I set my iPhone Alarm for 5:10am, currently to the ringtone Viva la Vida by ColdPlay. Most days during the work week I am able to wake up, sometimes I need to sleep in and I do, no pressure. On some advice from Brad Feld, I have created a routine for my wake up: turn off alarm, coffee already brewing, standup and stretch, grab robe, walk downstairs. I have found having a routine for getting yourself out of bed is a key part of being able to wake up early.
I have set no rules for myself for this early morning time, it’s my time. As I sit down at my computer I check email, twitter, sometimes read through my RSS feeds…it’s my time to think, surf and read.
A result of this no pressure approach is that I get to see where the morning takes me. Sometimes the first tweet I read takes me down a path of learning something completely new. For example, a few days ago I watched a 30 minute interview of Mike Wallace and Frank Lloyd Wright at 5:30am! I’ve also had mornings in which I sit down and start chipping away at my Inbox. If I had this scheduled or planned I am sure I would not be able to drag myself out of bed. I’ve had great IM sessions with friends on the other side of the globe, written blog posts, worked on startup ideas, fixed bugs, watched videos, caught up on Facebook and more during my morning think sessions.
As much as I practice GTD and follow concepts advocated by people like David Allen, I feel that having total free time to think, read and learn is key to work happiness. By the way, I am writing this at 6:04am as I pour my second cup of coffee. I wonder what today has in store for me.