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.