What is the power hour? Why am I obsessed with talking about it?
If you follow me on social media, then you’ll know that I get up early everyday and that the first hour of each day is my ‘Power Hour’. Over the last twelve months, I’ve hosted a series of talks at live events, conferences and festivals. I’m constantly talking about the ‘Power Hour’ and the dramatic impact that it has had on own life. Recently, other people have started to email me or direct message me on Instagram, to tell me how the ‘Power Hour’ has changed their lives too.
So, first up, what is the ‘Power Hour’?
The Power Hour is the first hour that you are awake each day. What you do with that time is completely up to you, but I believe that is the most powerful hour of the day and that it has the potential to set up the rest of your day for either success or failure. We now live in a world that is completely overwhelming us with distractions, information, ideas, opinions and choices. How are we supposed to focus or even form our own ideas when we are drowning in all that noise?
When we are asleep, our minds are processing our subconscious thoughts, whilst at the same time our bodies are resting, we are literally recharging and renewing our cells. So when we first wake up, our minds and our bodies are at their very best. (Assuming that we’ve had enough sleep) That first hour after you wake up is so special. Now, think about how you spend that time. Are you moving your body by exercising and getting your blood pumping? Are you stretching, waking up your body and breathing deeply? Are you waking up your mind by reading, learning, writing, drawing, getting those creative juices flowing?
How do you feel? Do you feel rested? Do you feel inspired, motivated and ready to get the most out of the day?
Maybe this is the first time that you’ve ever really considered the first hour of your day, or maybe you have a morning routine that you repeat out of habit or necessity.
I first began to evaluate my morning habits in January of last year. At the time I was training to run my first marathon as well working as a personal trainer, building my own digital platforms and managing family commitments. Like most of the women that I know, I constantly felt like I needed more time and that there simply weren’t enough hours in each day. Especially as my marathon training was demanding more and more time and the runs were getting longer every week.
At that time I was also listening to a lot of podcasts, one of my favourites is Lewis Howes ‘The School of Greatness’, I highly recommend that you check that out, I was also listening to the audio book ‘7 Habits of highly successful people’ by Steven Covey. One thing that stood out to me, in a lot of the stories that I was listening to, there was a common theme. Almost every single successful person, whether they were a professional athlete, a CEO of a billion pound company or a best selling author, they all attribute a huge proportion of their success to their morning routine. They don’t wake up, reach out for their phone, turn of the alarm and then scroll through Instagram for twenty minutes before getting out of bed. They are considered about what they are doing. They have already planned what they are going to do with their first hour. Maybe that’s running, maybe it’s meditation, or maybe it’s having a shower, listening to your favourite music and having breakfast with you partner and your kids.
You choose. You don’t just wake up and act by default. You choose.
I wrote a post last year… 6 Reasons To Get Up at 6. I realised that I needed to get up earlier in order to make time for some kind of morning routine possible. (I’ll be completely honest with you, it is a lot easier to start practicing this in spring and summer than it is to get up at 6am in the dark of winter.) Very quickly, I started to see a dramatic impact in my daily productivity, my mood and my energy levels, and I became more motivated too.
Since then, I have adjusted my morning routine to help me reach my personal and professional goals. Somedays I get up at 5.45am to run, somedays I open my laptop and write a blog post or reply to emails. I’m currently using my power hour to work my first Tedx talk. Sometimes, I use the the extra hour to cook or to do laundry. I know it sounds kinda crazy, but it is honesty life changing. I allow more time to get ready, and give my son more time too. Jude is six years old, like me, he can be very easily distracted, I often have to remind him at least four times to get dressed. He’ll put one sock on and then start reading a book or playing with lego. (I’m practicing patients with this) I don’t like to start the day by rushing him and telling him to hurry up because we have to leave the house in three minutes. It’s not Jude’s fault if we are running late, kids have no concept of time, it’s my fault. Getting up before him gives us more time and makes our mornings way less stressful.
If you’re reading this and thinking that it sounds too easy, let me just be real and say that it has taken me a year to get here. It’s taken a lot of practice and I still have days when I turn of my alarm and sit on the end of the bed staring at the wall like a zombie. It’s not like I cartwheel out of bed everyday! (admittedly, somedays I do) But, once you commit to it and you get into a habit, it is SO worth it. Not convinced? I encourage you to try it for two weeks and see for yourself.
What about sleep?
The next question I get asked is ‘What time do you go to bed? Well… I’ll write about that next week. What I will say is that getting enough sleep is an absolute game changer. If you’re relying on caffeine and sugar to make it through the day, then you’re probably not getting enough.
Let me know if you’re gonna give the ‘Power Hour’ a go, hit me up on Twitter & Instagram @adrienne_ldn
Have an awesome week!