Life is a mixed up mess of all the decisions we’ve made. At times it is a beautiful mess that we wouldn’t have any other way. Other times we wish things could have turned out differently. Whatever we focus on in this regard will help us to form habits, sometimes without meaning to. Some good and some not so good.
Right now I’m still working to sort out the best routine for sleeping and waking up. I know my days are more productive if I get up at 8am or before and start out with some exercise, reading the bible, and putting some writing down in paper. Yet, my body prefers being awake when it’s dark and quiet, later at night. So I get stuck into deep work when I would actually be better off slowing down my thought processes, calming down my spirit, and drifting off to sleep.
I love writing – bear with me, this is related – and spend as much time as I can doing it. I am fortunate my work involves writing a fair few emails, and even a little bit of document editing, because even these types of writing are interesting to me. As I’ve said a few times on my blog, working a full time job, 40 hours a week plus travel time to and from the office, takes a fair amount of time and energy. Other projects, like this blog, writing my short stories and books, writing poetry, creating and recording music, staying fit and healthy, these I have to fit around my work hours. What this has meant lately is burning the candle at both ends. Getting up early enough to make it to work, then staying up later to progress my writing or music making.
This is not a sustainable practice. I am surviving at the moment because I am actively choosing to sleep longer on a Saturday morning to give my body and mind a chance to recover. This is helpful, but my subconscious mind creeps forward and complains that I’ve wasted the day when I sleep in, even after weeks I’ve been super productive and the rest will help me continue that.
There are decision points that we come to every day. Big decisions for me are getting up and going to bed. Recently I have been snoozing my alarm and getting up ten to fifteen minutes later than I plan to. Now, my mornings before work currently consist of getting up, having a drink of water, retrieving my lunch from the fridge, and walking or the door. Don’t fret, I eat breakfast when I get to work. What I want the majority of my mornings to look like is what I said earlier in this post: get up, breathe, exercise, drink water, read the bible, shower, write, head to work. This will require commitment to go to sleep earlier and get out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off. Hopefully I will eventually wake up without needing an alarm. I can dream can’t I?
What I need to do to make this happen is go to bed. When my body yawns, or I find myself knowing it’s bed time: just go to bed. Thankfully my mind and body tell me this. Unfortunately I have been making the same mistake over and over again and suppressing these thoughts. Tomorrow will arrive, and whatever ‘urgent’ thing I’m doing late at night can be done the next day.
I ask you to keep me honest when it comes to this. Check in with a comment when I make a post. Have I been taking action? Or have I made yet another show of words I haven’t followed? Talk is cheap, unless it is followed by productive action.
Are there things in your life you’ve been putting off? What little lifestyle changes could you me to encourage these? How will you go about being kind to yourself if they don’t happen, yet?
Peace. Keep on keeping on, my friends.
Photo by George Becker from Pexels.
4 thoughts on “The same mistakes”
Hey Hamish – I can tell you the single best thing you can do for a good nights sleep is get up at the same time every single morning – even on the weekends! If you lose sleep that your body needs you never truly recover it – this is actually a misconception that many people have. I can highly recommend reading a book called ‘Why we sleep’ by Mathew Walker if you want to understand the science a little more. Most people – I think about 40 percent of the population – are morning types – about 30 % are evening types (me) and the other 30 % sit somewhere in between. Unfortunately the world heavily favours morning types – I’m next to useless in the mornings but really wake up in the evenings. When everyone else is relaxing this is when I get my best work done. Not ideal – I tired to fight it for a long time – to force myself to be a morning person until I read that book. Now all I do is exercise and meditate in the morning. Any work I have to do, I do after my son has gone to bed. Once I understood the type I was, I moved my daily routine to fit. I’m much more productive when I don’t force myself to be the early bird! I’ve come to accept that I catch my worms late in the evening. Of course its easy to get carried away with what you’re doing late evening and not give yourself the time to switch off so I set a time limit and make sure to have some wind down time as well. The body loves routine! Hope this helps
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Indeed. Routines work best because our body isn’t trying to figure out what we want, it knows. It’s a process but I’m steadily improving at temping myself to sleep.
Though I know you can’t ‘catch up’ on sleep so to speak, getting too little over a period of days does require conscious effort to right the mistake. Hence I am glad I can wake up without an alarm on Saturdays when my body is ready to. Some weeks this is less than eight hours. Others it it closer to nine.
I have the unfortunate problem of being productive in the morning, before I fully wake and my mind has made up its mind to be stubborn, AND being productive later at night, taking into deep work really at 10pm and after. Most days this is not conducive to getting effective sleep when it’s dark!
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Thanks for this informative and inspirational article.
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You are welcome. Thank you for reading.