I am BARRY HESS > Blog

Sea Change

A couple weekends ago I posted about my reduced blogging frequency. I went further into some changes I was making to reprioritize my time. Bridget just posted a comment asking how things are going. My response was getting too long so I decided to bring it into a follow-up post.

I read significantly fewer blogs each day. For sure. Since I use an RSS reader to get notified of all my blog-related activity, it’s pretty easy to ignore that stuff. Occasionally when I have some down time I’ll stop by my old haunts to see what’s up.

On the flip side, I’ve added a ton of other blogs that relate to some different topics than I read previously. So in reality, I may actually read as many blogs as before. But the content is a little more focused.

I think I’m checking e-mail less often. When I happen on some low-priority-but-interesting-looking articles, I put them in a “ToR” (To Read) bookmark folder and I step through them when I have spare moments here or there. I’m also looking for ways to clean up my physical and computer desktops and storage techniques to allow for more efficiency.

At work I have done all kinds of things to improve my personal efficiency. I added a wall to my cube to cut down on “walk by” distractions. My coworker and I have implemented an uninterruptible schedule that attempts to give us blocks of hours to get technical knowledge work accomplished. And I’ve been constantly wiggling out of meetings and encouraging electronic communication for purely informational things.

As for the 5 AM early riser schedule - since before the original post I have woken up at 5 AM every day. This includes weekends. I slept through the alarm clock once, hitting snooze and waking up at 5:09. In fact the past couple days I woke up at 4:40 AM. The biggest goal here is to wake up to the alarm clock without hitting snooze and without crawling back into bed.

I plan on continuing the 5 AM habit until mid-September. After a month of the habit I may consider adjusting it a bit. For instance on particular weekends I may push the time back to 6 AM. I’m hesitant to do that, however, because it will become easy to get out of the 5 AM habit, which really needs to remain active on weekdays. In the future, I might decide to simply not set my alarm after particularly long nights.

And as you can probably guess, since starting this schedule, more often than not I’ve been in bed before 10 PM. That is a tough adjustment, but a necessity because I’m simply too tired to stay awake. I feel generally more tired than I’m used to being even though I’m probably getting a similar amount of sleep on a much more consistent basis. I’m hoping by mid-September I will feel a little more energetic than I have been feeling.