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Posted by in Articles, Personal Effectiveness | 0 comments

Waking up early just to see the sun rise


There are many blog posts written to advocate the benefits of waking up early as a proponent of the getting things done methodology.

Yet for many waking early is a thing not easily done.

© Patryk Kosmider | Dreamstime.com

© Patryk Kosmider | Dreamstime.com

I first started waking at the crack of dawn due to necessity as I was doing some consulting work where I took a very early train to commute to work. I had never woken up before 6am but I soon got comfortable with waking up at 5am.

As a big follower of David Allen’s “Getting things done“, I jumped at this chance to be more efficient in my life.

However, as I was also just starting to look into the concept of minimalism, I found that as I got rid of things I had less to do. This created a bit of a perplexing situation. I had less to do, and a lot more time to do it in. As the train ride was an hour and a half long, I was stuck with a lot of time and not much to do. I felt a bit uneasy. What was wrong with me? Why am I wasting all this time?

But as time went past I found that I settled into not doing anything productive. I relaxed. The morning became just about experiencing the brisk morning air, the rhythmic pulse of the train, the idle chatter of people on the train. That hour and a half in the morning became my meditative place of solitude. A Place where my mind can wander and dream.

I have since moved on to a new venture where I do not have to wake so early. I still wake up at 5am, but now I just use this time to slowly wake with the world.

The morning is now about letting my mind wonder wherever it may and not really concerning myself with what I am thinking or doing at that point. If I have a great idea about a piece I’m writing, I’ll jot it down without editing it. If I’m planning my next trip, I’ll let my mind wonder about all the possible adventures I would have without structuring it into an itinerary. There is no structure in my morning and I am loving it.

In our connected world we are forever grasping at doing more and trying to be efficient every second of every day. We check a few calls and send off some email responses whilst we grab a breakfast bagel on our way to pickup some dry cleaning. It’s all go go go. This kind of life does not recognise that we need time of reflection and rest. This respite from the world is necessary to gain perspective on ourselves, our world and our dreams.

Efficiency is not everything. Sometimes just doing nothing can be the better thing to do.