It’s 6.14 and the coffee has almost brewed. That’s the first sign. I have the time now to sit here waiting patiently for my one cup of coffee to do its magic in the cafetière while I write this, knowing that nothing I do this morning needs to be rushed. I’ve taken the time I need at the start of my day to begin in the best way I know how: strong black coffee, calm and silent thought, and an hour of writing, before showering, dressing and leaving for work with time enough to walk at my own pace through town to the office, where I’ll feel refreshed, and one step ahead.

I used to rise at around 8AM and consider it normal. I used to get to the end of my day and consider something else normal: not having enough time to “sit in the chair” and write, with no distractions and no other commitments. Then I realised: No, this constant feeling of time having run away, and never having enough of it, wasn’t normal. It doesn’t have to be this way. I decided to change things. Discovering minimalism helped a lot. It goes without saying that it’s become somewhat of a trend to wake up earlier than most and start the day as productively as possible. And I’m thankful it has become a trend. It’s the reason I learnt of – and saw realised – the benefits of such time management and morning discipline myself.

Why do I love it? Why do I sit here with a smile after taking my first sip of coffee? Because this is my time. I can sit here writing this, hearing nothing but the faintest hum of the refrigerator and my laptop’s fan, and the occasional gentle, sleepy sigh from my partner snug beneath the sheets on the mezzanine floor above me – I can sit silently, calmly, meditatively before this blank wall lit warmly and softly by my desk lamp and know that everything is as it should be. This 6AM, this hour which seems so scary to most is now like a special window of productivity. It’s the one hour in my day which is mine alone. The one space where I’m happily left alone to be myself as completely as I know how.

It’s now 6.45AM. With every hour that rolls around from now on, I’ll be one step ahead, until finally I lay down my head at 10PM, able to rest assured I’ve used my time well. Then once again, I’ll look forward to that early start.

Is there something you never seem to find the time for in your average day? Writing, painting, planning, eating well, walking the dog, exercising? Try it yourself. Rise early. Get that head start you know – or don’t know – you need in order to accomplish the small but vital things. You might find it difficult initially, but you’ll soon learn to love it. 6AM will be something to look forward to…

 

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