What’s the number one excuse people give for not pursuing their own awesome personal projects?
“I don’t have enough time.”
We spend 8-12 hours a day working at the office. When we get home, we barely have enough time to shower, shove dinner into our mouths, catch up on Facebook, before we crawl into bed like a dying worm.
Maybe, if you’re a weirdo like I am, you might find the time to squeeze in a blogpost, a run, or maybe an ebook or two. But I’m not gonna lie – it’s exhausting. Sometimes, when I get home, I totally feel like zoning out on the sofa, watching contestants on The Final One butcher Justin Timberlake songs, rather than do some serious work.
To me, that’s a terribly vicious cycle to be in – There’s gotta be more to life than shuttling between the office in the day and awful reality TV shows at night. There’s gotta be something we can do to make the Pursuit of Awesomeness easier.
Maybe it’s not that we need to do something, but it’s that we need to set aside some time.
Why Mornings Are the Perfect Time to Pursue Your Awesome
I’m starting to wonder if mornings might be the perfect time to do great work. Many CEOs start their days off by “leaping off their beds” as early as 4 or 5am. Hack the System blogger Maneesh Sethi claims that his morning ritual has skyrocketed his productivity. Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, declares that “before the rest of the world is eating breakfast, the most successful people have already scored daily victories that are advancing them toward the lives they want.”
Instead of relegating our personal capital pursuits to the evenings after we’ve already spent our best energy, it might be a better idea to carve out a part of the morning for the most important things in our lives.
Why are mornings the best time to do great things?
First, it ties into the whole concept of “paying yourself first”. If we can focus on our Most Important Tasks (MITs) the first thing in the morning, it’s more likely that we’ll complete it. It’s also a helluva lot easier to get through the rest of the day knowing that you’ve already taken care of the important stuff. Everything else is a bonus.
Next, you’re less likely to get interrupted in the mornings. The world hasn’t woken up yet, so that leaves you with a huge chunk of time to focus entirely on what you wanna accomplish.
Third, I personally have way more energy in the mornings than later in the day. I know of some people who’re more productive late at night, but not me. In the office, I often get 70% of my daily work done before lunch (and after lunch, I basically become a zombie). If I could apply that principle to my personal projects, maybe I could engineer a boost in productivity.
So with that in mind, I’ve decided to launch my third LifeTest – consistently waking up one hour earlier than I usually do in the mornings. I’m not the easiest person to wake up in the mornings, so here’s how it’s gonna go down:
The Goal: To consistently wake up at 5.50am, for 5 consecutive weekdays
The Process: I usually wake up around 6.50am on weekdays. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be setting my alarm to go off 5 minutes earlier every weekday morning for 2 weeks, until I hit my target time of 5.50am.
The Rules: I have to be out of bed and headed straight to the shower. No switching off the alarm and diving back to bed. I’m not imposing any rule that says that I must do something productive in the mornings, but I simply have to stay awake. I can start weaving in some productive projects once I start getting used to waking up early, but for now I’m simply focusing on the first step.
LifeTest Log #3