“Relentlessly prune bullshit, don’t wait to do things that matter,
and savor the time you have.” Paul Graham
When your shift ends at home, what do you do at night?
If you’re like me, you get sucked into staying up late in front of a TV, phone, or computer screen while consuming unhealthy calories. I’ve never made a salad or smoothie for my evening snack: more like chips and a glass of wine!
None of this is likely to enrich our lives or help us reach long term goals. It is likely to deprive us of sleep, provide unwanted calories and give us a groggy start the next day.
But when I “prune the bullshit” of screen time and go to bed and wake up earlier, I always do something that nourishes my life: I’ll write, stretch, meditate, or just sip my coffee or tea in my favourite mug. Better yet, I get to do it all in total peace before the morning chaos begins. I just have to remember to NOT pick up my phone. I’ve regretted it every time, getting sucked into that crazy vortex. Those texts can wait until later.
One of my favourite wellness authors, Richard Carlson, points out that if we regularly wake up early, the books we’ve always wanted to read “are getting read, the meditation gets done, the sunrise is appreciated.” And it’s a win/win: not only do we feel better, our families benefit. By taking care of ourselves, we have the energy and positive mindset to give far more to our loved ones.
Being an early bird is easier if we get enough sleep. To start, try going to bed and waking up just a half hour earlier. I need some self-discipline to not hit snooze on my self-imposed alarm in the morning, but the prize is always worth it. I bet you’ll enjoy the benefits as much as I do, and start craving these sacred mornings.
Purely Practical Tip:
Turn off text message and email alert sounds on your phone. Each little “ding” is a distraction, taking your attention away from your kid, your spouse, your friend, or just your lunch. Your friends can wait, and if it’s really important, they can give you an old-fashioned phone call to get your attention. (You can allow alert sounds for specific people only, like your kids/spouse etc. if you wish.)
Join the Conversation
What about you? Have you played with sleep and wake times to get more out of your day?
How else have you been able to “prune the bullshit” and do what matters?