People frequently cite the lack of time to work on any creative endeavor or project. But if you choose to focus on the quality of the time you put into your efforts rather than the quantity, it can make a big difference.
One focused hour a day can produce amazing results.
The reason I’m so religious about protecting my time in the first few hours of my day is that I know it’s when I’m most prolific, productive and creative. To waste this time would be to waste one of my most valuable assets. This time is mine. It’s blocked out on my calendar as “creation time.” Because of that nobody calls me, nobody schedules meetings with me or bothers me during this time. Most of what I write is produced during this one focused hour.
- With one focused hour a day you can write a book within a year, write 1000 words a day or finish a 45,000-word manuscript in 6 months.
- With one focused hour a day you can easily develop a daily writing habit, and even write something daily as Seth Godin does.
- With one focused hour a day you can make time to read the books you’ve been wanting to read.
- With one focused hour you can find flow and build momentum for your creative endeavor
- With one focused hour a day you can learn a new language
One focused hour a day can make the difference between getting your ass kicked by resistance and not, between working like a professional or an amateur.
Making Time and Putting in Safeguards for Your Focused Hour
One of the easiest ways to make the time for your focused hour is to download the Google Calendar app. The app has a feature called “goals” that allows you to pick a goal and tell it for how long, what time of day and how many times a week you want to work on that goal. The app finds the time on your calendar and schedules it. Set it and forget it. Now you have a constant reminder of the goal you’re working on.
Side Note: Calendars are more effective than to do lists, (a topic for another article), but try scheduling your one focused hour and see for yourself.Here’s a screenshot from one of my days.
As you’ll see I’ve made time for reading daily and watching an interview series that I wanted to get through. Thanks to the calendar I’ve watched at least 6 of the 30 interviews that Chase Jarvis has produced.
I’ve mentioned the safeguards in several previous pieces I’ve written:
- Nobody changed the world by checking their email, so don’t check email during this hour.
- To reap the benefits of this focused hour, you have to eliminate all sources of distraction.
- Optimize your life for deep work and shut your phone off
- Try not to schedule any meetings during this time. Make it clear that this time is YOURS.
Wake up an hour earlier, use your lunch hour, skip the commute home and go to a coffee shop until traffic dies down. If something truly matters, you have to make the time.
Doing deep work is about focused success in a distracted world. It’s about limiting your temptation for excessive consumption. Sometimes all you need is one focused hour a day.
I’m the host and founder of The Unmistakable Creative Podcast. Every Sunday we share the most unmistakable parts of the internet that we have discovered in The Sunday Quiver. Receive our next issue by signing up here.