Efficiency! "Waking up" to my New Years Resolution
Someone was asking me about my New Year’s resolution recently, and my response was pretty awesome and specific, “Be more efficient,” I said. Now I’m like everyone else, and I’ve made a million New Year’s resolutions that have never come true (well, probably more like 20 resolutions that have never come true) and after all that New Year’s failure you would think that I’d have some idea of how to avoid a bogus resolution, but apparently not this year. After all, you can’t really get any more vague than “Be more efficient.” I have a feeling that this is going to go worse than the year I decided to "Be more active," or the year I took a run at "Having a better personality."
The problem is that my daily life lacks a lot of consistency, and while most of this is my fault, I like to defer blame on to my family since "Being a chicken shit" is also a resolution from 5 years ago that I have yet to fulfill. The biggest problem leading to my lack of efficiency is a highly erratic sleep schedule. You see, I work a swing shift (3pm-11: 30pm) 5 days a week and my wife works very sporadically as a substitute teacher in the school district. What I mean by "sporadic" is that her schedule could be completely random from day to day. A typical workweek for her may include work at 8am Monday, no work Tuesday, work again at 8am on Wednesday and Thursday and then be off on Friday. Her schedule for the next week will be anybody’s guess. On the weekends she has another job that may or may not need her to come in for coverage. On those days where she works first thing in the morning I have to peel my ass out of bed right away and take care of the kids. Some days she is home and I can just snooze and drool until I’m ready to get up.
If none of this sounds like a big deal…you’re right, it’s not, but I like to find ways to make it a big deal. Partly because I have that ‘chicken shit’ resolution to live up to, but also because, like I’ll explain later, I enjoy making REALLY bad decisions before and after work.
Another challenge is that I’m one of these people who seem to need a solid 15.5 hours of sleep on a daily basis. When I have been up late and I’m obligated to get up early it’s quite the scene to witness. I’m usually stumbling around the house in my Dad-undies (‘Dundies’ for ‘the Office’ TV show fans out there), running into door jams, and putting Tupperware lids in the toaster…it’s cool though, I don’t butter them first (I might be half awake but I’m not a moron). I’m also quick to anger when I slip on the first stair of our staircase that’s been there since we moved in but I’m sure my wife moved it somehow…I don’t know how but I’m gonna figure it out.
Conversely, I can also wake up with super cheery and positive behavior. I’ve had mornings where I’ve woken up with less than 5 hours of sleep and I will tumble out of bed (a la Willie Wonka) do back flips down the stairs and into the kitchen like an Olympic gymnast, juggling eggs in one hand whilst with the other hand loading the toaster with edible bread and pushing down the lever…I swear! Done it! You don’t even know!
Sure, one of these two scenarios is MUCH more common than the other, but I won’t bore you with percentages.
My behavior and choices after work is the second factor in all of this lack of “efficiency.” Sometimes after work I am so tired I’m like a zombie, sleepwalking and stuffing my body into my car. I then proceed to safety pin my eyes open, and crank up my ‘Twisted Sister,’ cassette in order to stay awake on the ride home. Other days, when I’m more caffeinated, I’ll do those back flips I mentioned earlier all the way out to my car, safety pin my eyes open and crank up my ‘Twisted Sister,’ cassette (the safety pins and the cassette were my resolution last year…still on track!). My bedtime ranges from the second I walk through the door at 11:50pm, to well past 1am depending on many, many factors that I can’t even begin to list here (ok, It’s just one factor…caffeine).
Why does any of this matter you might ask? “Can’t you just sleep when you’re tired and wake up when you’re not? On top of that why do you even care? What do you have to do during the day while your kids are at school anyway?” Well, there's a handful of reasons, household chores pile up and other simple tasks I want to accomplish during the day get blown off, most importantly of those tasks is this one...BLOGGING! I need more time for blogging (oh, and exercise I guess…my 2010 resolution).
Ever since I decided to bless you all, my readers, with this earth-shattering hub of modern literature, I’ve had to REALLY put a microscope on my time and how it is used. It might seem like I write these things on a whim in the average 2.5 hours I spend on the actual toilet each day, but the truth is that writing often requires a lot of drafts and so I have to find quality free time during the day. For example, this is the third attempt I’ve made this week at writing this post, as the first two were absolute garbage. That’s right! You aren’t crazy! You read that right! This is the third draft, the most presentable, the one that made me least want to vomit on this laptop, lock it in my trunk and push my car into the closest ravine.
So, it’s time to wrap this post up and as I’ve been writing it there’s been a little idea gnawing at the back of my head. It’s come up again and again and I’ve slapped it down like ‘whack a mole’ but usually in my experience that’s a sign that something difficult but beneficial for you may need to be done, and you don’t want to acknowledge it.
What if I forced myself to habitually get up at 7a.m. with my family every day no matter what the schedule was? I’ll be sleepy for a little while, but my body will adjust, I’m sure of it. In fact I’m starting tomorrow, first thing in the morning, here we go, no excuses, I’m setting the alarm, gonna do it, I swear, really, gonna happen…watch!
You know, now that I’m setting my alarm, maybe 7am is a little early, how about I turn this snooze on just in case, I can still be efficient at 7:15, or 7:30, or 7:45 or…I don’t know, 11:00a.m. right?
Maybe “Be more efficient,” is more of a 2019 than a 2018.