Killing The Night Owl

From the “outside-looking-in” department:

How to Start Your Day at 5:00am

I can’t tell you how much I’d love to be able to do this. But here’s how my day breaks down:

I usually wake up around 8:30am. I don my big, fuzzy bathrobe and check my email, my blogs, Drudge and Digg, a process which usually takes an hour or so, depending on the emails or news stories for that day. Then I do the normal morning stuff, showering, shaving, eating, etc. Right around ten, I’m ready to start working, but for some reason, I have no creativity, organization or determination. I usually spin my wheels or look at a blank screen until noon. Sometimes I write posts like this one. I’ve also found this is the best time for conference calls.

At noon, I stop accomplishing nothing and eat lunch. Sometimes I’ll putz around on YouTube or play a round of Unreal Tournament while I’m eating. Then I usually look at the clock and get very annoyed at how little I’ve accomplished in the morning. This frustration becomes the fuel for the afternoon. From 1pm to 6pm, I am on fire. I do twice as much as the average person during this time. The only problem is that this is usually when clients want to call or old friends want to chat on IM. So to help facilitate my productivity, I usually shut my IM client down during those hours.

My wife gets home from work around 6:30ish, so I’m usually in a scramble trying to start dinner/switch laundry/clean up the house before she gets home. The problem then is that I’ve already gotten quite a bit of work momentum.

See, productivity for me is about momentum. Thats why it takes so long for me to get going, and so long for me to stop. Once the flywheel is spinning, get out of the way. I used to have a job answering tech support phone calls and manning a corporate website, and I never accomplished anything; as soon as I’d start making progress on the site, the phone would ring and I’d be setting up Netscape Navigator on a Tandy Color Computer 3.

So I usually work right up until dinner; then my wife and I usually chill out or head to church for meetings (usually 2 nights a week). But my wife usually ends her day earlier than I do; depending on my todo list, I’m usually up until 2 or 3 am working on things. This is my prime time; which is why getting up at 5am seems so unlikely for me. As much as I’d love to be up before the sun, it doesn’t look like it will be happening any time soon.

Is there something I’m missing in this equation?