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The author’s guide to a power hour

A power hour is a pre-defined time, usually 60 minutes, where you focus on your most important priorities for the day.

I wake up at quarter to six, get up and sit down to meditate for fifteen minutes. After meditating, I write or edit for an hour, depending on where I am in the writing process. After that, I write two handwritten morning pages. Morning Pages is a ritual I picked up from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The ritual has really helped me to find a balance in creativity. Read more about how the book affected me here.

Having a power hour, or clearly defined morning routine, is something I picked up from several productivity gurus. Mine is 90 minutes instead of 60 because I’ve added an extra 30 minutes of writing time.

What is a power hour?

According to Adrienne Herbert, author of the book Power Hour: How to Focus on Your Goals and Create a Life You Love, Power Hour is about:

“Reclaiming some of your time in the first hour of your day before the rest of the world needs your love, attention and energy. Use the power hour to do something intentional – it can be anything you want, something you don’t usually have time for, or something that will prepare you for the rest of the day.”

Adrienne Herbert

For me, it’s the writing that I want to prioritize. If I write first thing in the morning, I know it will get done. I have no other excuses or important things to do that will get in the way of me writing. Use your power hour for something you want to make progress on that is important to you. It could be a hobby, a project or mindfulness.

The benefits of power hour

  • You avoid procrastination by setting aside time to focus on a specific task.
  • You gain control of your day. By starting your day with something that is important to you, you make progress every day. 
  • You’ll be more motivated and inspired because you’ll see your progress pay off. 

My own power hour has evolved over time. I started by writing morning pages every day. Then, during a very stressful period, I realized that I wanted to start meditating and added it. Once it was part of my daily routine, I was reading 5000 words an hour and was inspired to try getting up earlier to write every day. 

How to create a sustainable power hour

  • Remove all distractions! Put your phone on do not disturb mode, make sure you don’t go on social media and tell your roommates not to disturb you during this time.
  • Go into a focused mode. Some people use soundproofing headphones to do this. I personally put my phone in “write mode” (if you have an iPhone, you can set different modes on your phone where apps disappear, notifications are turned off, etc).
  • Decide in advance what you will do when during your power hour. Will you spend 15 minutes meditating? Or 30 minutes exercising? 45 minutes writing? Make sure you have ready-made blocks before the hour starts and stay within your pre-defined blocks. 

Do you have a power hour? If you had a power hour what would you use it for?

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