I had a bad night. I stayed up far too late, only ended up journalling at close to 4am, and to be honest I was such a mess that I assumed I’d sleep in until midday and write at 5am today.
I woke up at 10:30, rested in bed to make up for less than 8 hours, and then hit target at twenty past one. That’s a pretty great turnaround from a day that threatened to become a write-off, the kind where yes I write a thousand words, but if those words ever see publication as part of the book, I’m either deeply impressed or full of existential horror. Far from that, I feel I wrote a decent chapter today, and I’m starting to get more of an idea for the feel of this book overall. So, how’d I manage that?
You ever heard the old advice to ‘always get dressed’? It’s not in reference to the scorn you might receive trying to revive a pyjama day in the office on short notice; if you get dressed in the morning, you tell your body that you are not in sleep mode anymore. Yes you might still feel fatigue, but there’s more to the psychology of it being easier to leave the house when dressed than the funny looks you might otherwise get in the street. It’s the same habit cue that makes it easier to exercise if you change into clothes you wear exclusively for that purpose.
I have a few of these cues that will get my brain where it needs to go:
- Make a coffee.
- Do a 5 minute row.
- Have a shower.
- Update my bullet journal*.
And of course:
- Get dressed.
My issue never seems to be my techniques not working. It is either I’ve stolen too much sleep from myself, or I start doing one or more of these then don’t follow through. Doing a row is great, but if I follow that up by saying ‘Ok I’ll go grab food/play some Stardew/take a moment and then…’, then ‘and then’ never happens. Or more, it happens at 2 in the morning and I feel crappy because of it. I need to figure out a way of ensuring I remember to leverage feeling in control into early targets, because that always leads to more overall feelings of stability.
*Does not apply if I have like a 2 week backlog. But we’re trying to avoid those now…