Getting Up Really Early

For the longest time I followed the stereotypical hacker schedule: code from the early evening until the wee hours of the morning, sleep until the afternoon (if possible), rinse and repeat. There’s something I really like about going on a 12-hour work binge, and there’s also something to be said for the complete lack of distractions and intense focus that comes with working at 2 AM.

Recently, however, after reading a few articles that mentioned it, and seeing it in more than a few biographies of successful people I decided to do the unthinkable: start getting up early. Usually waking up is one of the most difficult things for me to do. Let me repeat: I hate getting up early. Even waking up at 10:30 or 11:00 for class can be a struggle sometimes. But I decided to give it a shot anyway.

And I love it. 

I try to get up at 6 or 7 AM when I have few enough things to do that I can go to sleep early. It’s shocking how much it adds to my day to get up in the morning. I get to watch the sun come up (in winter) and hear the birds start chirping which is refreshing in itself. Plus there’s a total lack of distractions – I feel like it’s much easier to get stuff done. And the best part is, even if I end up messing around for an hour and not being productive it doesn’t matter. By that point it’s only 7 or 8 AM and I have plenty of time left in the day to things that matter. 

I think the only reason this has become feasible for me is because I’ve started to be able to do it without having to rely on my alarm. As I’m falling asleep I just think in my head over and over that I want to get up at 6 AM, and for whatever reason I usually wake up at around 5:55 or so. It’s the weirdest thing. I still set my alarm just in case, but after doing it for two weeks or so I haven’t needed it. Getting up without one is such a refreshing experience it’s ridiculous. Especially since when I do use one I’m a chronic snooze button addict. So not only do I feel better, but my roommate doesn’t get disturbed either.

Just thought I’d share an interesting thing I’ve been testing out. Let me know what you think in the comments or on Twitter.

8 Nov 2011, 4:13am | 3 comments


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