Sunday, November 8, 2009
The Morning Person Project
Maybe best explained as "an experiment" called The Morning Person Project. You see, I am not naturally a morning person. I do not spring fully formed from the head of Zeus, arrows drawn on the day. I rarely sleep past 8:30 but, traveling mornings barred, it's tough for me to mobilize in the AM.
But I've noticed for awhile that a lot of the most successful people I know are true morning people. My dad, for instance, has gotten up pre-dawn my entire life. By the time I tripped over the breakfast table, he'd organized his thoughts, read the news and gotten a jump on the day's communication. The head of my company even named his blog after this same tendency. The list goes on. They are at their most creative, most clear-headed in the early.
Now, circadian rhythms being what they are, I have figured out that I currently have three push points throughout the day. These are natural energy bursts and they seem to be when I am most productive. The first is around 9:30 in the morning, the second at 2 in the afternoon, the third at 6 in the evening. This leads to me working a bit later because I need the quiet time in the office to hear above the dull roar of my own internal conversations for writing and/or bigger strategy.
But what if there was a fourth? A fourth time for me to find peaceful productivity. Perhaps lose a pound or two in the process. That would be worth the experiment, I think. Two years ago I saw a trainer at 6am 3-4 times a week for two months. While the trainer part isn't in the cards now, it was interesting enough to merit movement and I found that I was in the office earlier and my "push periods" self-adjusted. I could meditate quietly while working out, come home, shower, check my feeds while my hair dried and then head to the office without any added doddering around due to delayed alertness.
Eventually I fell back into a later set of habits (sadly one that involved less sweat) but I look back at that and remember that it was fun. Fun to be awake first. Fun to have started with something so holistically good for me rather than something that just tasted good or sounded good.
I'm not foolish enough to think that I'll stop relishing the slow meandering mornings and quiet curled up nights but I think it's okay for me to look into other sources of joy lit up by fresh morning light. I had a great weekend with my mom in town, she being the eternal motivator, and I think I've thought about it enough.
My proposal? I have a gym that is less than 2 minutes walking from Wicked Park. I will tweet every morning when I get up early enough to go and would be happy to see I have morning company. I know it's not a lot but it's a start. I've set out workout ensembles for the week. Experiment begins tomorrow. Fingers crossed that I don't blow up the lab.
Any natural risers out there? Care to share your secrets?
I put together a new workout playlist in the comments over at NOLA 2010 so check that out if you too could use the motivation.