I remember first hearing the term ‘power hours’ about five years ago and it really resonated with me. The term power hours refers to the hours in between the time you wake up and midday. It was one of those things that kept popping up through books that I was reading and podcasts that I was listening to, writes Sam Wood founder of 28 by Sam Wood.
I was continually hearing about power hours and I’ve been successfully implementing them into my routine ever since. I didn’t turn my life upside down, I just slowly but surely began putting certain habits and practices in place based around this principle and it has been an absolute game changer.
6am- Wake Up
I start by waking up early, no later than 6am. This ensures that my power hour window is as big as possible, while still ensuring I get enough sleep. With two young babies, there’s often a natural alarm clock going off at this time anyway but for me, it’s a constant. 6am = up and at ‘em.
6.15am- Black Coffee & Water
A strong black coffee and a big glass of water kickstarts my day. Dehydration can impact your cognitive function and make it hard to stay focused so drinking water is a morning must. The big challenge with hydration is that most of us don’t drink until we are already dehydrated so drinking a big glass of water as soon as I get up keeps me ahead of the curve.
6.30am– Workout or Walk
Post-coffee, it’s time for a moderate to high intensity home workout, a quick run or a power walk with Hendrix. I use this time for anything that I know is going to get the endorphins pumping, wake up my brain and clear my head. Exercise has been proven to improve productivity levels and I have definitely found this to be the case.
7.15am- Quality time with the girls
I absolutely love these hours where the girls are climbing on top of me and I love the moments where they’re just waking up to the day. They’re alert, they’re saying the funniest things and it might only be for half an hour but I really feel connected to them for the whole day.
I head into the office or find somewhere to work that is distraction-free. I always start with a to-do list for the day and when I say ‘for the day’ I mean things that I must achieve before midday. Then I get to it. No social media, no email distractions, I don’t let anything interfere until my list is complete. I aim to get this done by 10.30 or 11 because then it’s breakfast time.
I know this might seem late for breakfast but I’ve been experimenting in more recent times with eating my breakfast later. I still have 3 healthy meals every day but I typically eat within an 8 hour window (10 or 11 until 6 or 7). Breakfast at 11, lunch in the later end of the afternoon, dinner at 7 and a couple of healthy snacks if needed. I have greater mental clarity, I’m using my morning time more efficiently and I’m giving my digestive system more time to rest.
Of course, I continue to work on my two businesses throughout the rest of the day but it is this power hour philosophy that means if I want to spend time with my family or things at work come up that weren’t planned, I can do them without the stress and without the loss of productivity.
By the time I’ve reached midday, I’ve ticked off the most important things on my list. I’ve usually achieved so much in these few hours that if something comes up, I want to pick Eve up from school, I want to go for a bike ride with Willow or grab a late lunch with Snez- it doesn’t matter. I load the front half of my day while I am operating at my peak productivity so that an inefficient, relaxed or distracted afternoon won’t have an impact.
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