Getting up on time, part 2

Today was day 2 of waking up at 6 a.m. to work. As with Sunday, I showered at night, so I could pop up and get straight to work. I put on my fleece and grabbed my glasses, came downstairs, turned up the heat, started the coffee, and opened my laptop. That meant I was working by 6:05. I processed 4 time logs before I stopped at 7:25. I am getting more efficient. The first ones took me 30-40 minutes and after about 20 of them I’m down to 20 minutes.

Progress is motivating. I also find this work inherently fascinating, as I see the different ways people live their lives. I am seeing a few of my hypotheses confirmed: In terms of work-life “balance” during the workweek, flexibility matters more than hours worked. Two people working the exact same number of hours can see their families for very different amounts of time on days that don’t start with S. I also see the inherent problem in asking anyone about a “typical” day. Very few women sleep the exact same amount every night. Some do! But only a few. One woman, for instance, got 5.75 hours one night and 9.5 hours on another, and 8.0 on a third. Those are during the work week, too — not the difference between weekends and weekdays. So which is “typical”?

Anyway, I do like getting up to work. We had a close call this AM when I heard the 2-year-old stirring at 6:20. Fortunately, she fell back asleep. I can see that with this experimental schedule I’m not actually working more. Rather than working from 9-11 p.m. last night, I worked from 9-10, then took my shower and went to bed. However, I am probably better able to focus on Excel cell counting and calculations in the AM over coffee than at 9 p.m. over a glass of wine.

If you’re getting up on time this week, how’s it going?



6 Responses to Getting up on time, part 2


  1. I love your point about being able to work on Excel in the AM versus in the PM.

    I’m realizing that I can accomplish different types of work at different times. Most of my brain power and focus is in the morning, so that means I can do a lot of creating.

    However, by afternoon, I’m close to being burnt out and can focus more on research.

    With my time management, I’m now trying to focus on A-Making the time to work, but also B-Working on the right things at the right time!

    Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Laura says:

    Started a new job this week so my whole schedule and routine is out of whack … need to realign. On our blog we are currently doing a 10 week project where we try to be more mindful of our time and try to allocate JUST 2 hours a week to ourselves to do something we enjoy. I enjoy seeing how your time breaks down. The biggest thing I notice is your 0.5 hours of TV – I truly believe that’s a huge piece of the puzzle. TV is such a time suck. People ask how I have time to blog (for fun) and work full time and be a mom and cook (which I love), and I just say “I watch less TV”. That’s the plain and simple truth. So Cheers to getting up a bit earlier, getting enough sleep, and figuring out a groove.

    • Laura says:

      @Laura – thanks, and good luck with the new job! Most people dedicate way more than 2 hours a week to things they like, but you’re right — it often is TV. It’s funny that people wonder how you have time to blog given that I imagine most of those folks are on social media for some amount of time each week. That could be hobby time too. We just need to take an honest look at these things!

  3. Usha says:

    Hi Laura, good to see you make it… I was up at six yesterday (18th) and at five today (19th). I’ve been using Pomodoro to set my work blocks. Progress is good indeed. But now I do find that I need to take some time to plan the thesis structure, convert the large PLAN into doable “action items” and knock them off the list only to integrate them with the large PLAN again. I like geekery-hackery work like planning, researching on time hacks, productivity etc in the afternoons when I am groggy after a siesta. That is what I intend to do this afternoon (almost 4 PM now). I find that I cannot randomly rash off into the writing because my arguments make no sense even to the word processor.
    I am aiming for five tomorrow morning as well.
    Cheers

    • Laura says:

      @Usha – good for you for sticking with the AM wake-up! Yesterday I was flagging pretty bad at 4 p.m., even after going for a run. But I did manage to get a few things done. Then the kicker: I changed locations. I went to the library and, in this different environment (and without my laptop hooked up to wi fi) I managed to crank out 2000 words of fiction in 1 hour. Crazy! The location thing is a key insight. I really had thought the run would do it, but it wasn’t enough.

      • Usha says:

        Laura, that is a great idea. Maybe I will go to the coffee shop tomorrow!