I'm a lapsed morning person.
When I was in my early 20s, I regularly got up sometime between 6 and 6:30 to begin my day. At some points, it was to get in an hour workout before school. At others, it was to go to work. And for one semester, it was so I could have a nice walk and cup of coffee before I hit an 8 a.m. Latin class. I've always enjoyed the relative peace of the early mornings. More importantly, I've always done my best work then.
But over the last several years, I've let this slide. I stay up later, and need more sleep. And when I get up, I listen to the news, check e-mail, putter around, and suddenly it's 10 a.m. and I can't seem to get started.
But this morning, I managed to do something that I hope I can make a pattern again: I got up early-ish (still not "early"), turned the news off (I can stream it later, I told myself), turned good working music on, made a pot of coffee, got some no-prep-time food in me so I didn't collapse, and immediately set to work. No e-mail, no blog, nothing.
The result: I got in an hour and a half of solid work before I took a break to make and eat breakfast. I think I can squeeze in another 45 min. after posting this.
Part of this results from motivation: I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past couple of days over what I want out of my career. I've got a couple of ideas, shiny prizes that I dangle in front of myself, but all my ideas require me stepping up the pace with my research work. So, while I know that there's a lot of this that's out of my control, but there's a lot that I can do to put myself in a good position. Also, when I get stuff accomplished during the day, I sleep better at night.
And if I want to keep getting up early, I'll need that sleep.