Optimizing my day

My old routineMy new routine

Maybe there’s some truth to the advice, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Thanks to jetlag, I’ve been up uncharacteristically early. I like the new rhythm my day has taken.

Before this jetlag-assisted early start, I used to stumble out of bed, scarf down a quick breakfast, and head to the office. Waking up was a gradual process, and it took me about an hour or so to warm up for more creative work. After I returned from the office, I tried to squeeze in some personal creative time in the evenings. I found it difficult to write when my brain was tired from work. Finding the time to exercise was low on my list, as it took me away from other things I would rather be doing.

Yesterday, I simply couldn’t stay in bed past 3:30 in the morning. That gave me plenty of time to exercise, plan my day and my week, and write a thousand words for my book. I arrived at the office at 8 o’ clock and worked on my most important tasks. Because I had breakfast earlier, I got hungry earlier, too. Fortunately, I had brought brownies from the Philippines, and that helped me last until lunch time. I felt myself winding down in the afternoon, so I worked on some more routine tasks. When I got home, I spent some time tidying up and chatting with other people. This was a good way to relax and get ready to sleep. I was asleep by 8.

Today I’ll find out if I can repeat that rhythm. This morning, I woke up at 4:30. I prepared oatmeal, then exercised while the oatmeal simmered. Exercising first thing in the morning meant that I woke up quickly and with lots of energy. I even found the time to bake peanut butter cookies. The only hiccup was that I had some filesystem problems with my laptop, so I didn’t get around to writing as much as I wanted. I spent some time sketching instead.

Tonight, I’ll see if preparing breakfast and lunch in the evening is a good way to use my downtime to free up some of my personal creative time. Tomorrow, I’ll set my alarm clock for even earlier. I’d also like to move my morning writing session earlier, perhaps even before breakfast. Kaizen: relentless improvement.

  • http://fractalyze.blogspot.com/ jblondinet

    You are not alone on this :-)

    I also adopted a morning-shifted day plan a few weeks ago, mainly to meditate in the morning, and it is great:
    - mind is really clear at that time
    - there is no noise (I live near an animated street )
    - and I am free for my friends after my job (even if a bit tired :-)

    When I read your post, I also decide to switch the moment when I work on my personal projects, and this is a great improvement: thanks !!

    Keep the good work, your enthousiasm, and thanks for your gems on Emacs !!

    • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

      I’m glad that worked for you!

      Two late evenings in a row broke me out of my morning-shifted day routine, but I’m looking forward to going back to it once I finish going to conferences next month. I anticipate more late evenings because of conference networking and note-taking, but if I can still do the conferences with a morning-shifted routine, that would be awesome. =)

      Glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying the Emacs articles! I’m working on a book called “Wicked Cool Emacs”, and I hope to finish it by Dec 2008. =)

      • http://www.fractalyze.blogspot.com/ jblondinet

        I encountered the same problems as you: as other people have a different day planning, I need sometimes to postpone my evening break, and so my morning (the other solution is to sleep less :-)
        Anyway, I wish you good luck for your book (I am highly interested here :-), and thanks again for your blogging.