Burning the Midnight Oil

I’m writing this post in the caravan, it’s 5:48 am, the blinds are up, and the dawn light is beginning to flood the beautiful Warwickshire countryside. I have fallen in love with the mornings and the new possibilities each one brings.

I used to see myself as a “night-time” person. I saw virtue in burning the midnight oil. But doing what? In my fantasy, I was working late, grinding out the hours. But the reality was very different.

I realised I was wasting a lot of time in the evening. I would get home from work, tired and flop in front of my iPad, eating junk food and binge-watching a boxset, or browsing social media. I might continue until midnight and then crash out. Sleeping badly, and then wake up at the last minute, rushing off to work the next morning.

Do you recognise this pattern? Are you guilty of watching TV slumped on the sofa after a day at work? Or are you endlessly scrolling through social media posts long into the night? How, do these mindless activities get you any closer to your dreams or goals?

Since January I have been following a different plan, and it has changed my life.  The first thing was to understand that TV or browsing social media keeps you awake, long after we should be asleep. It suppresses our natural, biological sleep mechanisms.

Now I’m a bit extreme here, so my answer was to delete all the TV apps off my iPad. But you might say I won’t watch TV or look at Facebook after 8 pm for example. Making this commitment sets in motion an entirely different kind of evening routine.

You relax, have a bath, unwind slowly, light a candle, plan your day tomorrow, read a book, take the time to review your day. Then when you are tired. Go to sleep. Don’t fight tiredness trying to stay up late, just because you have always gone to sleep at 11 pm for example.

I started doing this and my sleep time has got earlier and earlier. Now I’m in bed by 8 pm and always asleep before 8:30 pm. Yes, I’m a bit bonkers and extreme. But you get the idea.

The exciting thing about doing this is the effect on your mornings because you will start to wake up early, feeling very awake and alive and raring to get started. It is life changing because this extra time in the morning is incredibly valuable as you are not tired so you can use it to work on your goals and dreams.

Its so simple, but so powerful. You are swopping crappy, tired evening time in front of the TV for awake, amazing, focused time in the morning. Your day is not longer, it just shifts an hour or two earlier. In simple terms go to sleep a bit earlier and get up a bit earlier.

It’s the most amazing change I have ever made in my life and has had the biggest single impact on my movement towards my goals. I hope that you will give it a try. You will see immediate benefits as you can use the powerful morning hours to work on your dreams and goals.  Long before others believe, you must believe it’s possible. Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.

13 thoughts on “Burning the Midnight Oil”

  1. Just started reading your blog and really enjoy it. Am looking n thinking of trying to do craft work of some sort to make a bit of pocket money after taking early retirement from nursing and moving to Belgium. Look forward to your next instalment..thanks.

    • Hi Ann
      Welcome to Valentte and thank you for finding us. I hope you get started with your craft work. Have you looked at https://www.etsy.com/
      I have many friends who sell the things they make on etsy. Their incomes range from the modest, part-time sellers to those running substantial 6 and 7 figure businesses.
      Good luck. If there is anything I can do to help, please contact me through this website.
      Best Wishes

  2. Hi Luke! Your ‘Burning the Midnight Oil’ piece really resonated with me! I’ve felt for ages this is how I should be living (rather than feeling permanently exhausted!) and your article has been just the nudge I need to get going. Thank you! Fresh start tomorrow…

    • Hi Julia
      Thank you for your very positive message regarding this post. I can honestly say that going to bed earlier and getting up earlier has been nothing short of life-changing for me. I found it helped to be very disciplined about the morning routine, so, do the same things in the same order every morning. Like all habits, it takes a bit of a push to get started but is sooooo worth it!
      Hope it goes well.
      Best Wishes
      Luke x

  3. Thank you for the thoughtful wise words. It was a very interesting read and I look forward to reading more. You website has caught my attention with its personal experience. I will keep reading

  4. This is exactly how I spend my evenings and I know it’s such a a waste of precious time! I really relate to this post. Look forward to reading more x

    • Hi Wendy
      I know how tough it is to change our habits. But if you can make a change, you will see the immediate benefit on the other side.
      Best Wishes
      Luke x

  5. I felt very enlightened when i read your blog.ie been feeling in a rut ,and belive i found the solution in your blog ,”BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL” THANK YOUnow i will share a tid bit with you somthing to ponder.”JUST BECAUSE SOMTHING AFFECTS YOU OR INVOLVES YOU DOESNT MAKE IT ABOUT YOU” BY JULIE MCDONALD . When i surrender my will and let myself be guided .wonderful things happen and the answers will appear. Again thank you for your writings of wisdom
    Julie mcdonald
    Juliedidnot @yahoo.com

  6. Good morning!!! After reading your blog, the midnight oil oh how I relate to this! I have just recently moved home, downsized from a 3 bedroom to a 1 bedroom flat, my children have all left home so I was rattling around in old house, I used to sit up at night into small hours and scroll through Internet at absolutely random useless information, couldn’t sleep and found it hard to get any motivation following day, since I’ve moved though I’m a lot happier, the area I was living in was awful, car doors slamming all night, undesirables shouting and arguing, sirens endlessly, but I’ve moved to a new more pleasant area and wow I’m only awake due to the birdsong, it’s beautiful and I’m currently sitting on back door step with my cuppa listening while writing this, so peaceful. Hope to order some much needed hand cream as due to the move and lots of cleaning my hands are in need of some tlc. Thanks for brightening my morning. Lisa x

  7. I feel so inspired having read your words, having you share your struggle & your strength to keep going in the belief you truly believe in what your doing… More people need to be told this important fact, people are losing sight of how to achieve real happiness & those who have been able to do so should share this simple fact with everyone they meet, I will think about you today, imagine how hard it may have been & then imagine the place your at now and how lovely that is for you.. and the fact you want to share your story and promote the belief that people must believe in themselves no matter what! is so lovely of you. Thank you for sharing it with me x


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