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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Taking Back 30 Minutes

I previously told you about a book by Jon Acuff called Quitter.  The book showed me there's a path to your dream that doesn't require quitting your day job, YET.

Now, I picked up Jon's new book, START.  In this book, Jon describes the "road to awesome" that is available to all of us and the five stages of life on the road to awesome (learning, editing, mastering, guiding, harvesting).

I am about half way through the book, so I won't review it just yet.  I wanted to talk about a lesson from the book that I applied to my life this week.

Paralyzing fear is one of my biggest struggles as I go down the path to write.  I get overwhelmed with all the "stuff" I have to do each day, and I don't make time to write.  Then when I look back on my day, I see how much time I actually wasted!  I read the same Facebook posts for the 10th time, watched TV I didn't enjoy, etc.  Then the next day is a total repeat of failure.

Jon confronts this issue in the book head on.  It encouraged me when I saw I wasn't alone in my despair.  His remedy:  be selfish at 5:00am.  No one else wants my time at 5:00am.  Nothing has to be done at 5:00am.  That time should be "me time". 

I always considered myself a night owl.  I like staying up late.  When I honestly evaluated my time though, I saw I spent an hour or two most nights doing nothing productive.  Jon points out that studies show we have a finite amount of will power or focus in any given day, and it is most likely depleted by that time anyway.  This is why I accomplished so little late at night!

So, this week I started going to bed earlier in order to get up at 6:00am.  I am not ready for 5:00am, but 6 o'clock is already quite early for me, and in our house, everyone sleeps until at least 7 or 7:30am.

Wow, what a difference it has made!  I get up and just read for the first 30 minutes.  Then I write for 30 minutes.  I feel productive when I'm done.  I actually accomplished something the last 3 or 4 days, and I am excited to keep going. 

I thought going to bed at 10pm each night would be difficult.  I admit, falling asleep at that hour is tough.  But I find myself wanting to go to bed.  I also have an excuse to do it.  If I don't, I miss out on my reading and writing the next day. 

So far it is working.  What about you?  What kind of routine have you created to prioritize your dream?  Is it time for you to make a change?

Thanks for reading!