This Thing Called Sleep
It is so truly stereotypical that music artists tend to lack diligence. We are notoriously disorganized and scatterbrained. I don’t honestly know how I got to be this way, it’s just a naturally occurring problem. But I think that’s what makes us creative, you know? Artists need to be free spirits with uninhibited minds. Where else would the constant flow of ideas come from? You’ve all heard of the absent-minded professor, right? Yep, that’s me.
Anyway, that’s “no bueno” when you’re trying to be self-employed because without diligence you just don’t get anything done. I used to work an average of 5 hours a day. That’s RIDICULOUS! I honestly don’t know how I even made it as far as I did working that amount of hours a day. Yes, I was young and stupid but…come on, I knew better.
I decided that had to change. I needed to work a minimum of 8 hours a day if I wanted to succeed. After analyzing my schedule I realized that I was losing the most time sleeping. When I was awake I was a workaholic, I just wasn’t awake that long.
For a while I tried getting up at 8 am. I figured I would read or watch TV for two hours then work from 10 am to 6 pm. Sounds pretty reasonable, right? Wrong! It was awful! I had the hardest time getting up and felt tired for hours. How was that going to be productive? It wasn’t.
So I fell back into old habits for a while; awake at 11 am and asleep at 2 am the next day. I tried to force a reasonable schedule by going straight to work once I got up but I was still sluggish and often missed my start time by 2 or 3 hours.
That was when I decided to conduct my "grande expérience.” The plan was simple, wake up when my body told me to wake up, sleep when my body told me to sleep. For the first week I worked at night. I would get up between 1 pm and 3 pm, work for 2 hours, break for 4, and work until 5 or 7 am. I started with this because I am a night owl, or so I thought.
Some days I would be up for 24 straight hours with zero problems, but on average I slept for 4-6 a day. After that first week and weekend I noticed that my sleep schedule just seemed to be cycling. Overtime I got up later and later, working later and later into the next day.
This went on into the second week until settling into what I now consider my ideal sleep cycle. The revelation came last night after another 24 hour day. I ended up crashing around 11 pm and woke up at 4 am. I didn’t wake up because I set an alarm, – unless I had to, I was specifically avoiding setting one – I woke up because I just couldn’t sleep anymore.
I felt great! I had no trouble getting out of bed; I was energized and ready to start my day. Looks like I finally found my natural sleep schedule. All this time I had assumed I was a night owl when, in reality, I’m actually a really early morning person. The idea of getting up before the sun always intrigued me but I just figured there was no way I was going to do that. I guess I was wrong.
I encourage everyone who can to take part in this experiment. It has done such wonderful things for me. I’m happier, more energized, more organized, and my skin is looking great (lol). It took two weeks of absolute craziness but every minute was worth it. For a self-employed person, this is particularly important. We HAVE to figure out how to conquer the temptation to put off work.
Anyway, I had been posting random stuff on facebook about this so I thought it was about time to write it all out.
Step 1: Work an energized 8-10 hours a day… check!
I haven’t figured out the answer to “how do I even music” yet, but I definitely now know the answer to “how do I even work.”
Peace, love and music! Till next time…