(last updated on April 29, 2014)
So it’s the second day of a 2-week experiment to wake up every day at 630AM. Despite getting to sleep at 10:30PM and falling asleep right away, I am feeling very groggy. So. Groggy.
Last night’s sleep cycle was weird…I woke up a couple times but didn’t remember anything until 4AM rolled around, when I became very wide awake. My brain was alert, thinking of things to do, while the rest of my body was saying, “C’mon, go back to sleep!” I tried focusing on my breathing, trying to get into the experience of just letting air in and out of my body. It hadn’t occured to me before that maybe meditation was simply about not thinking so darn much. I eventually fell asleep again after about an hour and a half, but when the alarm went off at 630AM it was very difficult to roll out of bed. The morning exercise regimen failed to wake me up, though it did get the blood flowing so I could make it to the coffee shop before 8AM and do the planning for the day.
It’s 930AM now, and I have my daily plan set before me. My mind, though, is unfocused and weary, and the reason I’m writing this blog post is to kickstart the mental process. Even now, I’m not quite alert, writing automatically with my head listing about 30 degrees to the right. I need some grogginess solutions!
I decided to see what Steve Pavlina had to say on the subject, as a reader had mentioned his site the other day. His article How to get up right away when your alarm goes off had a crazy-genius suggestion to practice getting up when you’re already awake…the idea is to condition yourself to do things when any alarm sounds, and by practicing this getting up becomes easier. I had a related thought recently about reducing my “lag time” between thought and action; Pavlina’s approach is very pragmatic and implementable. Bravo!
In the meantime, I’m still feeling groggy, but am slightly more alert, because my curiosity has become activated. I am feeling the urge to do some more investigation of this sleepiness topic. Which itself, I think, is a clue that I’m not actually sleepy, I’m just not that excited about doing the work today. Yesterday was all about starting a new habit, and that was exciting. Today is just day #2, and there’s work to be done. Nothing exciting or glamorous about that, so my mind already anticipating being bored and is playing tricks on me. Which I find very irritating.
So…I just need to get past that.
I’m going to go drink a cup of water, do some jumping jacks, and knock off a few of those “boring” tasks. I know that doing these tasks are necessary and interesting once I get them done. For example, by the end of the day I should be more conversant with Flash video and Version 2 components, which would be awesome. However, because I know I can do it, the intellectual challenge isn’t there.
I’m reminded of an observation I made Impulsive versus Methodical Action, regarding the drudgery of doing lab work:
Progress is made by keeping your head down and pushing, often without a promise of immediate reward, until it is done.
I have to clarify that “without a promise of immediate reward” actually means “deferred reward”. The impulsive side of me enjoys the quest for knowledge as it is happening, so the reward is immediate. The application of that knowledge through process takes time, and the reward is deferred. For people that enjoy the mechanical process side of things, the reward would be immediate. In my case, I have to be aware that my brain is going to try to distract me with more immediately-gratifying things. Like writing a blog post clarifying my thoughts, which in a way is helpful.
SUMMARY: Grogginess == Brain Tricking Me