There is a current debate at the moment in productivity which seems to be pitting the ‘night owls’ against the ‘early risers’. Whilst I’m of the view that as long as you are getting important stuff done it doesn’t matter, I have to say I fall on the early riser side of things.
Don’t get me wrong, I never used to be. As a writer, I always felt my most creative hours were between 10pm and 2am. Which was great – if I didn’t have a day job. Once I did, then the reality was that creative never actually happened.
Then a couple of years ago, I was listening to a GTD Virtual Study Group podcast which brought to my attention the prospect of getting up early to make sure that if nothing else went right that day, you would always have an hour you could look back on, knowing that you had taken another step towards your goal. Towards doing what mattered most to you, not what mattered most to the boss man.
So I made the transition from getting out of bed at the last possible moment (after hitting that snooze button several times), to getting up at 6am, making myself a coffee and refusing to get up and go to work until I got 1000 words down. From now over a thousand mornings, I must have failed to hit that mark less than a dozen times. Getting to work late and then playing catchup all day was a powerful motivator to get typing.
Now I find myself on the other side of the world, having a writing sabbatical. Which some people would say is a fancy way of saying I’m unemployed. Transitioning careers. That kind of stuff. It doesn’t matter what you call it, it means I get to plan 100% of my time now without the 9-5 (or 8-7 as it realistically was most of the time).
All those hours back. All that free time. So what am I doing? I am getting up every morning at 6am to write, just like I have done every weekday for the past few years. Why? Because it works. Because setting up your day to start right is a key to making it a good day, no matter what else life throws at you.
It doesn’t matter what you do, or what you want to achieve. Starting your day intentionally by making it count is the best way to get there. To live a more productive life. Or, to put it in a way I’ve started to feel a lot lately, a more meaningful life.