While I haven’t quite figured out the whole “early to bed” thing, I can definitely make “early to rise” work. This morning, because I wanted to make sure I got to the gym, and because our organization is holding a number of very busy workshops today, I woke up earlier than I normally would, and went to the gym way earlier than I normally would. This got me back home with time to work on today’s blog, time to get cleaned up and dressed, and time to get to work, all before I normally would be there. While the summer schedule certainly helps in this regard, I was simply able to more productive, as the early time was truly my own.
There is tremendous value to mapping out some of our own time. True, in the long run, all our time belongs to others, but since we spend so much time serving people, there is also a need to serve ourselves. For me, this might mean waking up a bit earlier so I am alone with my thoughts, my work, and my house, before the hustle and bustle of everyone being up together changes that.
I wouldn’t change the hustle and bustle for anything, but there is definitely a need to just be alone. I was speaking with an educator across the globe yesterday who was sharing her work around emotional intelligence and mindfulness, particularly for students who are transitioning to other cultures. During that conversation I realized one of the reasons why I am not particularly able to “be in the moment” is because I don’t find I have much time to simply “be.” With an incredibly busy work schedule and a personal schedule that is just as full, the only time currently when I can be with just myself is in the very early morning hours.
While I would have been happy with additional sleep, I know that the extra thirty minutes was precisely what I needed to get some “me” time. In our work lives, we have to not only make sure we provide this for ourselves, but that we also make sure our colleagues have this available to them as well. Everyone needs some time to themselves. One of our goals is to make sure we have the structures in place to allow for this.