Saturday, August 11, 2007

Night Owl's Literary Lifehack

Ever since I moved into my own house, I've been struggling with how to make myself get up in the mornings. Of course, I always get up eventually and by some standards it's even timely. It's just not necessarily when I, personally, would choose to get up if I were completely conscious and it's not always the same hour as when my alarm first goes off.

I've tried all kinds of crazy tactics from turning on multiple alarm clocks throughout the house (all of which I can ignore) to setting my programmable thermostat to bake myself out of bed. Before I gave up on that strategy, well-done was, on occasion, the order of the day. A friend of mine once rigged up his computer and his printer to pull a cup of water onto his head at a specified time. I haven't gone that far.

Finally, perhaps inspired by the recent publicity for DailyLit, I decided to try getting up and reading a book for exactly 15 minutes before getting on with my morning hygiene routine. I've done this for a week now and it's worked flawlessly. I'd been getting behind on reading Harry Potter books, so I've been reading the 5th one, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It's exciting enough for me to want to get up out of bed to read more. The amazing thing is that I feel so much more refreshed and clearheaded than when I head straight for the toothbrush. The important thing is to have a second alarm set such that I only read for 15 minutes. After I've been reading for that long, I'm awake enough to obey the alarm and get ready.

Yes, it may take several weeks to read a book this way, but there's nothing stopping me from taking an evening to read for longer periods. I have a large stack of things I've been meaning to read, so there's plenty available for my morning reading. It's one of those rare win-win situations, where I get to read more and get to experience more of my mornings. I get to work a bit earlier and the weekends are longer, too.

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