Slow Reader Friday: The Early to Rise Experience

alarm clock

If you’ve been reading my recent Wednesday and Friday posts, then you know that I’ve been reading The Early to Rise Experience by Andy Traub. I’ve been rather vocal about my night owl tendencies and have thought that there was really no way around my crazy body clock that wants to begin working at about 10 am (at the earliest–I’d really prefer noon!) and finish my work day around 7 pm. I could honestly be productive at home until midnight, too.

Unfortunately, this belief about myself has me at odds with the rest of the American citizenry. And since I’m not Zuckerberg, Obama, or Tom Hanks, I’m not likely to significantly change that fact about the American work ethic any time soon.

I would like to tell you that I used to be a morning person and then I went to college. Unfortunately, my mother was very fond of recounting that I kept her up late into the night playing happily when I was a mere toddler. 

This tendency robs me of some things in my life. More time with my early bird husband and daughter. Quiet time in the morning to read my Bible, think, pray and write before I begin the less cerebral parts of my day. Being more productive because I’m in sync with the rest of the world. (It’s a little difficult to vacuum at midnight if you have a family.)

I think I can guarantee that there have been times when my hubby would kill (or pay someone to kill) to get me off my computer at o’ dark thirty. Likewise, there aren’t enough pillows in the world to put over my head when the hubby gets up at 4:30 am in the morning (He’s a farm boy…sigh).

The man really tries to be quiet in the mornings, but since I’m also a mom, I am now sensitive to the slightest noise in the middle of the night. Furthermore, the hubby would be fine with me sleeping until noon for the rest of my life. This little experiment is completely self-imposed.

Enter Andy Traub. Andy reports that the hyper-successful people of this world are all early risers. And so, he challenged himself to getting up earlier than his family in order to improve his relationship with his family and to figure out why these really successful people get up so early.  In the book he recounts how it changed pretty much everything in his life…for the better.

He then asks the reader to spend 30 days trying this same experiment. Chapter 7 is actually composed of 30 short readings and action tips for when people try the experiment themselves. As of this writing I’m actually still going through my 30 day experiment, but I think I’ve done enough days that I can conclude the following:

1. I still hate getting up before the sun.

2. I’m better at getting up early if I don’t develop a “snooze button” mentality.

3. Left to my own devices, I can tweak my nighttime routine to get myself to go to bed earlier. The jury is out on whether I can do this on the weekends when the hubby has a bedtime routine that is very different from these tweaks.

4. I enjoy handwriting (Yes, handwriting. It still exists, despite the next generation’s contention to the opposite.) in my journal every morning.

5. Actual cohesive, wise thoughts come out of my head despite my sleepiness at these hours.

6. I need two breakfasts in the morning when I get up early.

7. I do have more problems with my migraines if I get up early. (I’m hoping this will change if I can learn to go to bed sooner.)

8. I get more done when I start early because I’m working in sync with the rest of the world.

9. My current hours at Compassion don’t mesh well with me getting to bed earlier at night. (Clients usually want lunchtime appointments and appointments after 4 pm. There have been times when I’ve been at Compassion until 10 pm at night.)

10. I still can’t get myself to get up early enough to exercise in the morning.

11. Exercising at night relaxes me and helps me sleep.

12. If I’m at Compassion until 10 pm, then I’m exercising until midnight. This means I’m not in bed until about 1 am. See # 8.

13. I weirdly do not want to share this crazy experiment with others, particularly family members. I probably need to see a shrink about that!

14. God has a habit of using me as a human pen at o’ dark thirty. And that alone makes me want to continue this little experiment for a while.

15. I will probably never get up earlier than my hubby. 6 am feels right. Even if I can muster something in the 5 am hour, he’ll still be up an hour ahead of me.

Some parts of Traub’s book bug me. He makes conflicting statements and there were a number of typos. Traub admits self-publishing this book. The typos are a particular hazard of self-publishing. And it will probably be a hazard for me when I publish a book. So, I hesitate to even mention the typos. But, they were distracting from an otherwise helpful book.

And I can tell that Traub is still a “developing author.” Some of his writing isn’t as polished as other, more established writers. I would love for someone to call me a developing author!

I enjoyed the honest “About the Author” section. Instead of the normal self-gloating in this section, Traub talks honestly about his life as a writer and podcaster. I did think he was a little too overt about wanting readers to tell others about this book so that he could feed his family, but it’s nice to see a more accurate depiction of a writer’s reality.

We’ll see how long I stick to this little ritual. I might be inclined to do so if I knew I had compadres (Thank you to those who have already shared about that very thing!).

Please, oh please, send me emails here or comment on this post about the good, bad and indifferent of such a journey. And no, I’m not requesting that for more blog traffic. I gave up on that eons ago! I just like to hear from you. It lets me know I’m not alone in the universe.

And I’m still considering whether or not I should keep blogging about my journey now that I’ve done this book review. Would you like that?

Since I’m writing this early in the morning, it’s time for that first cup of coffee. Make that two.

Monday’s Post: Did you know the WOW this week? 

You Might Also Like: Slow Reader Friday: Start; Slow Reader Friday: The Rabbi Who Found Messiah; Slow Reader Friday: Unstoppable; and Slow Reader Friday: Twirl

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This entry was posted on Friday, March 20th, 2015 at 10:50 am and is filed under Slow Reader Friday. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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