I’m not a morning person. Part of the appeal of poker for me has always been the freedom that comes along with working when you want. For me that’s meant sleeping in. But lately I’ve realized that if I want to accomplish all the goals I’ve set for myself I’m going to need to find some more time during the day, and that means getting up earlier. Part of this realization comes from noticing that I’m not very productive in the evenings. Even though I’ve always thought of myself as a night person, I’m just not getting much done. There are too many distractions and other things I want to do. My wife’s home in the evening and I want to spend time with her. TV’s at its best. I’m tired from the day. Dinner needs to be made. All kinds of things. So all the things that I had hoped to do in the evening get pushed aside and put on the next day’s to do list, which is usually already pretty full. Then the whole cycle starts again in the morning.
I recently read a great book called The One Thing by Gary Keller. He emphasizes prioritizing your day and getting your most important task or goal done before you attack anything else on your to-do list. Though I consider my poker study my highest priority, it frequently gets pushed aside for things that are far less important to me (I’m talking to you, dirty dishes!). So the new plan is to get up and knock out my study first thing in the morning when it’s quiet and I’m less distracted.
I’m currently looking to add two hours to my day for an intensive hand reading “Ultralearning” project that I’m developing. This will be in addition to my normal poker studies. This means getting up at 6am. I know for some people that’s not a big deal. For me it’s significant. I’m used to getting up around 8am and even that feels a little early. But the really challenging part will be going to bed early enough that I still get a sufficient amount of sleep. For me that’s nine hours. I know that some of you will think that’s a ridiculous amount of sleep and sometimes I feel that way too. But I’ve experimented with getting different amounts of sleep and found I’m at my best with nine hours, so that’s what I’m going for. But that means I need to get to bed by 9pm. Now that sounds crazy! If I had my way, that’s about the time I’d be eating dinner. But if I want to start this hand reading project, I need to find the time. There has to be sacrifices when you’re pursuing ambitious goals and it looks like sleeping in will just have to be one of the things sacrificed.
I’m hoping to start this ultralearning project within the next ten days or so. I’ll of course keep you updated on how I’m doing with my new hours and I’ll put out a post on the details of this intensive hand reading project after I finish its design. If you have any tips or comments I’d love to hear them. Please leave them in the comment section below.