Friday, May 6, 2011
Go to bed earlier, get up earlier
Originally posted on La Vie En Fifi, 15 March 2010
I read this advice on The English Organizer, about how to gain time. All the tips are fab, but the one that resonated with me most was about going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. For the past few months, I have been getting up an hour earlier, all so I can drink hot tea with milk and read – usually blogs, less often a book or magazine. I can have a lovely time catching up on all my favourite blogs and do my own writing. It’s now routine for me to get up earlier and I absolutely love this time.
In the height of summer when I started doing this it was lovely and light already, but now we creep towards Autumn it’s a little dark at first (I get up around 6-6.30am, not that early compared to a lot of folk. Our shop doesn’t open until 9.30am so we often leave for work around 9am) but I still enjoy this early time, even if the blinds are still down and the lights are on for the first part.
It’s guilt free time too. I know it’s not good to surf the net when at work – there are important things to do there, and being self employed I’m not doing myself any favours. And in the evenings I feel like a terrible wife glued to the laptop screen while my husband is sitting by himself on the sofa. So I get my fix first thing. And I’ve restarted my ‘book’, you know, the book we’re all writing. I feel like a bit of a fraud writing, I don’t know why. But I love reading so much and I have told myself – even if no one else reads it. Write a book you would like to read.
One I just finished and which I enjoyed immensely is A Spring Affair by Millly Johnson. I do love chick lit to relax and escape – there is so much uninspiring formulaic stuff out there though that it’s exciting to find a new author. Some I love are Sophie Kinsella (all of them), Emily Giffin (all of them) and Emily Barr (have only read Plan B but loved it – and it had a French angle).
I picked up A Spring Affair from the library new releases shelf and upon reading the back cover found it was, ta da, a new genre ‘decluttering chick lit’. Imagine! I had to borrow it of course and found it was such a lovely, funny, enjoyable book which actually had me in tears over my breakfast at the end. I love those books! And it had decluttering advice all the way through. A book tailor made for me I think. And maybe you too if you're a chick lit fan and as obsessed with decluttering as I am.
I went to the author’s website after I had finished and apart from a section on decluttering (yay), found tips for budding authors. If nothing else, she said, write 250 words per day, no matter what, and at the end of the year you will have a 91,000 word book. And don’t edit, just keep writing. Edit right at the end otherwise you will lose momentum. So that’s what I’m doing in the morning now. Before I start anything else, I write at least 250 words and then I am free to bring up Google Reader to read all those inspiring blog posts.
So I can heartily endorse The English Organizer’s advice on going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. After all she says, what do you do in the last hour of the evening anyway, lie there on the sofa thinking I’m too tired to get up and wash my face, watching tv that isn’t even any good, nothing actually productive. Sometimes I do that exact thing and go to bed at 11pm. That’s only 7 hours sleep – not nearly enough! I like to start getting ready for bed around 9 and be in bed reading by 9.30-10. I aim for 9 hours sleep like apparently French women get, but 8 is a good minimum.
Update: I still go to bed earlier (mostly) and get up earlier (more often) a year after reading this advice. I really, really love my early morning time with a cup of hot tea. And recently I borrowed the audio book of A Spring Affair from the library and listened to it in the car (12 cds!) over the course of a month. It was so enjoyable.
Image from fantasticfiction.co.uk