Add an Extra Hour to Your Day

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Pressed for time? A busy schedule prevents many people from going back to college or starting a new project. A lack of free time not only keeps you from achieving your goals, it can also cause stress and diminish your quality of life.

But consider: no matter who we are, rich or poor, we all have the same 24 hours in a day. How you budget your 24 hours can be the difference between success and failure.

The Myth of the Morning Person

Do you ever say, “I’m not a morning person”? It’s a popular misconception. Somehow our culture has divided the world into two kinds of people: the majority who stay up late and sleep in, and those special few with the magical power to rise before the sun.

In reality, there’s no such thing as a “morning” or a “night” person. No matter what time of day, you can summon a high level of focus and energy. It’s simply a matter of training yourself and building up the habit over time. Once you’ve established a routine of early rising, it becomes natural.

In fact, many highly productive people share the habit of waking early. Some of the most accomplished leaders, artists, inventors, and entrepreneurs have done their best work in the hours before the rest of the world wakes up.

Why? Because everyone else is still in bed! Imagine – with no text messages, no meetings, and no children to watch, you could enjoy a full, uninterrupted hour or more.

Give Yourself More Time

Don’t try to force a major change overnight. Instead, practice with smaller increments to give your brain a chance to adjust. For starters, reset your alarm clock to go off only 15 minutes earlier than usual.

In the morning, when the alarm sounds, jump up! Whatever you do, don’t hit the snooze button. No matter how tired you feel, when you make yourself stand and stretch, your system automatically releases the hormones that give you energy.

The next night, set your alarm another 15 minutes earlier. And then shave off another 15 minutes the next day, and the day after that. After four days, you will have added a full 60 minutes to your schedule.

Now you have an additional hour each day. What will you do with your time?

Written by: Michael Mussman
Michael Mussman is Editor of Forward Thinking, the Ashford University blog.

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