The Morning Struggle – Results and Thoughts

Productivity

This post is a follow up to The Morning Struggle if you haven’t read that I suggest you read it first or this won’t make sense!

Results

 

It has been 4 weeks since I started (or tried to start) my new routine of waking at 05:30 every weekday morning, how have I fared? It has certainly been a challenge. Before I give you my thoughts on whether this has been a success or not, let me show you the actual results.

  • Week 1. Two out of four days (Bank Holiday).
  • Week 2. One out of five days.
  • Week 3. One out of five days.
  • Week 4. Three out of five days.
  • Total. Seven out of nineteen days.

As you can see, not the most amazing results in the world, however, overall I think it has been a positive experiment.

Thoughts

 

Before I undertook this experiment, I knew I would not be able to get up every morning without fail. I didn’t think it would be an instant success, however, I feel I have laid the groundwork for further improvements. The first week was actually more of a success than it appears. Two days of that week were lost to illness (the dreaded man flu!) and one to a Bank Holiday, so all things considered two successful days was positive.

Weeks two and three were a different story. I struggled badly with motivation and sticking to the new routine. One thing that became apparent during these weeks was a similar domino effect to that discussed in the first post. In this case, Monday was the lead domino. Not getting up early on Monday set the tone for the week; I had already missed one day so it was no big deal if I missed another. The main reason for not getting up on Monday was a lack of sleep, I wasn’t getting to bed early enough on Sunday nights. Weeks two and three reinforced the idea that habit formation is the key to success when undertaking a new routine. I simply did not wake up early often enough to form a habit, meaning I had to exercise excess will power in order to get out of bed in the morning.

Week four was a bit more encouraging. Three out of five represented my best results yet, although I must admit Monday was a problem again. Nevertheless, it was a more positive result.

One of my main problems in my initial post was going back to bed after I had done some work in the morning. On the mornings I successfully got up at 05:30, I did not go back to bed. I did occasionally have a nap during the day but that is definitely the lesser of two evils.

Overall my success rate of 36.84% is hardly inspiring; however, I’m a positive guy so let’s focus on those. In the last month I have gotten up at 05:30 seven times, that’s seven times more that I would have had I not undertaken this experiment. I have gained at least 7 hours of leisure time (gym, pool etc.), accounting for losing one hour in the evenings due to an earlier bed time. Due to the workouts and swimming in the morning, my level of physical activity has increased. I have also noticed a strong sense of accomplishment on the days I do get up early, and generally I had a more positive outlook for the day.

What Happens Next?

 

For the next two weeks, this experiment will be on hold as I will be sampling some of what Italy has to offer, something I have been meaning to do for a few years. When I get back I intend to pick up from where I left off, the first order of business will be working on the Sunday evening/Monday morning problem.

Although I have not been as successful as I would like, I feel like the positive results far outweigh the negative results. I fully intend to incorporate this experiment into my daily routine for the foreseeable future. I’m going to end with a very cheesy quote from one of the great philosophical minds of our time which I think is apt.

“Reach for the stars, so if you fall you land on a cloud”

Kanye West – Homecoming