The busier my life gets (church, kids, budgeting, work, etc.), the less likely I am to set aside time for me to learn more about technology. I have noticed this trend, and that after work, I am still happy to read technology/programming articles and blogs, but it is very unlikely that I will dig deep into a new programming language (e.g. Ruby on Rails), IT tool (e.g. AppDynamics), or this blog (which no one reads).
For a long time, I have known that I am most productive in the time before lunch. As the afternoon drags on, I am still able to focus and get things done, but it requires more motivation than the morning. In order to maximize the amount of time that I dedicate to the new things I want to learn, I know that I will have to make more time in the a.m.
I have found that the easiest way for me to have a smooth morning is to get everything ready in the evening that I will need in the morning. My work clothes are pressed and hung in my closet. My breakfast/lunch/snacks are made or at least ready to be made. I have my kids get their school clothes out. If I plan for a morning workout, the clothes are organized in the order that I put them on.
The goal is to make getting ready in the morning as easy as possible; waiting for 7:00 a.m. to find that I have no clean work socks is not conducive to a productive morning.
I recently came across Steve Pavlina’s blog posts on How to become an Early Riser p1, p2, and How to get up Right Away When your Alarm goes off. These articles have some good suggestions on how to become more of a morning person. I consider myself to be more of a morning person than not, so I was able to gain some pointers on how to make my mornings more productive.
The piece of advice that I have immediately implemented is to not hit snooze on the alarm clock. I have always given myself at least one hit of the snooze button, but no more. I will be snooze free.
It is quite easy for an additional 10 minutes to become an additional 30 minutes, which means I have lost 3.5 hours worth of Motivated Productive Time during the week. If I snooze for 30 minutes throughout the year, that is 182.5 hours that I am missing out on in a given year. That is a lot of lost knowledge (and potentially cash) to miss out on.