I’ve been back in Toronto for two days, and am experiencing the fantastic benefits of east-to-west-travel jetlag. I haven’t felt so productive in ages!

Whenever I fly from Canada to Europe, I find myself exhausted and out of it for two or three days, sleepy at odd hours, unable to get up when I’m supposed to – all the classic symptoms of jetlag, especially if you “lose” six or seven hours in transit.

But when I come back home from over there, the effect is very, very good. “Gaining” time is somehow much easier to bear than losing it, so when I’m transported to a timezone that is five to seven hours earlier than where I left, I end up falling asleep early (I usually push it to 9 or 10pm on my first day back in order to try to achieve the best effect) and then wake up the following morning feeling well rested and bright eyed around 6 or 7am. It’s fantastic. I am by no means a natural morning person, but I feel incredibly productive and positive when I get up early and can say “wow, look at all I’ve accomplished, and it’s not even 9am”. And honestly, even if all I’ve accomplished is having breakfast and a shower, it still feels like a victory.

the internet agrees: it's easier when you're going east to west!

the internet agrees: it’s easier when you’re going east to west!

Of course, getting up that early means I’m exhausted by 10pm, so the effect really kills my nightlife, but honestly I’m mostly a hermit these days anyway so the pros of having more AM hours to get shit done far outweigh the cons of going to bed at grandma o’clock.

Since I stopped working full time in an office, it’s been harder and harder to keep to a regular schedule. Relying on myself for discipline and motivation has never been my strong suit (I’m working on it). I work a lot of hours every day but sometimes I don’t start those hours till 1pm, and then I’m up past midnight still hammering away at my keyboard trying to meet a deadline. Even though I often feel like I hit my creative stride later in the day, I’d still much prefer to get the majority of my work done before dinnertime, so that I have the option of relaxing in the evening instead of still being at it until bedtime. That’s the other problem of working for yourself. No separation between work time and personal time. Although to be honest, that was kind of the case with REEL CANADA too, so it’s not a huge change.

Since getting back on Monday, I’ve gotten up early enough to hit the gym and start my workday by 9ish. It feels amazing, and I really want to keep it going. In the summer, when the sun rises earlier and I’m generally feeling less sluggish and more peppy, it might even be sustainable? If only I didn’t need a trip across the Atlantic Ocean to kickstart this kind of change. First world problems? Jetsetter problems?