Yesterday I spoke about a big potential pitfall we risk falling into when starting a new chapter, and how the solution is to instead focus on the one thing that makes everything else easier.
In case you didn’t check it out, that pitfall is trying to change everything at the same time.
I also mentioned that the one thing in my business is my writing, and the one thing in my personal life is sleep.
While we’re on the topic of sleep, I’m reminded of another potential obstacle when it comes to making a big change…
See, after turning 30, I started thinking about my sleep a lot more.
(That’s not entirely true. I’d been thinking about it before beginning this new decade, but it sounded more authoritative to say it that way!)
More specifically, I haven’t been getting as much sleep as I’ve wanted, despite knowing that it’s THE game changer when it comes to high performance.
See, after researching and studying other top performers and noticing how many of them woke up at 5am, I decided to do so myself.
And I loved it.
But here’s the only problem…
I started defining myself by the fact that I woke up at 5am.
“Look how impressive I am, I wake up super early and get shit done.”
Only, I wasn’t.
See, ideally, I’d go to bed at 9 and wake up at 5, but due to family commitments and just the way my days play out, I’m usually only in bed at 10.
And, with that reduced sleep of even just one hour, I started noticing that my performance, focus, and energy wasn’t where I wanted it to be.
I’d oversleep or wake up tired, which caused my writing to take longer than expected, which delayed or ruled out my workouts, which put me in a shitty mood, which caused everything else to suffer.
It just wasn’t pretty.
But despite knowing for some time that something had to change, I had so much resistance to waking up any later.
I thought that by waking up at 6am, I would be lazy for “wasting” 1-2 hours per day.
And then I decided to follow Tim Ferriss’s advice (or rather answer his question):
“What if I did the opposite?”
I decided that if my routine wasn’t allowing me to wake up at 5 AND get 8 hours of sleep, then I simply needed to shut up the ego and wake up an hour later.
Yes, I might be using (not losing) that one hour sleeping instead of working, but the time that I am working is so much more effective.
And, contrary to what my ego would want me to believe, I now realize that getting enough sleep is actually the single most productive thing I could do with my time.
The next time you find yourself resisting a change that you know would serve you well, notice if it’s not just your ego trying to protect the stories you’ve been telling yourself.
Then, have fun doing the opposite and enjoying the results.
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