At any rate, here’s some notes from my personal life organization. Your mileage may vary according to your phenotype ;).
The normal waking-working pattern is completely wrong. People generally wake up as late as possible, rush to work, die a little inside and lose all their energy and motivation, then go home and piddle their free time away with beer, TV, and small talk. This is retarded for a number of reasons.
Productivity after work is laughable, and I’m surprised it took me so long to observe this. Energy, willpower, solitude, and discipline all peak right after waking up and decay throughout the day. It is fine to go to work at a lower energy level, but it’s silly to attack your personal projects or exercise on low energy.
The solution is to go to sleep ASAP after work. If you get home from work at 6 pm, go to bed by 7. It’s okay to do a couple of mundane things like getting ready for the next day, but sooner is better. Save the fun and stimulating stuff for 2 am when you wake up refreshed with a full night of sleep (no alarm!), a silent and empty living space to work in or read, nobody bothering you to go to happy hour or go out to dinner…just peace, quiet, and coffee. Paradise, if you’re like me. If I can get something like this going, I could probably write a full book in a month.
Lessee, what else do I have? The granular habits -> (Koanic) -> habit chains thing is still pretty good.
Oh yeah, I usually plan to do something really fun and stimulating immediately after I wake up. Lately, that’s been classic SNES RPGs like Final Fantasy 3/6, Chrono Trigger, and currently Illusion of Gaia (all excellent, by the way). After an hour of this (or so, depending on mood, necessity, etc), I usually experience a huge boost of energy because I’m not used to such dopamine oversaturation. Neurochemically speaking, this is the equivalent of doing a line of coke. Therefore, this is the perfect time to exercise. Sleeping in exercise clothes is a good way to smooth out this habit chain.
After this, I do my hygiene chain. So now it’s between 1.5 and 3 hours into my “morning” and I’m still buzzing on dopamine and endorphins, my workout is out of the way, my head is filled with psychedelic visions of plundering Incan ruins and positive self talk about the warrior ethos or some shit*, and I’ve just had my cold shower. At this point, I’m a ball of lightning. I feel like a fucking animal. And this is before I’ve had my 4 cups of coffee (my daily allowance).
There are still between 5 and 6.5 hours before I start work.
This is the right way to start the day, no question. None of the deficient sleep -> alarm -> sleep button -> alarm -> sleep button -> alarm -> stagger out of bed -> skip breakfast -> rush to work bullishit for me. No skipping my post-work exercise because I feel like shit. No time wasted relaxing before I can get in the mood to work on a personal project. You know, the shit that actually matters to me. No god-damned social drinking or beer and TV and microwaved dinners. No heavy liquor required just so I can relax enough to enjoy a video game the way I did when I was ten. Fuck all that.
Last thing, I think…
I prefer to go into work already buzzed on coffee. For one, I love the feeling of inertia when the wheels are still spinning in my head. Over the course of the workday my energy will draw down, like everybody else, but I’m headed toward sleep. They’re headed to the gym (or not, more likely) and Breaking Bad, or whatever the fuck people are watching.
We’ll see whether I can maintain this lifestyle over time within my felinephasic sleep cycle and ever-changing work schedule. If my energy level stays as high as it has been in the last week, I’m sure you’ll all be seeing a lot of posts from me (so remind me to do some status reports on this if I forget).