Friday, September 02, 2016

The 4 am Wake up Experiment

Inspired by my friend, Peter Shankman, who was quoted in this WSJ article about starting day at 4am, I decided to do a 1 week experiment.

Every day this week, I've gotten out of bed somwhere between 3.45am and 4.40am.

Around 6.45am, we have to wake up our kids and get the morning routine (the craziness doesn't seem to be isolated to our family, per this WSJ article), which gives me about 2 hours of total alone time.

What have I found?


I'm a believer.

I'm not saying this is my go-forward approach for life, but that first hour or so (when I sit down to write/work) is like a power hour of clairvoyance.

There are no distractions. No (or few) emails coming in. No texts, skypes, etc.  Instead, I have the mental energy and mental space to do creative work (like writing this blog post).  It's fresh and it's silent.

Around 5.50 or so, I'll begin the morning workout.

Once the kids leave at 7.40, I'll sit down for another 80 minutes or so (keep in mind, I don't have to commute anywhere regularly which is its own blessing) for another batch of activities, some work, some personal, including prayer and meditation.

By 9am, when things start to heat up, I'm rarin' to go AND I've already accomplished a lot of important (vs. urgent) things.

The flip side?

By 9pm, I'm pretty wiped out and I'm in bed by 9.45 or so, asleep by 10, roughly.  I can't go much earlier than that because we have to make sure that the kids are actually in bed and winding down.

So, I'm a bit under the 7 hours that I would like to get.

As a traditional night owl, this has been a big change, but eliminating the 10pm-12am (or later) slot where I would usually end up watching TV (junk food for the brain, mostly) or eating (junk food for the body) has been great.

Definitely some edges to work out, but a worthwhile experiment that has made a positive impact.

(Written at 4.40am, published at 5:08am) ;-)

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