Not that this matters, but today’s my 300th

The 300th time I’ve got up and gone to work for 5am. I am not and will never recommend that you do the same thing but I have to tell you that if it works for you, it really works.

Right now, I confess it doesn’t feel like it’s working. It’s only just after 8pm and I am jiggered to the point of feeling like I could faint. So, you know, that’s not wonderful. But it has been an unusual time, I have worked straight through and I’d say for 290 of these 300 days I’ve stopped late afternoon at worst.

It’s not 300 days in a row, by the way. It sort-of is. The ideal is that I do the 5am start Monday to Friday every week. But if I have a late night working somewhere or I’m going to be speaking the next evening, I skip the 5am to protect my voice. Plus there are holidays. Plus often with travelling I have to be up earlier or it’s going to be longer. Once or twice I was ill. So the 300st is today but the 1st was Wednesday 2 January 2013.

Suddenly seems a bit crap, doesn’t it?

Let’s please not forget that I mean to do this on working days, the working week, Monday to Friday, so that’s already a bit of a difference from every day. Wolfram Alpha tells me that 2 January 2013 was 747 days ago. Count working days alone and it’s 533 weekdays since then.

So of the 533 days I could’ve got up at 5am, I only got up 300 times.

That means I got up a mere 56.29% of the times I could’ve done.

At least that’s more than half.

Just about.

A bit.

I think I’l shut up until 1,000 or 301, whichever comes first.

Put the screen down and go to sleep

You do this. I’ve seen how tired you are in the mornings so I know you do this. It’s pretty late at night, you’re walloped and you know you should go to bed. You know you want to. You also know that there is not one damn thing stopping you going. Yet you stay there.

You find something to read on your iPad, you check out something on your iPhone, maybe you use other devices and one doesn’t like to judge. But it’s bad and you should stop it and I don’t care that it’s hard or that you just want five more minutes:

Why it’s harmful: Anyone who’s missed out on sleep thanks to a deadline or bawling infant is familiar with the irritability, stress, and gloom that can set in the next day. If sleep deprivation and disturbances become chronic, they increase a person’s risk of developing depression or anxiety disorders.

What you can do: Prioritize sleep and practice healthy bedtime behaviors, such as limiting caffeine and alcohol in the hours before bed. It’s also important to curb your computer, tablet, and smartphone use late at night, Buse says; the blue light emitted by these devices suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin and can disrupt your circadian rhythm.

12 Ways We Sabotage Our Mental Health –

That quote is of the complete text to the 4th of the 12 Ways. I quote it so you don’t have to schlep through an irritating slideshow where every step is on a different page solely to build up the hit counts on the site. But actually, the other 11 are pretty good. If you have a minute, some patience and a steady hand, do take a quick glance through them on the full feature.

This is why you are all the time tired

You’re getting up at 5am, you’re stopping around 6pm. Also, you’re stupid. Nah, it can’t be any of that, except maybe the stupid. Time magazine has 14 better reasons, which include ones that I know for sure are what cause me problems:

You have trouble saying ‘no’

People-pleasing often comes at the expense of your own energy and happiness. To make matters worse, it can make you resentful and angry over time. So whether it’s your kid’s coach asking you to bake cookies for her soccer team or your boss seeing if you can work on a Saturday, you don’t have to say yes. Train yourself to say ‘no’ out loud, suggests Susan Albers, a licensed clinical psychologist with Cleveland Clinic and author of Eat.Q.: Unlock the Weight-Loss Power of Emotional Intelligence. “Try it alone in your car,” she says. “Hearing yourself say the word aloud makes it easier to say it when the next opportunity calls for it.”

14 Reasons You’re Tired All the Time – Time magazine (8 June 2014)

Click that link and immediately see a four-word summary of the whole piece. As I’m seeing so often now, it looks like a writer saved the story under a straightforward title and that’s what the URL was built from. The article itself has had its name changed but the underlying web address still refers to how /bad-habits-drain-energy/.

I love spotting that kind of thing. It’s like web detective work. CSI: WWW.

But anyway, that never-saying-no is just one of several salutary sections of advice in the full piece.

You need time for your soul to catch up

That’s a phrase from Alan Plater’s writing that has stuck with me. And there are times in the middle of the greatest whirlwind when I truly have to stop. I have to stop being me, I have to go away for a short time. I thought it was just me and I thought it was my body’s way of saying I need to take exercise so that’s two reasons to ignore the signals. But Lifehacker and Medium say it’s a real thing and they advocate doing something about it. Specifically this:

Every day around 3pm, my brain gets weary. I’ve tried numerous techniques to counter this challenge: coffee (especially when McDonald’s is giving away free smalls), splashing cold water on my face, surfing around online, snacking. Yet I’ve found one technique to be the most effective: going for a walk.

Why You Should See Quiet Every Day – Lifehacker via Medium

I knew exercise was involved. Read the whole piece for how much exercise and why it works.