I used to be a night owl. But after waking up groggy for three decades, I learned in my 30s to embrace sleep, if not be selfish with it—i.e. I rarely if stay up past 10 or 11 now, even on weekends.
Since then, I’ve accomplished signficantly more, especially on mornings and weekends, which I used to let slip by. How do I do it?
These are the rules that I live by, according to science: Continue reading…
Smart people don’t make better decisions because they’re smart. They make better decisions, research shows, because they habitually do the following:
1. Remove unimportant decisions. If a decision doesn’t have an impact on your work, relationships, or spirit, then remove it from consideration. For example, many CEOs, heads of states, or creative people wear the same thing every day. Steve Jobs wore blue jeans and a black turtleneck everyday. Mark Zuckerberg only wears blue jeans and a gray t-shirt. Similarly, the leader of the free world only wears blue or gray suits, “Because I have too many other decisions to make,” the president recently told Vanity Fair. “I’m trying to pare down decisions,” he added. “I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing.”
For those of us without a personal chef, deciding what kinds of food to eat is a very important decision. But removing or outsourcing unimportant decisions to other people helps us make more meaningful decisions. One of the ways I achieve this is by removing TV from my life, limiting the number of sportsball games I watch, and restricting the number of news sources I read to only three per day. Doing so introduces more social encounters, analog experiences, and thought-provoking literature into my life, which make me a better writer (instead of regurgitator). Continue reading…
I slipped up. After resolving five years ago to never work from bed again—thank you, Montana—I did it again recently.
“I’ll just work a little,” I told myself. Several hours later, I finally put the computer down. It was AM o’clock and I was fried. With lights off, I stayed up an hour or two longer, still trying to solve work stuff.
Of course, I woke up exhausted and sluggish. Had an unproductive day. Struggled through much of it.
But it was an effective reminder: Working from bed and overtaxing your brain is no way to live—at least for me. To be fully operational, you gotta keep your thirds separated.
Hey, you. Yeah, you—the one reading this. The one that says ignorant things like “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” “I’m busier than you,” or “I only require 3-4 hours of sleep.”
This research by Harvard obviously doesn’t apply to you, because you’re the exception in life. You’re superhuman.
For the rest of us, the study is a convincing reminder of mortality. Not only convincing, but alarming.
I snore—loudly, I’m told. My wife knows this. Anyone who has ever roomed with me knows this. This is my story.
I got a good chuckle today in reading a comment by my younger sister Lexia on my wife’s blog.
“Considering that the last time I set my alarm was for 5:30 PM, I would not consider myself ambitious when it comes to setting clocks,” she replied when asked about her wake-up schedule. “I am the complete opposite of ambitious. I am not a morning person either and hate any kind of sound before noon.”
Now that’s an idiosyncrasy!