What's Your Rhythm?

I’m up between 4:30 and 5:15 most weekday mornings.  No, not claiming some early morning virtue here.  I do that for three reasons.  A couple of mornings a week, I open the local gym before my workout.  The rest of the time, I figure I might as well have my body used to getting up that early.  Since I’m up, it’s easiest just to get that workout out of the way then so I don’t have it hanging over my head all day.

The biggest reason is sheer laziness.  Yep, laziness.  If I have an article to write for a client, it takes me about a quarter of the time if I do it before noon that it would take me if I tried to do it after noon.  It’s weird that the difference in how well my brain works and when is so dramatic, but it is.

Since I work to the job instead of by the hour, getting up and getting going right away is the most cost-effective way for me to work.

Not everyone is a morning person, of course.  There are people whose brains simply do not turn on until late afternoon.

The question I have is:  Do you know when your brain is sharpest and do you schedule your life in harmony with that?  Do you know what environmental factors help this?

For instance, my brain is sharpest after a really hard workout.  Yet, I used to date a guy who found that heavy physical labor sapped his mental capacity, so he rarely chose to exercise anywhere near time to do work requiring clear thought.

This isn’t just for self-employed people by the way.  When I used to work in an office, I tried to schedule the “brain” tasks for before lunch and routine stuff for after lunch.  I also learned that coming home from an office to try to do webdev type work after dinner Just Wasn’t Going to Happen.  I think that one of the reasons that the freelance writing profession is overwhelmingly represented by night owls has a lot to do with the fact that it was the night owls who were able to work a day job and work at night until they were established as writers.  That this happened to ole up-with-the-chickens Noël is a bit of luck and a whole bunch of audacity.

Do you know your own rhythm?

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