10 October 2010

Scheduling Request

I can't believe that I haven't posted in three days.  I spent most of a day this week watching TEDTalks which always yields something worth talking about.  In theory, I was doing research for a paper and although I found three videos I think will help in the future, I have to own up to having watched most of the videos out of sheer curiosity.

Which actually leads me to an issue I'm having lately: scheduling my time.  I'd like to make a small change that would help organize my day (Pareto Principle, anyone?).  I think the change I need is when I wake up.

I'm a night owl... I naturally fall asleep after 11 and get up after 8.  And that's perfectly fine, I get my full night's sleep.  The problem is that lately I'm falling asleep around 1 and getting up just before 10.  This creates a cascade failure of a day.  I skip breakfast because it's lunch time.  After lunch, I have to do all the repetitive housework tasks I was planning to do in the morning.  Once that's done, it's on to whatever has to be done for the day (i.e. bill paying, homework, spouses' club).  By the time my husband gets home, I've had no time for myself, half of what I needed to do isn't done, and it's already time to cook dinner!  I then try to squeeze in what family time I can get.  And of course, I spend my last hour or two reading to get some me-time, often staying up just a little later to finish a chapter or section.

What I think I need is a long day to exhaust me and then a reason to get up on time the next morning... and the next... and the next (and also to make myself put the book down before 11, but a couple long days in a row will take care of that).  I had no problem getting up early for work a year ago and I think it's because when I woke up I felt like I was accountable to someone.  So what if I made a regular appointment with someone in the morning... say, walking at 7, every week day?

It's the kind of elegant solution that appeals to me. It's simple and doesn't require time consuming preparation or costly equipment.  It's repeatable (studies show that 30 days of doing something makes it a habit and that it's better to repeat daily than less frequently).  I'm unlikely to skip out because I'm accountable to someone else and I have no excuse for other things I should be doing at 7.  Walking also helps me accomplish other goals: fitness, health, exercise for my dogs.  And best of all, it takes advantage of what I know about myself: that when I wake up early and regularly, I get more done, no extra scheduling or carrots/sticks needed.

Need to exercise more?  Get up earlier like me?  Need help doing something? I'd be happy to reciprocate with being your accountability partner.  So who's up for daily morning walks?  


  1. Boy do I wish we lived in the same neighborhood!

  2. I wish you did, too! I know it's a bit of a drive, but if you're ever over this way in the morning, you're always welcome to walk with us!