those are my excuses.

Here are my reflections for this month of my getting up early experiment.

1. It isn't easy. Getting your weekly average down significantly that is.

2. I definitely sleep a solid 8 hour average per night, which means to wake up earlier I have to go to bed earlier.

3. In light of reflection #2, my eventual, kind-of-secret goal of waking up at 7am is not realistic.

4. Getting an early start on work when few people are there is awesome.

Overall, this experience has validated my reason for doing this experiment: Work in the morning is more effective and feels like less suffering than work in the afternoon/evening. The second reason is the key reason I started the experiment. I realized that working for hours before lunch felt like no big deal; working in the morning doesn't feel hard for me. Whereas, working into the evening gives me a psychological feeling of suffering.

I will average getting to work by 8am. Oh I'm determined. Oh you just watch.

Getting Up Early: My Experiment

Getting Up Early: Week 1
Getting Up Early: Week 2 - A Pathetic Performance
Getting Up Early: Week 3 - I am a Tortoise

2 comments:

Carsten said...

Sorry for the late comment, but I wondered if you still believe you're an "early bird"?

I'm clearly a morning person, I was in the office around 5am last week, and I never start after 8am. I don't need an alarm-clock for this. I do need at least 8h of sleep (I do workout hard, so it could be even longer) and I have to go to bed very early - around 10pm, sometimes I'm laying down earlier reading a book for half an hour.

From my point of view, everyone who starts work at 9am is a "night owl" type of person. And I don't see a good reason for changing this if you're working flexible hours.

Why do you want to push yourself to get up early when your sleeping habits wake you up at 8am? Just because ZenHabits says it's good? Or do you really work productive when you're first in the office?

Bdizzy said...

No I don't consider myself an "early bird." My hours are pretty standard: 8-9ish to whenever I get tired. Some days I'm tired and go to bed early and thus arrive to work early (for me this is 8am). Other days I want to keep momentum on what I'm doing so I work late and arrive to work late.

I agree with you, if you can work flexible hours there doesn't seem to be too many reasons to push your body to some uncomfortable zone.

The month experiment was precisely that, an experiment. I still like the idea of getting up early because I still do feel that work in the morning seems to go by faster than work in the evening. There are also less people around, which means less distractions, which is a plus.

What has changed however, is my determination to get to work everyday by 8 or earlier. I don't really care if that happens every day, I've taken to simply enjoying both ends of the spectrum: Sleeping in when I work late and getting an early start when I work early.

I feel like that's a happy middle ground.