As I continue my practice of daily writing, I’ve happily settled into a routine that usually involves writing first thing in the morning and then going back to edit or continue writing mid-afternoon. I like the rhythm of the day when I do this; my mind is fresh first thing in the morning and with a fresh cup of coffee, the sun rising and a blank page staring at me on my laptop I feel energized and excited to write.
I’ve been reading the book Atomic Habits and have used the great tips found there to help craft this new writing habit of mine. One of the tips is to put off something you want to do until after you’ve completed the quick, easily done component of the new habit you’re trying to build. For me, I don’t check my phone until I’ve written at least 200 words in my book or blog post and what I’ve found is I usually end up writing much more than that. A great start!
How to accomplish this?
In order to do that, I need alone time and as I’ve mentioned before, never having thought of myself as a morning person, it turns out I’m really productive early in the morning. So, I’ve set my alarm for 6:30, and most mornings I don’t even need it. I’m up and prepping the coffee maker before the alarm is scheduled to go off.
iPhones have a handy Sleep | Wake Up function in their alarm settings which allows you to choose an alarm that will then slowly and gently start chiming at the prescribed time; softly at first then becoming louder in a lovely rhythm that wakes you up gently rather than the jarring harshness of alarms from not so long ago. The alarm I have chosen is Birdsong. But here’s the funny part. We sleep with the windows open (thanks menopause) and now I can’t honestly tell if it’s my alarm going off or just the birds outside greeting the day. It is the most delightful puzzle a person could ever awaken to.
I lay there in bed, aware of birds waking me with their happy melodies but have to think, are these real birds, or is it actually time to get up? Today it was the alarm but I came out to the feeders, full of birds and already half-empty from me filling them just yesterday. No wonder they’re singing; I’m pretty sure they’re thanking me for keeping them full and happy.
I figure it’s a fair trade.