Thursday, January 7, 2010

Early Riser: Day 1 - The Best Laid Plans . . .

It's not going to work. And not for the reason you might think.

Here's how things played out:

10:00 pm: Head upstairs, brush teeth; spend about 30 minutes reading Seige #1/admiring Copiel's art
10:45 pm - 12:30 am: Drift in and out of sleep (nervous about getting up early?)
5:30 - 6:00 am: Got up at the radio alarm - no problems here; head downstairs to work out
6:00 - 6:30 am: Nice hot shower, brush teeth, get half-dressed
6:30 - 7:00 am: the kids are awake and want attention; I get their breakfast
7:00-7:30 am: Wife gets up, grabs her shower; I finish getting dressed and shave (a mid-week rarity under normal circumstances)

7:30 - 7:45 am: Grab stuff for lunch, hug wife & kids, leave for work

I was already a firm believer - and have now been convinced entirely - that if a person hopes to be a creative professional, any progress they have not taken towards that life goal becomes exponentially harder once you have kids.

Reflecting on the morning's events, I have come to believe that, while the exercise and waking up at a pre-determined time are beneficial, the 6:30 - 7:30 am hour is probably not going to work as my Golden Hour. Being more naturally inclined to the evening hours, perhaps I could shift things a half hour toward the evening, making a revised schedule look more like:

6:00 - 6:30 am: Wake up, work out
6:30 - 7:00 am: Shower, get dressed
7:00 - 7:30 am: Help get kids ready while wife gets ready for work
7:30 - 7:45 am: Pack lunch and leave for work
8:00 am - 5:00 pm: Work
5:15 - 8:00 pm: Dinner & family time, get kids in bed
8:00 - 9:30 pm: Freelance & personal projects (TV okay)
9:30 - 10:29 pm: Dedicated art time (limit TV, none after 10:00); will have to learn to listen to The Office, and not simply sit there watching it (Shame it doesn't come on before Parks & Rec. - bleh)
10:30 pm: Bedtime

If you're wondering why I'm keeping the amount of time spent sleeping to around 7.5 hours (and why wouldn't you?), it all has to do with sleep cycles. A complete sleep cycle - one that involves all 5 stages of sleep - takes an average of 90 to 110 minutes for an adult. What I've been doing for a while now is calculating the amount of sleep I need/get in 90 minute intervals.

So we'll try this evening and tomorrow morning using the revised schedule and see how that plays out. Hopefully it won't take too much tweaking to hit on a rhythm for maximum productivity & creativity.

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