I was talking to a friend yesterday about how I wished I could spend more time writing and he replies, “Well, if you can wake up by around 5 am in the morning everyday, you get a good 2 extra hours in a day where you can probably get your best writing done.”

Now that makes a lot of sense. I would love to be able to wake up at 5 am in the morning. In fact, a few days last month I even succeeded.

But doing it on a regular basis I’ve realised is really much more challenging. And to add to the problem is that fact that mornings are rather chilly in Bangalore so the last thing I want to do is wake up.

I’ve often heard people say they’re not a “morning person” and I quite identify with this phrase because I am that very person! It is never quite easy and effortless as it is for some people who wake up bright eyed at 430 am to start their day.

I’m expanding on this blog post after Reader N left me this link:
How to become an early riser

I’ve read this with a lot of interest and these are some of the interesting points he makes.

Apparently the reasoning that if you sleep earlier, you will wake up earlier, usually fails. And I think that this is quite valid. I’ve tried sleeping early (as early as 930 pm) but I invariably sleep late. There is no guarantee that I am going to wake up early when I sleep early.

Steve also writes: “The solution was to go to bed when I’m sleepy (and only when I’m sleepy) and get up with an alarm clock at a fixed time (7 days per week).”

Waking up for me not a problem. When the alarm rings, I usually wake up. But… that’s where it all goes horribly wrong. I usually switch it off, turn to the other side and continue sleeping! Getting out at this point is the toughest thing!

Quoting Steve again on how he tackles this problem:“When my alarm goes off every morning, I turn it off, stretch for a couple seconds, and sit up. I don’t think about it. I’ve learned that the longer it takes me to get up, the more likely I am to try to sleep in. So I don’t allow myself to have conversations in my head about the benefits of sleeping in once the alarm goes off. Even if I want to sleep in, I always get up right away.”

Will this work I wonder? I’m going to give this a try this week and see if I can manage to wake up at least by 530 am on 2 days of the week to start off with.

Caffeine, as someone pointed out in the comments, is not my problem. The most I have is 2 cups of light tea during the day. And hardly any coffee unless I’m meeting someone over coffee 🙂

I also need motivation. When I was doing a few practice runs/jogs for the Ultra, I was actually waking up early in the morning. I think I definitely work better if I have some goal in front of me so that means I need one soon.

So, in the following week, I’m going to try and sleep when I feel sleepy. Wake up with the alarm and not have conversations in my head. Sit up, stretch and not look outside (because it’s way to dark at 530 am). And get myself a goal! Wish me luck…

If you folks have any tips/experiences to share, I’m all ears!

15 thoughts on “Making more time

  1. Here’s another tip, entirely from my experience.

    Stop the caffeinated & carbonated drinks altogether and you’ll find its easier to
    sleep. Earlier, longer & more restful, too!


  2. me too…not a morning person AT ALL. yknow there’s a community in orkut for people who hate waking up early? i forget what it’s called right now. and yeah i tried the sleeping early thingy but didn’t work. no matter how early i sleep i STILL cant wake up early.

    ok now you better hope that other comments are from people with ‘real’ tips on waking up early 🙂

  3. If medical science can find a cure to “im not a morning person” that person will get the Nobel.

    As someone who has struggled for 3+ decades to wake up fresh in the AM…I know what you feel.

  4. My Mom says – “Its all in U’r Mind” there is no need for alarm to ring, if YOU REALLY WANT TO WAKE UP or DO ANYTHING for that matter, It is TRUE 🙂 Please tell few times that u want to wake up early @ so and so time – U will wake up – Its definitely a mind thing !!

  5. My advise – Start writing at night. And if you are not a morning person, u r most likely to be a night person, so i guess you will write better at night anyways. Right ?

  6. heya,

    greetings from sg………. like u i m also not a morning person….. hate waking up in da mornings to go to work…..but somehow i manage to drag my lifeless body out of da bed and dress for work…..

    trust me been doing this for da past 5 years & am still struggling to get out of bed


  7. @ R: as i’ve mentioned in my expanded entry, caffeine is not my problem. i’m not a heavy consumer and i rarely drink carbonated drinks (unless i’m travelling!). i sleep really well, so that’s not a problem 🙂

    @ Aqua: maydum, you are a night person for sure! 🙂

    @ N: thanks! really interesting read there and i’ve used it in my expanded blog entry!

    @ Usha: doesn’t work! tried sleeping at 930 pm but i still wake up late! when i mean late, i mean around 7-7.15 which i want to change to 530-600 at least!

    @ arZan Says: hehe 🙂 best of luck!

    @ Shantanu: late nights, i don’t have much energy after already putting in a day’s work 🙁

    @ Invisible China: yeah, my mind refuses to listen 🙂

    @ dev: nights don’t work too well. i start feeling sleepy after a while. i usually do something after work like go out, go go for yoga, dinner, etc. so it’s too exhausting to sit after that and write 🙁

    @ Ananya: it’s a lifelong struggle i think 🙂

  8. My #1 tip: buy a copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen and start using it. It will help you find a way to prioritize what you’re doing better (sort between the important and less important stuff) and free up time for the things that you really want to do in your life.

    An eye-opener.

  9. I am not a morning person. I have tried many tricks to help me stop snoozing my alarm clock. Finally I decided that I can be productive more by going along with my body schedule(11.00 PM-07.00 am). I have also found that if I tell myself repeatedly to wake up at a particular time, my body automatically wakes me up. Its weird but true in my case.

  10. @ steph: thanks! will try and get hold of it!

    @ nancy: thank you, will look it up!

    @ lav: i think that’s pretty much my body schedule too ’cause i easily wake up by 7 am. changing it to a 530 am start is what’s the challenge 🙂

  11. If you work your lasy ass for 10 hours then you can go to sllep early and get up early do this for a whole week and you internal alarm will do this automatically, You will not need that alarm clock.

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