Are You Maximizing or Wasting the 1st Hour of the Day
Have you ever thought about how you spend the first hour of the day? I mean really spend it?
Most handle it in one or more of the following ways:
- Delay it as long as possible by staying in bed
- Rushed from the moment your feet hit the floor and you leave for work
- React to whatever is thrown at them
Henry Ward Beecher once said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day. I still marvel at the new beginning each day offers.”
What if we viewed the 1st hour of the day completely different? What if it was anticipated, paced, and planned? What if we viewed it as our own rudder guiding where I actually what I want my day to look like not everyone else.
If I’m reacting, rushed, and unfocused early, my day seems to go the same way. Imagine that.
But when I’ve taken time for myself and feel centered, I approach my day completely different and my day goes in that direction.
Here are Four Reasons to Maximize Instead of Waste the 1st Hour of the Day:
1. It’s Quiet
You’re the first one up. The rest of the world is seemingly still asleep or at least your own little world.
This is a gift and it’s amazing what quiet can do to begin a day. It slows me down and allows me to approach the day on my terms.
2. It’s Fresh
It’s amazing what a night of sleep can do for you especially a good one. A new day is a fresh slate. A do-over.
Your focus and willpower is renewed and you can begin anew. Yesterday seems to be long gone and I’m ready for a fresh start.
3. It’s Yours
No one is demanding of you just yet. You can determine exactly how to use this time.
It may your ONLY hour completely that is completely yours so seize it.
4. It’s Powerful
This is the time to make things happen. All of the things you said you don’t have time for are now available for you.
And they can literally change your life. From being prepared for your day to investing into yourself, your day and your life will change for the better. Oh, and hopefully all those around you!
But you may be asking…
“Sold me on why I should do it but where does this hour come from? I already have other things I have to do?” Here are three possibilities:
- You may already have it and just wasting it
- You may need to go to bed an hour early the night before (he didn’t just say that, did he?)
- You may need to just get your snooze-heavy butt out of bed!
So, you decide to MAXIMIZE not waste the 1st hour of the day and now you’re wondering what to do with the time.
Here are some ideas of what do with the time…
Read – most people use “not having time” as the main reason not to read but now you have the time. Even if it’s only for a few minutes (10-15), get in a book! Seize this time to put your mind and heart in the right place for the day ahead.
To be challenged in this area, I suggest the post: Are You Reading More Than The Average Professional?
Learn – Maybe you’ve wanted to learn a certain subject or skill. This is the ideal time because your mind is fresh and it’s quiet. Imagine the damage you could do with five dedicated morning week day hours to learning.
To be challenged in this area, I suggest the post: Do You Live By The Acronym CANI?
Write – this could be journaling to writing that book you’ve always wanted to write or begin blogging.
Think – I love the early morning to process key concepts or create. I call this Time Block my Think Space and its critical to my daily success to stay ahead of the game.
To be challenged in this area, I suggest the post: How To Implement Think Space Without Thinking
Solitude – I need this time to pray, reflect, meditate, etc. and it’s amazing what just a few minutes of this time can do for your day
Warning!!! Do NOT open your email or social media. It will suck you in and the gift of your 1st hour will be gone before you know it. Your mind will be on its content and you will lose the power of the 1st hour.
My First Hour Example:
6:00am Journal (The Five Minute Journal) – I list the three things I’m grateful for / three things that would make today great / one affirmation
6:05am Read my Bible – usually a chapter in the Old Testament / a chapter in the New Testament / a chapter in Psalms or Proverbs
6:20am Read an inspirational or motivational book
6:50am Review my Vision Plan of where I who I will be and what I want 3 years from now
6:55am Prayer / Solitude
After my 1st hour is in the books, I shift into my 2nd Hour which is dedicated to writing. Nothing else. Nothing else is open and its an interruption free zone.
And my 3rd hour is 30 minutes of exercise (usually running or biking) and I listen to 30 minutes of an audiobook or podcasts. Then I transition to breakfast and Ramp Up (planning my day).
If I’m traveling, I’ll need to alter my morning schedule and make choices to maximize my 1st hour because of the impact it has on my day.
In the end, you must learn to tell your morning what to do otherwise it control you with its demands and reactions.
Choosing to use your 1st hour of the day differently starts with seeing the benefit of the concept.
It will require something of you. But oh the return on the investment!
It will also take away excuses that you don’t have time to read, learn, write, or even think.
This can become a habit that will dramatically change your day. You will feel grounded and ready for the day ahead because you took care of you first.
And be careful, this may begin extending into another hour until you have the Ideal Morning Block before you even start work. (that’s my master evil plan for you!)
Here are a couple of book references I highly recommend if you want to take your morning routine to another level:
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
Early to Rise Experience by Andy Traub
What are you going to do with this hour that is quiet, fresh, yours, and powerful?