Is snoozin’ losin’?

It occurs to me that there’s two things I am perpetually lacking in life. In no particular order:

Money
Time

I would imagine I’m not unique in this.

Can we ever really control this?

To some extent, we have control over our finances.  We know what our income is and can choose our expenditure – well, to a certain degree. Those of us with kids will know all about the money vortex that seems to widen as the kids age.  If we wanted to though, we could be strict. We could be misers. But, where’s the fun in that? You can’t take money with you when you shuffle off  so perhaps it’s futile to worry about it. As long as basic needs are met and some wants, we are fortunate.  However, I do have to admit that more money would be good.  I doubt many people will disagree with that.  I’ll still throw money away on lottery tickets because you never know…

Time.  We all have the same amount of time in a day but we don’t all make use of it in the same way.  I cram a lot into my time; family life, work, studying, exercise, general household chores and other miscellaneous tasks – there’s always something.  It looks impressive written down.  But….I could still do with more!  Working 8 hours a day (5 days a week) does not allow for much free time so short cuts have to be taken from time to time.  I often wonder how I would spend my time if I didn’t have to work for a living.  In all honesty, it’s probably the same as money – the more you have, the more you waste.  I resolve to make better use of my time but ironically, time management takes time.

I have been listening to Eric Thomas recently.  He calls himself the Hip Hop Preacher.  He advocates waking at 4 a.m to start your day, no matter how little sleep you have had.  He thinks people who are serious about success should sacrifice sleep in order to “grind” for longer.  I already do (to a certain extent), regularly only sleeping for around 6 hours which is 2 hours less than the recommended amount.  Less sleep does equal more time but does it automatically equal success?  Could someone really only sleep for 3 or 4 hours and be successful?  Success in this instance, appears to be defined as “rich”.

My Googling proved to be inconclusive.  Several similar articles list successful business figures who apparently function (to a high degree) on only 4 hours sleep but the sceptic in me wonders how this can be true.  Who really knows other than the person in question and their bed partner?  Donald Trump recently claimed that sometimes he only sleeps for an hour and a half.  Really?  Part of me thinks that is a big fat lie though it would allow plenty of time for him to compose nonsensical tweets.

There’s so many unanswered questions about this suggestion. I wonder how many strong cups of tea or coffee it takes to start a long day at 4 a.m.  Or, do any of these people take some other kind of stimulant?  Or, if these people don’t need any kind of stimulants, how do they sustain energy throughout the day?  How do they ensure that the short hours of sleep are high quality hours of sleep?  I’m exhausted just thinking about it.  I’m off to bed.  I have a busy day ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

You snooze, you lose!

I have heard stories of writers compelled to write and somehow, seemingly through the use of magic, they are able to conjure up time where it doesn’t seem to exist i.e in between working a full-time job, looking after a family/pets, looking after yourself, navigating through an increasingly busy modern life and not forgetting sleep. People have to sleep. I always wondered how this magic works. How do they find the motivation to make this extra time?

I’ve mentioned before that Elmore Leonard used to get up at 5 and write for 2 hours before going to work.  While this is admirable, the thought of doing this fills me with dread and given the fact I also have to ready two small children for school/nursery before I leave for work just before 8, this is not really possible for me anyway.  I’m not being negative or procrastinating, it’s just the way it is.  I do have a little bit of good news to share though.

I recently discovered a motivational speaker called Mel Robbins on YouTube.  I liked what she had to say so I downloaded her book from Amazon – Stop Saying You’re Fine: Discover A More Powerful You.  As with most self-help advice, it offers some nuggets that really should be common sense.  The parts that stood out the most were:

1)  Stop pressing snooze on your alarm clock.  Get up and start the day.  

She says by doing this, you are using your “activation energy.”  The idea (originally thought of by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) is that you don’t want to get up but if you make yourself, you are pushing through your limits and you’ll be able to use the extra say 30 minutes to do something else.  I have been doing this for 5 days.  It was difficult at first but now I’m springing out of bed and using the quiet time (before the kids get up) to write or edit.  Bonus! I would have been hitting snooze 2 or 3 times normally.  At even just 30 minutes per weekday, I’m gaining two and a half hours to write.

2)  Do the things you don’t want to do to get what you want

Mel says that if we don’t act on our ideas or impulses within 5 seconds, they disappear.  By this she means, if you have an idea or impulse and you don’t do something with it straight away, you will most likely talk yourself out of it.  I have to admit to doing this sometimes.  Mundane tasks end up taking priority and reducing the amount of time available for more enjoyable pursuits such as writing or playing guitar.  She says if you can start pushing through resistance to act on smaller impulses, you will build up confidence to being able to push through resistance to bigger change – change that will benefit your life.  My first step was not pressing snooze but I have noticed myself pushing through with smaller things throughout the day as well.

I would definitely recommend checking Mel out, either via YouTube or her book.  I for one will definitely be carrying on with this way of thinking/acting.

What do I have to lose? Nothing.  What do I have to gain? Everything!

Di 🙂