Freelance Writer Challenge – Reset Your Alarm

Freelance Writer Challenge: Reset Your Alarm

If you're anything like me, you probably wish there was a little more time in a day. It sometimes seems like you just can't squeeze everything in. What if there was a solution? How much more could you do if you found just one more hour in a day? I'd like to see you find out!

The Challenge

When you go to bed tonight, set your alarm clock to go off one hour earlier than usual. That's it. It's easy.

Yes, it means that you'll either have to lose an hour of sleep for a night or go to bed an hour earlier. But try it. Just for one night. That's your challenge.

Tomorrow, you'll get an earlier start on your day. Maybe you'll finish your work an hour earlier and have that extra hour back to do things you want to do (and having some daylight hours to run errands you haven't had time for, to take the kids to the park, or anything else you want to do could be well worth giving up an hour of loafing in front of the TV the night before). Or perhaps you'll spend your hour getting more work done. Maybe you'll even find that starting your day earlier helps you work more productively, and you get more done naturally in the same amount of time.

You'll never know until you try. Tomorrow, give yourself the gift of an extra hour in your day. Start it a bit earlier, and see what you manage to get done without the usual daily rush.

Profile image for Jennifer Mattern

Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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10 thoughts on “Freelance Writer Challenge – Reset Your Alarm”

  1. I think you should try going to bed an hour earlier if at all possible. Cut out the TV or something else nonessential.

    If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be as efficient. You can easily lose an hour of productivity over the course of the day, plus be less happy because you’re tired.

    I’m an early riser, typically around 5:30. On nights where I get to sleep after 10:30 or so, I definitely feel less alert the next day.

    • Most people function fine on 7 hours, so it’s not the end of the world to lose one (although I’d agree that going to bed earlier would be ideal). In fact, studies have shown that 8 hours is too much for some people. When I cut down on my sleep a little bit, I became more productive rather than less – feeling truly refreshed in the morning rather than groggy and slow-waking after being in bed for too long. I find that I do best with a bare minimum of 5 hours and no more than 7. 6-7 is what I shoot for. On the other hand, some people will need more, so cutting an hour won’t be an option for them. It’s completely a personal preference given that everyone’s bodies are different.

  2. Funny enough I purposely woke up an hour earlier this morning. I’ve been re-evaluating how I manage my time and decided I’d rather give up some sleep than miss out on other things I’d rather be doing (and trust me, I REALLY love my sleep). I ending up dedicating more time to my writers group critiques and my fiction before diving into work. I figure for every hour of sleep I lose that’s another hour I get to enjoy at night with my family!

  3. You actually made me think of another reason to skip an hour of sleep Natalia. 🙂

    For the first night at least, if you try to go to bed early, you might just lie there not able to sleep anyway if you’re not usually tired then. But if you skip it, you likely WILL be tired at that 1-hr earlier time the following day, helping you keep it up if the overall schedule change proves beneficial (and it may for some people – even though there’s no “extra” hour then technically, you may find you’re more productive in that earlier period – like me and my crazy 4am wake-ups). 🙂

  4. It was strange reading your post – because I started doing this last Monday! And it has worked really well for me.

    My best time of the day is first thing in the morning anyway, so instead of getting up at 8am I started getting up at 7am. It’s a shock to the system at times, but once I’m up with that first cup of tea (and the cat has had his breakfast) I can be writing by 7.10am.

    And yes, I have got lots more done as a result. I also don’t have that rushed feeling at the end of the day when I realise I haven’t achieved my targets. Great post – I thoroughly agree with what you’ve said 🙂

    • The “not being rushed” aspect is definitely another perk. What I love about starting earlier is that it’s as if you’re saving time twice:

      First, you can get more done during those morning hours (while you’re alert, but before the afternoon sun starts making you want to nap or go play outside lol).

      But then you also get to finish your work an hour early too, meaning you find that extra afternoon or evening hour for yourself (where now you really CAN go play outside if you want!).

      It’s one of the best things I’ve done for myself. I wasn’t a morning person. I loved sleeping in and considered it a perk of the job. Boy, was I wrong. It took some adjusting, but working earlier has significantly impacted my job – I get more done, make more money, and feel MUCH less stressed knowing I’m done earlier (while all the poor schlubs in the corporate world are stuck in their 9-5. 🙂

  5. I must admit I am a morning person, so the getting up early isn’t really that hard. I think I got caught up in the trap of thinking a lie in was now possible, so I did it every day for a while!

    But then I realised that it wasn’t very productive. I ended up taking longer to do things and I felt more sluggish too. There is a lot to be said for getting up early and snatching a look at the day before everyone else does.

  6. I am finding that since I moved from Florida to Colorado, I am getting up much earlier. Because of health issues, I was never able to get up before 7 in Florida, sometimes I wouldn’t get up until 8!

    Here I am always up by 6, which is great. I have more time to work during the quiet morning hours and I don’t feel miserable because the sun is up and that makes me feel awake.

    I never truly feel “refreshed” but I certainly feel more productive. I’ve even managed to land an interview for a new writing gig! Now I need to brainstorm ways to build a community before my interview. lol If I get this gig, those extra couple of hours in the morning will be very important. 🙂

  7. I generally go to bed 1-2 hours later instead of getting up early because I think better at night than in the morning. It is amazing how much I can write when no one is up to bother me! 🙂

  8. DeAnna, it’s funny – I work the other way around mostly. Although sometimes I switch and work a late shift to get a lie in!


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