Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Will Rising Early Increase My Productivity: Part I

A reader took a look at Monday's "daily schedule" post and told me I should consider kicking the night owl habit. He pointed me to some articles by Steve Pavlina detailing how waking up early can increase your productivity. Although I feel like my schedule works for me, I've decided to give early rising a try. I normally go to bed between 2 and 3 am and wake up at 7 am (I know it doesn't sound like a lot of sleep, but I'm one of those oddities that functions well on 5 hours of sleep). Today, I woke up at 4 am. It was tough waking up, as I went to bed at my normal 2 am time, but I have to say, I can't believe how much I accomplished before going to work.

After waking up, I headed down to the basement and completed the 45 minute workout that I usually do after work. This was one of the best workouts I have had in quite a long time. My guess is it was because I was fresh and hadn't just logged in a full day of work and trading. After a protein drink and a bowl of cereal, I headed upstairs to go over my trading day. I had skipped my sector and stock reviews and watchlists last night, knowing I'd have time to do it in the morning. What normally takes me about 2 hours to complete at night, I finished in a little over and hour. I was amazed at the amount of intellectual clarity I was feeling and how fast the process went. Again, my guess is its because I was fresh and didn't have any distractions, such as the toddler asking for milk or the boob tube tempting me with yet another re-run of Everybody Loves Raymond.

By now it was 6 am, I had accomplished my morning goals and I had no idea what I should do. I don't leave for work until 8 am, and getting ready takes me about a half an hour. I decided to read a book that's been on my reading list for quite some time, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. By 7 am I had read 90 pages of a book I had been trying to read for the past 4 months! After putting the book down, I decided to brainstorm about some ideas I have for a new blog. After a half an hour, I was back on my normal morning schedule.

So before the time I normally wake up, I was able to work out, complete my stock analysis, read 90 pages of a book and brainstorm blog ideas. Not only was the morning highly productive, my entire evening is open to new things now that I don't have to worry about working out or completing my stock research. Although I'll have to go to bed earlier, probably around 11 am, I now have more free time and increased my productivity by at least 50 percent.

I'll be back tonight or tomorrow morning to detail how my evening went.


Glenn said...

Your discipline in maintaining a set schedule is to be commended! I'm curious as to what scans you run each day and how you actually filter down to the stocks you decide to watch. Do you just deal with the larger cap stocks or do you look at smaller ones also? Any specific sectors that you consistently trade within and sectors that you leave out? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

that's an awesome accomplishment, keep us updated on your progress with this!

The Market Speculator said...

Thanks guys. Hopefully I can stick to the plan.

Glenn: I plan to post about how I filter my watchlists. In a nutshell, I look at the top and bottom performing sectors and look for the best individual setups. I also look at stocks that have been high momentum players and sectors and stocks in the news. As for sectors I like to watch, gold, energy and semis are always watched closely.

Anonymous said...

Firstly - Thank-you - I should post my comments and appreciation for your blog more often.

I am one of those who gets up at the wrong hour (4:30-5am) of the morning to do what my wife calls 'my stock stuff'. I find that with the long house at work and my commitment to the Mrs and the new little one on our lives. I am shot by 9pm. Some mornings are hard, but I find that I am more productive at this time. One of the pit falls is that I don't always have the time to finish what I am doing or do what I want (like post appreciative blog comments!). I have to stop in my tracks (like right now!) so I can tackle to SF bay bridge commute!

Cheers & Thanks - David

The Market Speculator said...

Thanks for the kind words Dave. I hope I can become as consistent an early riser as you.

I certainly don't miss the bay bridge. I moved out of state and now my commute to work is about 15 minutes.

Anonymous said...

15 mins... Lucky guy, that's about the time to get through the metering lights. Thanks for the comments on the multiple NR7s

Enjoy you vacation.