Wake Up Early (or super late)

*Quarantine Edit*  I actually think that when the world hands you a stay-at-home order it might be better to just sleep in and stay as healthy and well-rested as possible.  So take this post with a grain of salty reality.

It has been said, and it has been said again, so it’s worth saying again.

The best time to work on creative projects is when you can’t be interrupted.  If you live a normal life, that means:

  • before 9am
  • after 9pm

So take your pick.

Last month, I decided to improve my wakeup time.  It had been 7:30am for years.  I wanted more time, so I decided to switch to 5:30am.  The reason?  I might be able to have 3.5 hours without interruption in the morning.

Note:  I have tried this before, and each time I have failed.  This time I have stuck with it for 30 days.  How?

  • The first week is hell.  I have always had a minor-to-major emotional breakdown around day four.  Expect it, plan for it, and don’t give up.
  • Yep, it means I now go to bed at 9pm and am asleep by 10pm.
  • Use a soothing alarm tone.  I like “harp” on the iphone.
  • Temperature Management: Nobody wants to get out of a warm bed into a dark and cold room.  Put your warm wool layers right by the side of the bed.  When the alarm goes off, put them on your body immediately.  I immediately put these items on in the winter: wool leggings, wool socks, two wool sweaters, and house shoes.  Temperature can’t be an excuse.
  • Light Management:  It is dark at 5:30am in the winter.  That makes it even harder to get up.  Create a sequence-  I put on my wool clothing. I walk downstairs. I make coffee and get a biscotti. I sit on my couch and begin writing or meditating.


After two weeks, I noticed that I often woke up right before my alarm.  I discovered that the most important thing in terms of cementing the rhythm was protecting the wake up time.  So, even if f**king exhausted, get out of bed at 5:30am.  Then go take a nap at 11am or something.  It’s better to get up at the time, and think of this as a long-haul mission.


If you decide to go the other direction, and become a night owl artist, I don’t really have any suggestions for you other than- figure out how to never have appointments before noon.


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