The Philosophical Apprentice

“Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” Albert Einstein

The Five O’Clock Club

I’ve been beating myself up lately due to my inability to get any serious reading done for my class after I got home from work. By the time I eat, play with the kids a little, read to them and get them in the bed, it’s usually 8:30pm. Then I need to spend at least a few minutes with my wife, so I’m looking at 9pm.

OK, so I think I’ll stay up and get some work done. The problem is that by this time I’m not really good for anything other than surfing the blogosphere or catching up on the DVR.  Another problem was that I enjoy running at night and so I wound up finding myself awake and wasting time. However, last winter when the wife and kids were visiting the in-laws I came across a post by Brandon Vogt where he discusses the value of getting up early.

I’ve always been a morning person, though in the past that meant waking up at 7:00am. With that schedule, I was getting out of bed just a few minutes before the average American, who according to one survey rises at about 7:15am each day. But three months ago, I made a drastic change:

I decided to wake up at 4:45am every single day.

I thought the concept of getting up early made a lot of intuitive sense – you just seem to get more done. The fly in the ointment, of course, is that I am an incorrigible night-owl. I don’ t get to crawl out of the lair at 2 or 3pm as in times past but I was pretty proud that I slept in till 1pm the other day. I need the extra sleep I argue since I never get enough during the week. I decided to try the concept and it turned out to be a rousing success and by the time the wife and kids got back I was getting up at 3 in the morning.

The downside of course is that if you want to get up that early you have to go to bed with the chickens. So I found myself back at square one when my normal duties reasserted themselves.  At any rate the underlying problem was still there. If I get up at 6 or 7AM all my time gets swallowed up by the homeschooling with no tie left over for my own schoolwork. Conversely, trying to study at night has all the problems associated mentioned above plus I’ve found that I really relish the feeling of having put the kids to bed and knowing that there is nothing else I have to do. Once I get them to bed I feel my work is done for the day.

Great idea but that means I would  have to get up super super early and also going to bed early enough to guarantee enough sleep. In this vein I came across a blog about blog post about the five o’clock club which means that you commit yourself to getting up at 5Am everyday for 40 days. Ordinarily I ‘m a bit skeptical about the latest thing that’s going to deliver me to the land of milk and money but I cannot seem to find any other way to get it all done. I tried it this morning and got up at 5AM and was very productive so I’m gonna take the plunge. I ought to update the blog everyday with the progress in order to keep me on track.


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