Friday, January 29, 2010

starting the day right

Compared to the rest of my family, I am a morning person. I am able to wake up instantly, and without being grumpy about it. This trait has become enhanced in recent years as I have discovered that my morning series of sit ups, leg lifts, twists, etc. all conspire to get my blood flowing and brain functioning, even when I didn’t get as much sleep as I might have liked (because I am also a bit of a night-owl, with a tendency to stay up late working on projects, reading, or visiting with loved ones. However, despite my ability to function in the morning, I also prefer a slow start to my day, and I consistently choose to start my morning with the more passive entertainment of reading e-mail/blogs/facebook/livejournal while eating breakfast (and for some time after the food is done) rather than the active options of replying to any of the above or working.

Given that I’ve always been one to read while enjoying my breakfast (going all the way back to reading the cereal boxes when I was a child), the surprising thing is that it has taken me so long to hit upon the idea of combining my reading of 1000 words a day of the geological literature with my breakfast reading session. In the 2.6 years since I first set myself this goal I have mostly done my “1000” at the end of the day, before going to sleep. Occasionally, it would be done during the course of my working day as it became necessary to look something up for my own writing. As a result of the random time of day it has happened fairly often that I would occasionally forget and miss a day.

This month (after taking most of December off from reading my 1000 words a day while I was travelling and visiting family and friends in Alaska, Seattle, and California) it has finally occurred to me that the best possible transition from by breakfast social networking reading to work is to first check the geoblog sphere for interesting posts and then do my 1000 words a day. By the time I’m done with my 1000 I have made the mental transition from wondering what my on-line friends have been up to recently to thinking about geology and why I find it exciting. In turn this helps me get ready to actually do some work for the day. This time it has only been 23 days since I started my current count of reading 1000 words of geologic literature a day, but I am hopeful that this time I will break my previous record of 118 days in a row. I think it will be harder for me to “forget” to read over breakfast than at any other time of day.

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