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This challenge has been hard, but it has already taught me so much.

I already knew I was more productive early in the morning, but it’s been really long since I had done it.

In college I would wake up early to study.

Among all the partiers and night owls, I felt like an outcast.
“You get up at what time?!”

 

 

But I had gotten out of the habit. Months had gone by, waking up around 8:00. I was still productive, but my plate was full.

I had client work to do, financial obligations, managing VA’s, writers, etc. It was just too much. I felt like if I got one more client I wouldn’t be able to adequately fulfill their needs and get them results.

And this scared me.

So I got thinking maybe I should outsource a client to a trusted friend in the industry. Maybe I should hire another VA. Maybe i should just stay where I’m at and not grow anymore. This was a damning thought. Literally, my progress was dammed up, just like the water stills where beavers do their thing.

This was a dark time. I was doing fine with business, but I wasn’t happy, there was no growth.

Contrast that to now where I feel confident in the future and ready to take on the world.

The difference was just a couple of taps on my smartphone. A couple of taps on an app that every single phone has, but just isn’t utilized. A native app that is spurned, cursed, and not used to its full potential.

 

 

The alarm.

Thanks to that app and the commitment to use it better, I’m 100% on top of client work and have plenty of time to go after new clients. I have time to plan, fulfill for clients, set up email chains, and learn.

Not only did I just literally create a couple more hours out of thin air, but these hours are at least 1.5x more productive than the rest. There are no distractions, no texts, just focus.

Another facet of the alarm app is the timer app, another one of my productivity secrets. When I’m totally NOT looking forward to doing something, I set the timer for 15 minutes.

In my mind I think, it’s just 15 minutes! I can do that!

Then if I quit when the timer goes off, I’m good. I made progress. But more likely than not, I’m finally in the zone and continue to work on the project at hand. The energy it takes to get going is more than the energy it takes to keep going. Movement. Inertia. Momentum. It’s awesome.

One of my favorite quotes of all time goes like this:

 

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier,

not that the nature of the task has changed,

but our ability to do has increased.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

The act of waking up early doesn’t change from day to day. You either wake up, or you keep sleeping. Circumstances change, the situation changes, but the act itself is the same. As I have consciously chosen to wake up each morning at 4:45, my ability to do so the next day improves. It is increased.

And this goes for almost anything you can imagine.

Practicing jump shots

Exercising

Blogging

Eating right

Practicing the guitar

Speaking kindly to your spouse

Anything

Progress is the key, and the key to progress is in our habits. The act of doing something good is increased exponentially if we create a habit out of it. As we practice doing things that are good for us, good for our relationships, good for business?

Our abilities are increased, and success is that much more likely.

 

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Day 13:

  • Waking up on Saturdays is surprisingly easy. It’s almost like it’s extra. It’s a great chance to finish up any project stragglers, plan for the following week, etc
  • Did housework, preparing for new baby in a few weeks
  • Hung out
  • Worked a little less than 4 hours but again, it feels like extra time, not like during the week when you already should be working

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