Morning Pages: April 28th, 2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the D.C. metro region has been in a state of lockdown. To alleviate fear and stress, my writer's group has put together a daily "morning pages" get-together on Zoom in order to touch base before starting the day. Here's some of my brief thoughts.

I like this picture. Quite a bit.


It's not a good idea to eat twelve crossiants in three days, and I don't think I have anybody to blame but myself. Sure, the underlying reason is because due to space constraints in my refrigerator and poor planning on my part the crossiants sat right above a raw steak in a dish on a ledge, and finishing them off made good use of the food while it was still decontaminated, but the truth is I don't really have too much impulse control. Same with the bananas and the mixed nuts.

My popcorn habit has dried up though. I purchased a bag of raw popcorn kernels and now I'd have to follow the instructions in order to make my own popcorn. It's not convenient, and it might even be a little dangerous, and that's why I'm processing that craving in moderation (unlike so many others).

I also got a heatmap from Boss as a Service after communicating my hourly journals. Really appreciate the top-notch service they're offering. Here it is:

heatmap productivity

Usually, in my journals when there is unproductive time I label it as N/A unproductive. Sometimes when I'm doing chores or otherwise taking some personal time I label it is N/A misc or N/A chores, and when I'm sleeping and not actively tracking something I mark it as N/A.

Some things I learned about myself include:

  • I'm definitely not getting up on time. I want to get up at 7:00AM, but I have next to no energy to do this. There's a number of reasons for this. Due to my phone addiction, I keep my phone locked up until 11:30PM, so that I can keep my phone usage to 3 hours a day (typically on the weekends, when I don't lock up my phone, it can go up to 15 hours a day. Yeah, that's right, I can't even get out of bed). I have a conversation with my parents every day, and because my phone is locked up and I don't have VoIP-based SMS + voice I have to wait until my phone is unlocked until I can call. Which puts my bedtime around 1:00AM, which is far too late to wake up at 7:00AM.

  • My mornings are pretty shit. The sooner I wake up, the longer I take in order to get stuff done, because the groggier I am. I'm usually not a morning person anyways.

  • I only get about 5 hours of productive time in a day. That's between 12:30PM and 5:30PM, with degraded performance between 5:30PM and 9:00PM, and pretty much no juice between 9:00PM and 11:00PM. Mornings are garbage.

I think from this heatmap, I can derive some actionables:

  • Commit to waking up at 7:00AM, as tracked my by daily morning photo + affirmation. I'm terrified I'll just keep missing this commitment and it will never get done, but I think it's important to make and to shoot for.

  • Get three hours of work done before noon, as tracked by my hourly journal. Again, not sure how realistic this is, but I think it will go a long way towards establishing a reach goal. If I do manage to get up @ 7:00AM, that means I have five hours of time, two hours of time to spare.

I could create more, and I have, but I deleted them because I think the mornings are the key. Two weeks of waking up at 7:00AM will go so, so far towards having productive days, and being able to forgive myself for relaxing.