June 18, 2008

I’m too tired to go out tonight.

It’s 6:30 in the morning, and I’m staring at a computer screen.

Now, some of you may be thinking that this behavior is unhealthy. Those of you that are thinking that, of course, are night owls. See, it’s 6:30am and I’ve already showered, shaved, made and eaten breakfast, and chatted on the phone with a friend of mine across the ocean in London.

I’m an early riser.

I wasn’t always an early riser. One of my most vivid memories from high school is heading back to my dorm room as the sun rises and sleeping in until noon. College was no better. It wasn’t until I left school and started working that I realized that the most productive hours of my day were the hours before lunch.

My shift from night owl to early riser wasn’t some laborious task like Deepa Ranganathan believes it can be. Instead, I went to bed early one night having made the conscious decision to wake up early the next morning. I woke up at 6am the next day and haven’t looked back.

These days, I’m up at 5:30am and in the office by 7am. My secret for going from night owl to morning person has nothing to do with fancy alarm clocks or caffeine intakes or melatonin pills or exercise regimes. It has everything to do with intent.

The only way to really wake up early in the morning is to truly believe in your conviction to become a morning person. If you can convince yourself that you really want to wake up before the light of dawn, you will. The body is remarkable in that way.

Oh, and start going to bed earlier.

And therein lies the problem.

Waking up early and staying healthy is almost impossible when you live in a world where all the fun stuff starts at 11pm at the earliest.

I need to be in bed by 11:30pm at the latest in order to make sure I get my optimal amount of sleep. When you ask me to go dancing at midnight or go catch the late screening of a movie, please don’t be offended when I say no.

Unlike you, I’ve been up for 18 hours. I’m too tired to go out tonight.

So for those of you who are considering making the jump from night owl to morning person, heed my warning: your productivity may go up, but your social life will suffer.

Until, of course, 8pm becomes the new midnight. Then we’re golden.

For now, I’m heading out to work. After all, it is just before 7am.