Day 767: Flowing to the Door

A quick update on this, largely unchanged, technique that continues to be really useful to me: “flow to the door.” Being a cat owner messes it up slightly, as I have to go downstairs at 5 a.m. to feed the cats or they riot, and since one of the cats is on a special diet, I have to keep an eye on them — so that’s when I make lunch.

Then, though, everything starts from the top of the house, with clothes for the day, then exercise, shower/shave, get dressed, do this and other correspondence/hobby computer things, then downstairs, coffee, cat litter… and out the door.

The idea is never go backwards, and I find (other than the cat/pack lunch thing) it’s actually pretty satisfying to do. By the time I’m making coffee, I feel like I’ve got a good head of steam behind me.

Late night at work tonight; one of the disadvantages of being a bit more senior is there’s no overtime, lieu hours, or ways to recognize overwork — the job is what it is and you do what you need to. So it goes.

Day 641: CHORE GOD

Up at 3:30 — bathroom, then cat, then my wife was up at 4 so what’s the point. I’ve admittedly been not great about exercise recently, but this was a good morning for chores: dishes, washing the stove and stovetop, two loads of laundry, prepping the upstairs for Mr. Butlertron…

…oh yeah, we got a Roomba, which we have named Mr. Butlertron. I was not in favour, secretly, but supportive… now that it’s here, though, I freakin’ love Mr. Butlertron. It’s pretty amazing how nice it is not to have to sweep every day — it really had to be a daily chore, in a two-cat house, and now we just drop Butlertron off on a different floor every day and let him have at it.

Anyway — chores done, and it’s time to head back to bed. This is, again, a weird way to go about things… but it’s working for me so far.

 

Day 536: I Love Early Mornings

Good night last night; good sleep, up on time and got exercise in as well as a full load of laundry. Being a — is there a word for this? — early-bed-early-up person is good for me.

This is no surprise. It’s been over a decade. I riiiiiise! But I sometimes could use a little reminding of how much I enjoy this lifestyle.

It’s a touch painful sometimes, when I see all the fun my night friends are having. Concerts, parties, etc. I’m a bit jealous. But not drinking definitely helps with that kind of envy, and the older I get the more I lean into Old Man satisfaction about getting it all done before I have to go into work.

(Night friends???)

Old Man Satisfaction should be my rap name.

Day 464: Should I just commit to 4 a.m.?

My wife is waking up at 4 a.m. for 5 a.m. shifts, and I’ve been getting up with her (solidarity!) pretty often. Well, every time.

It’s confusing the cat, among other things, and I think it might be confusing me a little bit. Good sleep hygiene means getting up at the same time and going to bed at the same time as much as possible. I also don’t mind getting up at four, as it turns out.

Maybe I should just do 4 a.m. I mean, it’s not like 5 a.m. is doing me any favours in terms of evening activity. “I have to be in bed by nine!” is as much of an inhibition on being out and about as “I have to be in bed by eight-thirty!” I don’t know why I’m only budging a half-hour on bedtime if I’m moving my wake-up by an hour.

Doing the math, asleep at 9 and up at 4 means I get seven hours of sleep. That’s pretty good, right? And naps on weekends?

I’d say “I’ll experiment,” but I’m kind of experimenting now. The big question is whether I want to just commit to getting up at four on the regular. I sure do get a lot done when I get up that early… it’s honestly tempting.

Day 441: Solidarity Rising

Another 4 a.m. start today, in solidarity with my wife’s punishing schedule — mad respect to her, for working 32 of the last 72 hours, all with 5 a.m. starts at the office.

So with the early start, I’m going to knock out some volunteer work all morning: keep chugging away with improvements to the canoe club site, and also fire away at the podcast project for the radio station that I’m taking on.

I did NOT log food or do my daily tracking yesterday — I had to run out the door for the radio show, and that kind of threw everything off. Not a terrible food day yesterday, but I’m not proud of myself either. I’ll have to take some time today to retro-track my food and mood from yesterday.

It seems like “showering” has become a central part of this whole thing. I often skip a day on weekends — call me gross if you want — but that ties into weighing, which ties into the mood tracking, which ties into reinforcing food logging. So there y’go.

 

Day 439: Stupid Early

My wife has the 5 a.m. shift today, she got up at 3:30 in the morning, and I thought “y’know what?”

I’m consequently about 90 minutes ahead of schedule, which is cool. Best time yet for a 5k on the rowing machine, astoundingly, given that I got on there at about 3:45 a.m.

And now it’s just after five, I’m dressed, have coffee, am doing this, and honestly thinking this kind of rocks. I feel good! Maybe it’s the novelty of the thing. But I feel like I could become night owl from the wrong end… morning creep until I’m getting up at hours when the night people go to sleep.

A big volunteer weekend coming up: rebuilding the local canoe club’s website in WordPress from the ground up. It’s exciting!

We’ll see how I’m doing tonight; the general logic here is that I’ll be as tired as my wife, so we’ll be synced up and it won’t be a weird “I’m going to bed early while my husband stays up late” thing. I have the radio show tomorrow so a reasonably early start regardless.

 

Day 403: Flow to the Door

February Sprint continues! I haven’t had coffee yet, and part of that is for Reasons, but also a revelation midway through the morning.

I shoveled snow for exercise this morning, and did a little spin for good measure. Then I was thinking “just shower now and get it done,” and on the way to do that, it occurred to me that maybe I should organize my morning with an outward flow.

By which I mean do things in the order that lead me to the front door, and then out the front door. I often find I exercise, then go make coffee, then do the podcast, then have a shower and get dressed, then make lunch… wouldn’t it make more sense to exercise, shower, and then just move room to room toward the kitchen and the door out of the house?

I’m going to try that… it means coffee comes later, but that’s not a bad thing, necessarily. Exercise, shower, dress, computer stuff including podcast, then coffee/breakfast/lunch, then out the door. No doubling back.

It make a sort of intuitive sense; so much that maybe most people just do this already and it’s a bit dumb of me to stumble on it now. But there y’go. I’m’a do this.

Day 388: On All Cylinders

Sometimes you have great mornings, you know? Up, exercised, weighed, showered, coffee, breakfast, packed lunch and there’s bread in the oven and dinner in the slow cooker while tofu is being pressed. Bam, bam, bam. A good morning.

This was a bit at the expense of a short run at exercise, but worth it… it feels good to get a lot done before 7 a.m.

There are also, of course, bad mornings. In fact, volunteer commitments are going to keep me up late tonight, so I suspect tomorrow might be a bit sub-par. But we’ll see how that goes.

Scheduling All The Things is still going according to plan; in fact, other than some issues mentioned in earlier episodes, everything seems to be ticking along quite well. Too well, in fact, says my paranoid side.

I’ll enjoy it while it’s rolling, and start trying to accumulate a mental postitivity reserve for when the wave I’m riding now crests.

 

 

Day 323: Good Start, Bad Internet

A good start to the day today, despite the cat almost getting me away from Operation Don’t Get Up and getting sucked into the internet on my phone. It’s rare that I can recall what EXACTLY leads to these fugues. But this morning, it was checking Facebook re. a survey for this podcast I put up there yesterday. From there, it was “holy crap, Charles Manson is dead.” From there, a story on the Internet about Charles Manson dying. From there, remembering my dumb adolescent fascination with serial killers (like every slighlty gothy teen, right?) and reading Helter Skelter in high school. From there, looking up Helter Skelter on Amazon to see if there are any $1 copies. Then realizing I was being a dumbass and putting the phone down and getting to it.

It’s so easy! There’s so much information! It’s right there!

I mean, the mistake was obvious. Nothing needed to be done at 5 a.m. on the Internet. Literally nothing. Even now, I’m a bit late doing this because I was delayed doing that. And I could have Mansoned at 7 a.m. as easily as 5 a.m.

It’s a constant challenge, right? Not a “make a decision and you’re done forever.” A constant rear-guard action against your not-great self.

Some interesting results already from my little survey, which is  right here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSen5ocQV1hYyzxtbQt7jRi80aRTj4GC-daAezQGHaM05MOGrA/viewform?usp=sf_link

I suspect that putting “interviews” on there may be setting too high a bar for myself to clear, but it’s good to know there’s interest.

The good news is I pulled myself out of the Internet Death Spiral and managed to get a good workout in, personal best at a 6k row (not great by “real rowing” standards, but good for me, wheee) and I’m back on track for the day.

But yes. THE INTERNET IS A DEMON OF DISTRACTION THAT MUST ALWAYS BE FOUGHT.  That is all.

 

 

Day 191: Morning Distractions

Checking in first, quickly, on the water drinking thing. It’s going well! Much harder when I’m at home than at work, but I’m powering through.  I’m getting bad about morning distractions, though.

I got back from a run at 6:15, had coffee and breakfast, and was upstairs at 6:30. It’s 7:00 now; I got sucked into an article about the National Lampoon (which I don’t care about) and testy emails with a service provider trying to bill me for something I cancelled a week ago. Which I do care about, but shouldn’t be caring about right now.

It’s a bit maddening, because I actually enjoy the stuff I should be working on. I like doing it! So it’s weird when I get pulled into… static. It shouldn’t be this hard to stay focused.

Morning distractions lead to evening stress.

Morning sets the pace for the day. That’s not a big genius revelation. But it’s something that’s helpful to remember. Mornings that I get up and get going and feel like I’ve accomplished something lead to great days. I like to leave the house feeling like I’ve already done stuff.

And I guess I’m short-selling the blog/podcast: I am doing stuff! But this is kind of doing stuff about doing stuff. I don’t know if it counts. I’m neurotic.

But I don’t want to feel rushed or stressed in the evening, which means getting stuff done in the morning is kind of my secret weapon.

I don’t know if I have a fix here. There’s a Chrome extension that blocks sites at certain times of day… maybe I should hook it up to keep things on lockdown until 7 a.m.?

Oh! And I haven’t gotten anywhere on the to-do-list/Gantt chart/whatever yet. Frankly, it kind of slipped my mind. But I should get back on top of that.