October 19, 2011

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Jetlag-assisted early days

I like jet lag. Used well, it’s a low-effort way to reset one’s sleep schedule. I’ve been waking up at 5 AM for the past couple of days. I realized that starting work early usually means that I end up working the entire day anyway, so I’ve been using the extra hours for personal projects on my laptop. Result: lots of improvements to my personal dashboard application, lots of reading, and lots of writing. Because W- is similarly jetlagged, our mornings and evenings are synchronized. We’ll probably drift towards later evenings eventually, but we might as well make the most of it now.

I occasionally experiment with early wake-up times, and I usually write happy blog posts about it whenever I do.

I’m not sure if that’s because this idea of waking up early is bound up in social approval or whatever it is (waking up early is considered good, so perhaps I feel satisfied and a little smug when I manage it?), or because I really do like it. But I also don’t mind late nights of hacking and having fun, although I can’t stay up as late as W-. He drinks coffee and I don’t, so I have lower tolerance for reduced sleep.

Anyway. Mornings. The office opens at 7 AM, and I can’t get in unless it’s open. I used to be able to badge in through the IBM street-front, but the IBM reception has moved to an inner location, so no more badge access for me. This means that on weekdays (particularly in winter), the earliest I should leave the house is 6:30 AM. Morning routines typically take me an hour, so a good time to wake up is around 5:30 AM. I’ve liked these 5 AM wake-up times, though, because that gives me a little time for personal projects in the morning: small improvements to my dashboard, a few chapters of a book, and so on.

When I finish work and head home, I’m pretty much ready to have dinner, tidy up, and go to bed. I’m continuing to track my time use, and maybe the data will help me get a sense of my discretionary time when my sleeping patterns stabilize.

Jet lag: not a bad thing.