Productive Hours of the Day vs. Winding Down Hours
Morning guys! A friend of mine reminded me of something he read in a book: that the hours between 8pm and midnight are the least productive in the day. This made a lot of sense to me because that’s how it is for me, and as soon as he pointed that out so plainly, my mind went off on a rip.
The last couple of months, I have been working on a schedule of getting to bed earlier and rising earlier. I know this is not so glamorous, nor is it the classic schedule of a writer, but it seems to be what my body wants and likes best. I could make a strong case for it being the best schedule for our human, carbon/oxygen, star orbit based bodies overall.
In my experience, our bodies, when even mildly taken care of, naturally have the most energy an hour or so after waking, hold steady for a 2-8 hours (depending on how well you take care of it, and what you put in it), then start to wind down on their own.
So I got up this morning just before sunup, about 6:15 or so, made coffee, and took it with me on a walk down Chandler Blvd. For those in Burbank, CA, you’ll know it. For others: it’s a long, wide, grass and tree buffered bike/walk path that goes on about 8 miles… great for all kinds of healthy things. I listened to one of my favorite audiobooks, How To Win Friends And Influence People, it’s actually the 8th time I’ve read it. It’s one of those that packs so much in and has so many solid laws of life that the more you read it, the more it sinks in and the more you stay on track. I highly recommend it. It’s really all about life and how to deal well with other people, work well with them. If I had it my way, it would be required reading AND have required practice from the earliest age possible.
I like to use non-fiction audiobooks in the morning, and fiction in the evening when I’m winding down. I like this because in the morning, i’m able to absorb concepts and ideas much more easily than at night. Not only that, but I have the entire rest of the day to think and expand my consciousness of them. At night, your body is winding down, and since physical, mental and spiritual bodies are all linked, we naturally wind down with our body, and our minds think more slowly; preparing to heal, regenerate, build more of the cells that were expended during the day.
Basically, I match the book depth to the depth of my awareness. If I am only 30% aware because I am tired and going to bed in an hour or so, I’m going to climb under the covers and put on a good story (last one I finished: We Are Legion, We Are Bob. If you’re into contemporary sci-fi…. soooo good!). In other words, I choose to do something that doesn’t inhibit me from winding down, doesn’t keep me awake. I pause the audiobook when I start to realize I’m not catching and making sense of everything (there’s also a sleep timer)… it also sometimes gives me pretty awesome dreams!
Those are the lessons I’ve learned: following the schedule your body likes best, and matching the depths of conceptual intake with the awareness/awakeness of your body and mind, are two things that will allow/help you to be more productive and absorb more on a daily basis.
Hope those thoughts were helpful, or at least interesting to some other peeps! I’m working on posting more regularly as I start to settle into a better schedule, so bookmark my site and come back for more! Also, most posts I make a video for, so feel free to subscribe to my youtube as well.