Blog Archive

Friday, November 2, 2012

Early to Bed, Early to Rise...

...Makes a girl healthy, wealthy, and wise?  Yeah right.  At least on the "wealthy" bit.

From toddlerhood through my pregnancy, my productivity peaked in the morning hours.  But for the last 3 years I've found that I'm most productive in the afternoon, beginning around 2 pm and ending around 8 pm.  This is problematic since I have to leave work at 5 to pick Eddie up from daycare.  And after 3-3.5 hours of "home" stuff like playing, dinner, cleaning up, bathing and bedding Eddie for the night, I'm exhausted.  When studying for my exam last year I'd push through that exhaustion to study laaaaaaaaaate into the night, finding a second wind of energy/diligence/productivity around 10 pm.  It took me about 2-3 months to break out of that cycle of going to bed around 2 am and getting up around 7 am.

Now that I'm basically out of the lab and need to settle down to analyze data and begin writing the dissertation, I'm having trouble with my schedule.  No matter what I do, I just cannot be very productive until 2 pm.  It sucks.  I can sit at my desk, make a to-do or to-analyze list, open up my stats program...but I just don't get much done.  My mind wanders to all the "home" stuff: what to make for dinner, when we have appointments, what we'll do this weekend, what chores need to be done when I get home (laundry, clean up dog poop outside, collect chicken eggs, change Eddie's bed sheets, etc.).

I realized that I am committed to only about 6 hours each day to hang out with and take care of Eddie.  The other hours he's either sleeping or is at daycare.  So that leaves me with 18 hours during which to work and sleep.


That got me thinking: Can I shift my productivity to an early time?  So I can get more school work done?  There's no way I'll be able to work before Eddie gets up in the morning.  Because let's be honest, I'm not that good.  But I can get up earlier in the day and do "home" stuff like prepping meals, cleaning up, organizing the house, etc. (all that stuff I spend time thinking about in the first hours at school).  And if I'm up 2-3 hours earlier, then my internal clock will start ticking that much earlier, right?  So maybe my productivity will eek more towards 11 am rather than waiting until 2 pm?  Right?

Well, it's worth a shot.

So far, so good.  This week I went to bed between 9:30-10 pm and got up between 5-5:30 am.  I feel so much more productive by the time we leave the house at 9 am because I've been able to cycle through two loads of laundry, empty the dishwasher/rack, and that kind of thing that usually waits until I get home at night.    And at work I have been much more productive.  I can't say for sure that it's a result of my schedule modifications or just that I've hit a groove with my data analysis.  But I'll take it!

Previously, Eddie and I would try to talk to Dave at least once a week using the webcam/laptop set up during bath time (the only time Eddie is in a single spot long enough for Dave to get to see him).  It's a pain to do during summer months because Dave would work until dark (like 8:30 pm).  But lately, we've been able to do it earlier because of the earlier sunset.  Plus I have a new phone (Samsung Galaxy S3) with the front camera so we can "facetime" with it instead of the clunky laptop.  For Eddie, this is great.  But for me and Dave my earlier bedtime stinks because we only talk through bath/books and not again after since I'm soon offline.  Oh well.

Here's hoping the schedule adjustments work out!  (And that my data is as awesome as I hope it is and that I discover I'm a dissertation writing wizard--not likely AT ALL but a girl can dream.)  I see that I have approximately 20 minutes until my new productive period is supposed to begin.......

1 comment:

steph.kelley said...

Go you! It's admirable that you're shifting your schedule to find your productivity sweet spot. We are getting up really early these days too, and I love the feeling of getting so much done before the sun even rises. Even if it means going to bed when the grannies do... :D Good luck and good writing! xoxoxo