How to Become an “Early Bird” (Part II)
Honestly, when I posted the first part of Steve Pavlina ’s article “How to Become an“ Early Bird ” , I didn’t expect that so many people would be interested in this topic. Therefore, I decided to continue and publish the continuation of the article. I also realized that it’s difficult to master a large piece of text at once, so the second part I underscored and highlighted important points in bold. The full version of the translation of the article can be found in the wonderful blog of Sergey Biryukov - thank him very much for the translation! So, let's get started ...
First, we will return to the question of going to bed only if you want to sleep ... To do this correctly, you need some awareness and common sense.
If you do vigorous activity before bedtime,this can ward off sleepiness for a period of time. In college, I usually played poker until dawn, after which we often went to breakfast. I can stay up longer than my usual schedule if I work, relax with friends, or do some other active work.
But this is not what I had in mind when I talked about drowsiness. I mentioned a test when you cannot read more than a few pages without losing attention. This does not mean that you need to wait until you fall from exhaustion.
The appearance of drowsiness , which I am talking about, is the moment when the brain begins to produce hormones that put you to sleep. This should not be confused with ordinary fatigue. You feel like you are taking a nap. But for this to happen, you need to create the right conditions. Give yourself some rest before going to bed. I made sure that reading is a great way to relax. Some say reading in bed is a bad idea that you need to sleep in bed. I never had a problem with this, because when I feel sleepy, I just put down the book and fall asleep. But you can read it in an armchair, if it’s more convenient for you.
Another test example. Ask yourself: “If I go to bed now, how quickly can I fall asleep?” If you think this will take more than 15 minutes, I would advise you to wait a while and continue to stay awake.
When you set a fixed time for waking up, it may take a little practice to determine the correct time for going to bed. Initially, large fluctuations are possible if you go to bed too late in one night and too early in another. But over time, you will learn to feel the moment when you can go to bed, while instantly fall asleep and wake up the next day well rested.
To protect yourself from lack of sleep, set a deadline after which you’ll go to bed no matter what, even if you don’t feel like it yet. I have a good idea of the minimum amount of sleep I need. 6.5 hours is quite acceptable for me, but I can sleep for 5 hours and feel normal, unless this happens every night. My maximum sleep time is 7.5 hours. Until I started to get up at the same time every morning, I often slept for 8-9 hours, sometimes even 10, if I was especially tired.
If you use caffeine during the day , it can affect the rhythms of your sleep. The first article assumes that you do not use anything like this to stay awake. If you are addicted to caffeine, first get rid of this habit. You should not expect that natural sleep will come at the right time if you will be chemical with your brain.
You can always sleep longer than usual when you need to. If I don't go to bed until 3 o’clock, then I won’t get up at 5 in the morning. But I will return to my usual schedule the next day.
I recommend getting up at the same time for 30 days in a row to fix the habit, after which you will adapt to this so much that it will be difficult to sleep more than usual. I wanted to sleep longer one Saturday morning and turned off the alarm, but automatically woke up at 4:58. I tried to sleep again, but could not. Like this. When a habit is developed, getting up is not at all difficult if you fall asleep when drowsiness occurs.
If you can not get out of bed when the alarm clock rang - this is most likely a lack of discipline. If you have discipline, you will stand up no matter what. Motivation also helps, but it is short-lived and can last only a few days. Discipline is like muscle. The more you develop it, the more you can rely on it. Everyone has a discipline (calmly, okay?), But not everyone develops it. There are many ways to develop discipline - I devoted a whole chapter to this topic in a book that is coming soon. Basically, it all comes down to taking on simple tasks, performing them, and gradually progressing to more complex ones. It is like strength training. As discipline strengthens, such tasks as getting out of bed at a certain time will become a mere trifle. But with undeveloped discipline, this may seem like an insurmountable obstacle.
Why get up early at all?
I would say the main reason is that you have more time for things that are much more interesting than a dream.
Again, I gained 10-15 hours a week by doing this. The extra time is very noticeable. By 6:30 I had already done exercises, took a shower, had breakfast and was ready to go. I can devote more productive work to more hours per day, and usually I finish work by 5:00 pm (this also includes personal “work”: reply to letters, pay bills, pick up my daughter from kindergarten, etc.). This gives me 5-6 hours of free time every evening, which I can devote to my family, as well as books, magazines, various hobbies, etc. And most importantly, I still have enough energy at this time. When I have enough time for everything that is important to me, it gives a feeling of harmony, calmness and optimism.
Think about what you could do in that extra time. Even 30 minutes a day is enough to do exercises, read a couple of books a month, blog, meditate, cook healthy food, learn to play a musical instrument, etc. A small amount of extra time per day is reduced to significant values on a yearly basis. 30 minutes a day is 182.5 hours a year. This is more than a month of working time (based on 40 hours per week). These numbers can be doubled if you save 60 minutes a day, and triple if you save 90. I just got about 90 minutes a day. It's like you get a free prize year every ten years. I use this time for affairs for which I previously did not have enough time or energy. And that's great :)