Mr. E’s sleep experiment
It is round 4.30 am here in Norway while I am writing this. Yup, you read that right. Other people might get up at five to go for a run or do other exercises before work.
The two of us on the other hand? Quick splash of water to the face, brew some tea, perhaps a small bite to eat and then hunker down in front of the computer until 6 am to work on our sidehustles.
Why on earth would we do that? Why not just do it when we come home from work/lectures in the afternoon? It’s not as if we have children to mind or pets to walk. So why?
The valuable morning
Trust me, it is not because we are both of us morning people. Mr. E. can testify that he certainly falls more on the B-person side of the spectrum.
But we are both more efficient in the morning. We are more creative, less exhausted from more, and certainly less inclined to just relax on the couch and turn on the magical viewing box.
By our logic, why should we let work get all of our best creativity? If we can try to steal at least an hour every morning, that’ll quickly add up! Not that work is suffering either, I’ve actually found myself more productive and awake, since I’ve already been up almost four hours by the time I get to work.
I will admit, some days are harder than others, let’s make no illusion about that. But if I am too tired to write, at least I can pick up any one of my creative physical projects and work on an upcoming birthday present or two. Sometimes I read a book.
We do our best to not feel guilty about it if we can’t work one of the mornings, or even one of the weeks. It’s showing up that counts.
Obviously, experiments like these do not come for free. For us to be in any sort of frame of mind to get work done in the morning, there is one obvious thing that has to go: The evenings. When we can, we are in bed by 8.30 pm.
Good thing we’re homebodies. I’m pretty sure that would sting a lot more for some people than it does for us. If we watch a movie at six, seven or eight in the evening, it makes no difference to us. Especially now in the winter period when it is dark when we go to bed and get up anyway.
I am curious about how this project will work when summer rolls around with its endless, glorious light. I’ll be sure to let you know.
What about friends?
I find this to be one of the harder parts about the project. I don’t know what sort of genes Mr. E. has, but he can throw his day rhythm around as if it was nobody’s business.
If we are with friends, having a blast with board games, crafts and tea or other awesome frugal activities, then I am happy to say that friends take precedence. Usually, when we visit friends in the middle of the week, that does mean we are not in bed until ten pm, or even 11.30. I know, hold on to your hats people, because ours is a wild life!
On those mornings, we do not get up at 4 am.
My body, unlike Mr. E’s, is one of habit, so these occasional sudden changes in bed time do throw me out of sync for a few days. To my defence, I have the heaviest sleeping heart between the two of us, so I can usually make it up with the help of that.
This is where it is at, isn’t it?
I will admit, I was sceptical when Mr. E. first proposed this experiment. He tried time and time again to tell me that I could just stay up late if I wanted to, and get up at my normal time. But knowing that he is a much lighter sleeper than me, I was convinced that would not work. So we did it together.
Before the sleep experiment, I would try to write all my blogposts in the weekend. There simply was not the time or the energy left over after work to write coherent sentences, never mind somewhat coherent posts.
This worked well when we, homebodies as we are, were, well, home.
It did not work half as well when we were invited for weekends away, or had guests over. I would quickly burn through the one or two weeks of pre-scheduled posts I managed to keep up most of the time.
Now, on the other hand? I can write and research during the week!
This has been a game changer to me. Not just because I do not have to cram all my writing into the weekend, but because I have more time to work on each post. Plus, I can choose to get my weekends back to relax a bit and catch my breath and work on other projects, or I can choose to keep writing, and get ahead on my posting schedule.
The latter is amazing for when hectic periods are coming up, like exams, guests, travel, or just plain feeling a bit tired of writing and taking a break from it for a week or two. I can even work on other writing projects!
Will we continue this when we are financially independent?
I, for one, hope not. Just because one of the things I really look forward to as a perk of being employer independent is to be able to set that alarm clock to rest.
There are few things I enjoy more than waking up on my own on the weekends and enjoying the calm, quiet sense of not having to be anywhere, at least not anytime soon.
Over to you
Have you tried any unusual or creative ways to steal time for projects? Did it work? I’d love to hear of different ways you make room for your passion projects. Be it blogging or something else. Please let us know in the comments!