What does your morning look like?
Do you sleep in, hitting the snooze button over and over again until you absolutely have to get up?
Do you begrudgingly get out of bed only when you know you’ll be late if you don’t?
Do you sleep in every chance you get – weekends, they’re made for two, three, four extra hours of sleep, right?
Or do you view your first hour of the day as your most productive?
I used to be the snooze button, only if I had to get up kind of person. But the more connected I became to my business, the more I realized I liked spending time doing things I felt were the most important. But the problem is when you work the same hours as everyone else, invariably you’ll open up email or let the phone calls come in, only to discover your most important items never seem to get completed.
That book you wanted to write? Maybe someday … when you have the time.
That new idea you’ve been working on? It’ll come together … eventually.
Then I discovered a “secret” from a mentor I’ve followed for years.
He told a story about how he gets more done in a couple of hours then most people will complete all day. His secret lies with when he works on the most important things in his life. Its not necessarily the first thing in the morning – if your first thing is 10am, your plate may already be filled even before you power up your computer.
Instead, he has put his focus on using the early morning hours before anyone else rises, or any distractions come your way. Over the years, he has pushed the time tables on when he rises. He now gets up at 4am – yes 4am – and writes for a solid three hours. Then at 7am, he starts his normal routine and goes about his day.
He’s written many successful books and projects using this philosophy. And it intrigued me. How much could I get done if I work in a similar manner?
I’m not a 4am kind of person. But for me, 5:30am works well. Yet. As of today, I rise, mediate and write in my journal until 6am, then sit down and work on my latest book or writing project until 7:30am. That gives me a solid hour to hour and a half to write exclusively on whatever project I’m working on. No opening up email or checking in with Facebook. Instead, I open up my writing program – I use Scrivener for large projects – and start writing. And I write solid until 7:30.
I noticed I was getting so much done, I decided to try something new.
November is National Novel Writing Month, affectionately known as NaNoWriMo thanks to its website address. One of my goals has long been to complete a novel. But I’ve never finished any of the novel projects I’ve started in the past. I write blog posts, business artless, and business books every single day of the week. To me, they are much easier to write (in my eyes anyway) because chapters can be free flowing and each stand-alone. I can write them in whatever order I choose, and put together or take apart the final project when I feel I have the right amount of content.
Novels are different. They have a continual story from beginning to end. And in my eyes are much more intimidating to write than a non-fiction business book. So I made my goal to finish a novel in the month of November using the NaNoWriMo writing process. And I’m doing it all during my morning writing process – all before 7:30 in the morning. On average, I’m writing about 1700 words a day, depending on my motivation. Yes, I have easy days and difficult days, just like most writers.
But the amazing thing to me is watching this all come together.
When I spent my writing hour creating blog posts or business articles, I just wrote without thinking about how much I was writing.
But this past month, I’ve watched my 1700 words a day pile up into a very large accumulation of words – over 31,000 words to date.
By watching my words add up and create a dynamic product, it’s given me even more motivation to stick with this routine. When you see something working, you want to do more of it, right?
I’m expanding this concept to the weekends as well as the weekdays. And each month I’m going to dedicate my writing hour to a specific project that I want to see grow into something valuable.
Sound intriguing to you?
Then I suggest you take a look at your first hour (or two) of the day. How can you turn them from a sluggish, I hate getting up routine, into a motivating hour that gets your project out of your mind and into creation?
Follow it so you know how much you are truly creating
And reward yourself for your successes.
You’ll be amazed as I am on the final results.
And I would love to hear your results as well. Drop me a note here and let me know what you’re creating with your extra hour of the day.