Adopting a new habit

It’s 5 in the morning. It’s still dark and quiet outside. I’m sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, writing this post and all I can hear is the birds chirping and a car or an empty bus that occasionally goes by. It’s very rare that it’s so peaceful in the middle of central London and this is exactly what I’m looking for.

I come from a small town where traffic jams are rare and public transport unneeded. Need to go to school? Take a short walk. Need to go to the supermarket? Take the car. Life was similar in Germany and Luxembourg. Whenever I needed to get somewhere it took me about 20 minutes. Not more.

London is different. I’ve been adjusting since I moved here. Need to get somewhere? It’ll take me 40 minutes at least. And forget about going by car. Public transport is the best option. It takes me almost an hour to get to work and another hour to get back home. And yeah, that’s in the rush hour, when millions of other people try to do the same.
It’s this that made me rethink my routine and try to form a new habit. I’ve been getting up earlier than needed for at least two years now. I’d get up at 6, work out, take a shower, eat my breakfast, sit down for a few minutes and go to work. It all went well with the short commuting time because I was left with enough time to do what I want to do—read, work on my projects etc. But I now spend 2 hours just to get to work and back home. 2 hours out of 24 went out through the window. There’s not much I can do during that. So I decided to start getting up even earlier.

Sleep less, work (even) more

I’m now working on adopting a habit of getting up at 5 in the morning. One hour earlier than before. This way I have two extra hours every day which I usually spend working out and reading a book or writing (like, just now). It isn’t easy and it takes at least 21 days. Some studies suggest even more—closer to 2 months.

It’s interesting how life changes. I was never keen on getting up early. I’d always get up as late as possible as a kid. I’d skip breakfast and run straight to school. I had probably played video games the night before, you know how it is: “just one more turn in Rome: Total War / Civilisation 3” and the sun is almost up 🙂

I must say that I like getting up earlier. It’s peaceful, quiet and dark. Most of the world still sleeps while I work on whatever it is that I currently work on. It’s a bit hard to form a habit like this in the beginning but it’s definitely worth persisting.

Matej Latin

I’m a self-taught designer proving that you don’t need a design degree to make a career in design. I went from doing boring graphic design work to working for big tech companies as a Product Designer. I thrive in the grey area between design and web development and I wrote a book about web typography for designers and web developers.

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