In funner days, I could stay up 2, almost 3 days without sleep or caffeine. It wasn't normal, healthy, or sustainable, and adding caffeine only prolonged the inevitability of these truths.
The feeling of being tuned into something so much that you can just do it sets some interesting bars of what a "productive" day is.
Paraphrased from my journal of experiments:
One (non deadline day), instead of working until 3 am because it was when I could finally concentrate, free of distraction, I took a little nyquil and went to sleep at 9:30 PM.
I woke up, naturally around 4:30, bright as a bell. Alarm had been set for about 6:30 AM. It seemed my brain was ready to go too. I sat down and got more done that morning than 2 late nights.
I had creative energy to put into something that was often by the end of the day.
Putting my time into the mornings now, just to learn, work on something for fun, or explore different ways to solve a problem has strangely added to my daily fuel.
Realization: My work, whether it's for myself, or others, didn't always need my highest and best creative energy, but my attention to detail and reliability, and oversight. I could get good at it and keep things moving well.
My focus now: the real skill in waking up early is first learning to do it, and more importantly, learning to get the habit going when the inevitable late night occurs.
I try to write myself a note to remind how waking up at 4:30 gave me the all night progress in less time, and with more concentrated productivity from having a rested and fresh mind. Some things, like waking up early, just need to be tried, honestly, a few times. I'm convinced, and converted.
so nothing to do with getting up early.
"building a schedule that protects your love for what you do is critical to optimizing the quality of your life"
Oh right, getting up early helps me love what I do. Somehow.
Add some vaguely related info about depression that mentions weather which ties into time of day based on light I guess.
All sounds like hand-wavy pseudo-rationalising to me.
Main problem is that it is easy to stay up a little later, but hard to wake up a little earlier...