Saturday, February 4, 2017

What Time Do Life Coaches Go To Bed?

This is what 5 a.m. looks like in the real world.
This is a serious question because I don't get it. The numbers just don't add up. I've been watching a lot of inspirational videos on You Tube recently, I'm trying to find inspiration to do something. Anything really - doesn't matter what. I'm in a rut, it's not a secret.

Partly it's the physical conditions of one of my work places. It's a school built like a kibbutz (because it is a kibbutz). This means buildings with the rooms opening to the outside, i.e. not onto an internal corridor. So whenever you go anywhere you have to go outside to get there.

Also English is taught in smaller groups (a good thing) and the school population has grown so much over the past few years (it's a popular school) that I don't have a proper classroom to teach in. I'm either in a freezing basement bomb-shelter (the windows have holes in them for ventilation and the heater is on a weird timer) or sitting in the drafty entrance hall by the continuously used front door.

This is lovely for 6 months of the year (actually 4 because two of those months are the summer holiday) and bearable for another 2 months. However, for 4 months of the year I am freezing and spend the whole day in my coat. It's totally miserable and uncomfortable. So I actually hate three days a week from December until April.

Of course, this spills over into everything else because if you're not happy at work you're not happy. Even if you love the other two days at your other place of work - which I do.

So, back to the subject in hand - inspirational videos. Do you know what the secret  to an amazing life is? Apparently it's getting up early and doing a list of morning rituals. These include some or all of the following: meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, exercise, gratitude exercises, affirmations, journal writing, juicing, and reading at least 10 pages of something educational or motivational. It's about an hour's worth of rituals. I pity the slow readers.

Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, fabulous speaker with an amazing life-story (so far), with many You Tube videos and interviews, says that getting up at 5 a.m. is so brilliant and life-enhancing that for the past seven years he's been getting up at 4 a.m. to do his rituals. What I want to know is - what time does he go to bed at night? He has a wife and young children and presumably a social life so how can he realistically expect to be in bed by 9 p.m. in order to get the recommended seven hours sleep? [Update: I did some googling and I just now saw that Hal Elrod is battling cancer. I wish him a full and speedy recovery. In a recent podcast he says that he's bumped up his sleep from six hours to seven hours/night. I acknowledge that he might not be getting up at 4 a.m. at the moment.]

Another guy gave the game away (I couldn't find his name). He went into great detail about how he starts each day and how it sets him up for enjoying every minute of his life. He said, "I don't even need an alarm clock anymore. I naturally wake up around 8 a.m. every morning." That means he doesn't need to start work until 9.30 a.m if he works from home, which he does because he's a lifestyle guru. Translate that for people who commute to work and this wonderful message is actually only for those who can start work at 10 a.m. or later. I have to leave for the bus stop at 7.30 a.m.

Yes I could go to bed at 9 p.m and get up at 5 a.m. (I need 8 hours sleep). Of course I could. If I did that my morning routine would necessarily look like this: toilet, shower, teeth, and dress (15 minutes - 20 if I bother with what my face looks like), wash dirty dishes in the sink from last night (10 minutes), make packed lunch for DD (7 minutes - 10 if it involves hunting for her lunch-box from the previous day and washing it), put on a load of laundry (3 minutes), make coffee (3 minutes), check phone and email for any surprises (up to 10 minutes if anything needs answering or leads to a discussion), do the hour of work, grading and lesson planning that I didn't get done the night before before because I had to be in bed by 9 p.m. (1 hour), wake DD and chivy her along to full school-readiness (10 minutes - not concurrent), hang out the wet washing (12 minutes), pack my bag (3 minutes), and go down three flights of stairs and then up again because we've forgotten something (5 minutes).

I can do my inspirational and motivational reading on the 40 minute bus ride to school. And I can do more inspirational and motivational reading on the way home. This is good because I will need all the inspiration and motivation I can muster after the morning I've had.



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  2. You made me laugh! And you are the second blog I've read on this theme in the past week - 1 commentator there noted that a lot of the these folks would actually have help - i.e. Nanny's, Cleaning Ladies, Personal Assistants etc. and the rest of us would need a 36 hour day to keep up! :-)
    I think it's good to keep in mind that many are selling a product and the whole point is to make you feel inadequate to start with so that you think you need their product.
    You are a single mom with a couple of outside jobs and little family support and I think you need to cut yourself some slack.
    I am a morning person (but need 7 to 8 hrs sleep) but if you aren't really a morning person then why not adjust to suit your schedule. Is there any way that spending some extra time in the evening (perhaps with DD's help) would make life easier in the morning?
    .Do the Dishes before going to bed
    .Pack at least half your lunches in the evening & pack up backpacks then
    .Lay out the clothes for both of you the night before - anything that will make a busy morning exit easier. All of these things could probably be done in 30 minutes and then you could sleep an extra 30 minutes longer in the morning - which seems to fit your internal clock better.
    Your workspace sounds very uncomfortable and it's entirely understandable why you are feeling rather fed up. I'm just throwing out some ideas here - would it be possible to plug in a portable heater? Could you take a heating pad or even a small electric blanket with you? What about those "Hot Pocket" sort of things - we keep them for putting in our mitts etc - especially if attending outdoor events in winter. It might seem a bit silly but if any of these things make you feel more comfortable it might be worth trying.
    As for formal meditation or self-help programs - here's my take. If you really think they will help you then fine - but at this stage of your busy life would this not be just another commitment that you might come to resent for putting even more pressure on your free time? Why not just 30 minutes to yourself - and DD would have to learn that this is quiet time for both of you - light a candle, pour a glass of wine or a cup of tea - listen to some lovely soothing music and just breath - deeply - or stretch as much as you want. Perhaps there is a prayer or a poem that speaks to you that you could repeat? No travelling to a formal class - no extra expense - no guilt if life interferes one day - and it's on your schedule.
    You could even take this time in two 15 minute intervals if that works better or while the laundry is in or the dinner is simmering away.
    You need to be really honest with yourself about what is feasible for your lifestyle at this moment in time and not add another burden.
    I am now off out to do some grocery shopping = need to get out with my trolley before too much more snow comes down - if it's any comfort, I will need to don my Down Parka as it is Minus -12C with the wind chill at the moment! Have a good week and try to stay warm.

  3. I'm not really interested in doing any of that morning stuff. Our mornings are fine - we get up at around 7, make lunches, dress and go. As for the school situation, I'm going to stick it out for the rest of the academic year. It's not just me, the kids can't write as their hands are too cold.