The Early Bird Gets the Worm

I suppose if you’re a bird, that saying is mighty tempting. I’m not a big fan of worms, myself. Kind of slimy, aren’t they? I’m also far from a fan of anything “early.” Days shouldn’t have more than 1 6 o’clock, if you know what I mean. But lately, I’ve found myself feeling more and more stressed out when I get home from work. I’ll have had a long day in libraryville, and I know that I’ve got 1,o00 words between me and being done.

Writing when you’re stressed isn’t an easy thing to do. It feels forced, and it takes a ton of time. This is loads of personal experience speaking here.

So the last few days I thought I might switch it up. I’ve been getting up forty minutes earlier than usual, and I spend those forty minutes writing as fast as I can. Focused, binge-writing. Normally, writing 1,000 words can take me an hour or so, and then you have to add in some padding as I procrastinate. Check Facebook. Check the weather. That sort of thing.

With this early approach, it’s all writing and nothing else. I’ve also escaped the stressed feeling by giving myself permission to not get the full 1,000 words done in the morning. Basically, the goal is to get a head start on the rest of the day. If I can just finish most or even some of my 1,000 words then, that means that I have that much less to write when I get home later.

It’s worked wonders. My writing’s felt better, my days have been brighter . . . I just feel like a happier me.

And I’ve gotten more than 1,000 words done each time I’ve done it. Bonus.

Really, this is a principle I’ve known for quite some time and have just forgotten. In college, I eventually had a plan worked out where I would do all my homework ahead of when it *needed* to be done. It made a huge difference. I’d still do homework every day, but knowing that the stuff I was doing that day didn’t need to be done until a few days from then made it feel like I was doing it because I wanted to, not because I had to. Simple mindhack, but effective.

So I plan to be seeing two 6 o’clocks every day again. And for now at least, I’m okay with that.

What are some of the things you do to keep yourself operating at peak efficiency? Please share!

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